Monday, February 4, 2013

Red: Lantern and origin of the Chinese New Year.

Brilliant Red   Lanterns for Chinese New Year. On February 18th, I am invited to give a talk of Chinese New Year to the St John Ambulance group. I plan to talk about Why Red colour is used, and the Nian/ dragon. I will have my dragon then.  This is at my friend Francis House; red to frighten away the Nian monster.

I made this monster when I go and give my interactive talks.


Hand-painted Chinese New Year's poetrypasted on the sides of doors leading to people's homes, LijiangYunnan
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian(ChinesepinyinNián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again.


eastcoastlife said...

The dragon is not fierce looking at all. :P

Are you going to give out red packets?

Lina Gustina said...

Thanks for the origin story, Ann

Jackie said...

Hello Ann. I am so glad I found your blog. I have joined you and am now following.

I love the photos but love the history lesson even more. I new red was prominent in the Chinese New Year Celebration. However, I never knew why until now.

Most people think it simply represents good luck. Now I know the story behind the good luck!

I hope you have a wonderful week! Happy RT2:-)

Hootin Anni said...

Hi Ann....long time, no see. I wanted to stop by and pay you a visit. And, I'm glad I did. I always learn something new from your posts. Learning why red was associated.

Chubskulit Rose said...

How lovely those are!

Visiting from Ruby Tuesday.
Your comment is always appreciated.

Liz said...

Love the lanterns.

My entries:
Liz (mcn)
Liz (mot)