Happy New Year! No, we’re not a month and a half late in our well-wishing — today, we’re celebrating the Chinese New Year, which is a huge holiday in China, many parts of Asia, and the Chinatowns that dot cities across the U.S. Since the Chinese calendar is lunisolar (i.e., influenced by the moon phases and the sun), the first day of the Chinese year lands somewhere in late January or February each year. In today’s post we’ll highlight the legends associated with the Chinese New Year, how the holiday is celebrated, and how you can join in on the fun with some special Delysia truffles.
Not So Fast, Nian
Chinese legend has it that on the eve of each new year, a fearsome beast called Nian would sulk into a village and terrorize the villagers. For a long time, the people would flee to the mountains for safety whenever they got wind that Nian was coming to town. Then, one day, an old man arrived in the village right before Nian did. Instead of escaping to the mountains with the rest of the villagers, the old man stayed at a home in town and made preparations — he lined the house’s door with bright red paper, made sure the home was brightly lit, and waited inside, ready to make a racket. When Nian arrived at this particular house, he recoiled in fear of the brightly lit red door, and when the old man flung the door open and began to make as much noise as possible, a positively terrified Nian scampered away. Turns out, the fearsome beast wasn’t a big fan of bright red, bright lights, or big noises.
A Bright and Colorful Celebration
The legend of Nian has a lot to do with how the Chinese New Year is celebrated today. Often, celebrators will incorporate the color red and bright lanterns into their décor, and a spectacular – and spectacularly loud – display of fireworks and firecrackers light up the night on Chinese New Year’s Eve, after a scrumptious reunion dinner with family. On New Year’s Day, elders will often gift children a little bit of money sealed in a red envelope. Chinese New Year is also about making preparations for a prosperous year to come. On the days leading up to the New Year, you’ll often find families busy scrubbing and sweeping their houses to “sweep away” the bad luck of the previous year. The sweeping stops on New Year’s Day, though, because you don’t want to accidentally sweep away the good luck that just arrived with the new year. The festivities continue for several weeks after New Year’s Eve, as part of the Spring Festival.
A Taste of China in Chocolate
Want to bring the fun of this Chinese celebration home? Savor the flavors of China and beyond in Delysia’s Asian Truffle Collection. Delectable wasabi, coconut, and five spice truffles are sure to brighten your spirits on a chilly late winter day. And don’t worry, Delysia’s bright red truffle box will keep Nian away!
Source: Cultural China