Chinese New Year - Short Essay

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Chinese New Year
China is the first one of the cradles of world civilization, 5000 years of history makes China more powerful. There are many China's unique festivals, like Mid-Autumn Festival, Ching Ming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Winter Festival and Chinese New year. Especially Chinese New Year remains the most important social and economic holiday in China. The Chinese New Year is now popularly known as the Spring Festival because it starts from the Beginning of Spring. Its origin is too old to be traced. Several explanations are hanging around. All agree, however, that the word “Nian”, which in modern Chinese solely means "year", was originally the name of a monster beast that started to prey on people the night before the beginning of a new year. In Chinese New Year, we have many rules and customs. We will sweep the dust, pasting paper cuts and spring couplet, staying up late on New Year's Eve, dress up in red, give red envelope, etc. “Dust” is homophonic with “Chen” in Chinese, which means old and past. In this way, “sweeping the dust” before the Spring Festival means a thorough cleaning of houses to sweep away bad luck in the past year. This custom shows a good wish of putting away old things to welcome a new life. In a word, just before the Spring Festival comes, every household will give a thorough cleaning to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the new. Paper-cuts, usually with auspicious patterns, give a happy and prosperous atmosphere of the Festival and express the good wishes of Chinese people looking forward to a good life, in addition to pasting paper-cuts on windows. “The Spring Couplet”, also called “couplet” and “a pair of antithetical phrases”, is a special form of literature in China. The Spring Couplet is composed of two antithetical sentences on both sides of the door and a horizontal scroll bearing an inscription, usually an auspicious phrase, above the gate. The tradition of staying up late to see New Year in originated from...
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