Dr. Gao, Rachel Burns, I and other students are interested in setting up a Chinese club on campus! We are so excited about all kind of activities that we plan to do in the Chinese club. We have came up with many interesting ideas, such as celebrating Chinese traditional festivals, cooking Chinese food on our own, watching Chinese movies, making T-shirts with Chinese characters on them, inviting local Chinese people to visit us and etc .
We hope more Transy students join us and learn more about the wonderful Chinese culture! In this blog, I will share an interesting legend about our biggest festival, the Spring Festival 年 [nián].
Spring Festival is the first day of the first lunar month each year. We call the Spring Festival “Nian”. This festive “Nian” was once the name of a violent flesh-eating predatory monster. According to the legend, “Nian” was an enormous, ferocious, violent, and single-horned wild beast, with sharp teeth and a long, powerful tail. It destroyed all-important cereal crops, and swallowed whole people and other living creatures alive. So everybody came to be in a state of fear and great anxiety as their lives could all be in danger. Many people chose to hide as a way to escape this menacing beast, and try to avoid suffering disaster.
The monster always came on the last day of the year, at nightfall, to seek and destroy. The village people later found out that “Nian” was greatly afraid of red color and the cracking sound of bamboo. The villagers then built a huge fire, with blazing, sparking, firewood when “Nian” appeared again. “Nian” was really afraid and took off like a shot.
Once the menacing enemy of the villagers had gone, the villagers went back to their homes, put on their best clothes, and made sacrificial offerings. They kowtowed and bid obedience to the gods for averting disaster, and restoring peace to the community. After that, people put up red lanterns, stick couplet on doorframe, set off fireworks and have a big dinner on New Year’s Eve. In the next morning people greet each other happily. The custom of celebrating the Spring Festival continues to this day.
Please come to join us, and enjoy the brilliant Chinese culture!!!