Sunday, February 10, 2013
The snake in ancient Chinese folklore has traditionally been seen as a symbol of wisdom, wealth and longevity. It is considered less auspicious than other animals in the 12 year Chinese Zodiac such as the dragon.
It is believed to bestow mystery, intelligence and beauty on those born in the year of the snake…
Check out some good video of celebrations:
Now, beginning February 10 in China, people say “Gong Xi Fa Ca!”…
Variations on the mythology and folklore behind Chinese New Year celebrations are mostly based on an a very fierce, ugly and bloodthirsty monster named Nian that would emerge on the last night of each year to destroy villages and eat people. A wise elder advised villagers to scare the monster away with loud noises.
That night, they set fire to bamboo, lit fireworks, and banged their drums as loud as they could, and the monster, afraid of the loud noises and lights, ran away to hide in its cave. On the first day of the new year, the villagers celebrated, greeting each other with the words “Guo Nian” which means “survive the Nian”, a tradition that has continued to this day to mean “Celebrate the New Year”
In another version of the myth, the old man persuaded Nian to turn its wrath on other monsters, not the villagers
Interested in the deeper analysis of what these Chinese astrologically aligned beliefs mean and the effects they may bring into the new lunar year?
See Kent Ewing’s post on Asia Times Online for a very informative in-depth look.