Lunar New Year festivities now ongoing

Published 3:58 pm Sunday, February 11, 2024

2024 Lunar New Year (RM/Unsplash)

Saturday kicked off the Lunar New Year, which marks the first new moon of the lunar calendar. The 15-day spring festival began Feb. 10.

Here is a description of the event:

“Though incredibly complex, the Chinese zodiac calendar is best described as a 12-year cycle represented by 12 different animals, in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. …

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“There are countless folk tales attached to Lunar New Year, but the myth of ‘Nian’ stands out as one of the most fun. Legend has it Nian was a ferocious underwater beast with sharp teeth and horns. Every Lunar New Year’s Eve, it crawled onto the land and attacked a nearby village. [One year,] … a mysterious old man showed up and [stayed when everyone else ran away]. … To the villagers’ surprise, the old man and the village survived utterly unscathed. The man claimed to have scared Nian away by hanging red banners on the door, lighting firecrackers and donning red clothing. This is why wearing the fiery color, along with hanging red banners and lighting firecrackers or fireworks, are Lunar New Year traditions, all of which are still followed today. … 

2024 Lunar New Year (Christian/Unsplash)

The highlight of the whole Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, happens on the 15th and final day … Feb. 24.”

– Source: /CNN