22 February, 2007

Kung Hei Fat Choy !!

Traditional Chinese New Year Dragon (made by Appu) and Lion (made by Abhay) artwork made at school.

The air has been resounding with greetings of "Kung Hei Fat Choy" over the past week or so.

Kung Hei Fat Choy is the traditional Chinese greeting for "Happy New Year" in Cantonese.

Chinese New Year a.k.a The Spring Festival or The Lunar New Year is one of the most important festivals in the Chinese Calendar.

This year, ethnic Chinese population all over the world, ushered in The Year of the Pig (also known as The Year of the Boar) on 18th February 2007.

According to legend in ancient China, a man eating beast called Nian came out from the mountains once every 12 months to prey on human beings. The people later believed that the Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the color red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations. Guò nián, which means to celebrate the new year, literally means the passover of the Nian.

Traditionally, red packets known as Lai See in Cantonese are passed out during the Chinese New Year's celebrations, from married couples or the elderly to unmarried juniors. It is common for adults to give red packets to children. The red envelopes always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. The amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals.

The Lion Dance/Dragon Dance is also a common practice during Chinese New Year. It is believed that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face of the Lion dancing aggresively can evict bad or evil spirits off the place.

I leave you with some of the pictures taken during the Chinese New Year celebrations this month.

Appu and Abhay with the Dragon

Traditional Dragon and Lion Dances in our apartment block

Appu and Abhay in the lobby under the traditional peach blossom tree

3 voice(s) said so:

Sush said...

great to see the pics.. i missed the celebrations here at Civic Center.. isnt it great to see and know the cultural aspects of the people across the globe.

@ said...

beautiful pictures! and I sooo want to make a dragon like Apu's for K...it is lovely! btw, the kids have grown a whole lot taller since the last photo shoot...

starry nights said...

Neat pictures and awesome art work.Appu and Abhay are so cute.