Chinese New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all the people celebrating it today and the celebrations for the next 15 days. According to Chinese legends, the first celebration of the new year was the scaring away of an man eating dragon called the Nian. This dragon comes out every 12 months and to scare it away, the Chinese used explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the colour red.

Because of the problems of keeping calendars during the Chinese dynasties, different dynasties celebrate it in different month. In Xia Dynasty, it was in the first month, in the Shang Dynasty the 12th and in Zhou Dynasty, it was in the 11th. Lunar calenders are shorter than solar calendars, and if one keeps to the lunar calendar, it will be out of sync with the seasons with the passing of the years. It was the introduction of intercalary months that the lunar calendar was able to be in sync with the solar calendar. It was Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty which established month 1 as the beginning of the year.

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