Chinese New Year 2015
The Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival, Guo Nian and Lunar New Year) is the most important holidays for the Chinese all over the world. This year (From 19th February 2015) is the year of Goat, there are 12 different animals in the Chinese calendar.
This festivity is the time for family reunion, which is the most important part of the Chinese New Year celebration. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity." Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
Guo Nian: Guo means pass over and the Nian or "Year" in Chinese refers to a mythical beast that will bring bad luck.
Here's the story, A long time ago, there was a hungry beast named Nian. 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 more people.One day an immortal visited a villager and advised him Nian has weakness, which were the colour red and noises. The villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. And light firecrackers, Dragon/Lion dance performed accompanied by the music of beating drums and cymbals, and gongs, to frighten Nian away. Nian never came to the village again. That's why people in China believe the color red signifies luck, and why all the children and many adults light firecrackers and make all kinds of noise on Chinese New Year's eve. It's to scare away evil spirits, and even Nian, just in case it's still hanging around.
Image Credits: IQRemix