The Legend of Chinese New Year

There was a beast in an ancient Chinese legend that was extremely evil. It has a long head and a sharp horn living far away from the village for the whole year long.

However, on the New Year’s Eve, it would go up to the shore to devour farm animals and harm humans in a near-by village. Therefore, people would move away from the village and hide deep into the mountains on that day.


Until an old man came to the village on one Chinese New Year’s Eve and chased the demon away. The village was safe and unharmed. Firecrackers, red banners and lights are three things that were found after the old man left the village. They were believed to be the things that the old man used to chase away the beast. From then on, families will hang red banners, set off fire crackers and light their lamps through the whole night awaiting the New Year.

Later, celebrating the Chinese New Year or ‘passing of Nian’ was gradually changed to ‘Spring Festival’. It became China’s major traditional holiday, and is also celebrated in other parts of Southeast Asia. Also the date for Chinese New Year changes each year according to solar/lunar calendar which is the first day of the first month of Chinese calendar.


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