Chapter Seven: New Year's Day "Happy New Year!"
"The same to you and many more."
This familiar greeting is heard throughout Britain and the United States on 1 January.
People have always celebrated the New Year. In ancient civilizations the calendar was based on the seasons. The Egyptian New Year began when the Nile River overflowed . For the early Britons and the Romans the New Year began on the first day of spring.
In 45 BC the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar created a calendar with 1 January as the first day of the new year. This calendar is still used today.
January comes from "Janus," the Roman god of beginnings and endings.
New Year's traditions come from different cultures. Many people give presents and send cards on New Year's Day. This was part of a Roman and old English tradition. Shops and offices give calendars and small presents to their clients.
In Britain most families have a big lunch and spend a quiet day at home. In the United States many families have "Open House" on New Year's Day. It is a custom introduced by George Washington, the first president of the United States. During "Open House" the front door of your home is open all day long. Friends and relatives come to say "Happy New Year!" They eat and drink something and then leave. Many clubs and organisations have "Open House" too.
On New Year's Day most of the United States is covered with snow.
However, in California and in the southern states it is warm and sunny. In these sunny places there are parades and football games. These football games are called Bowl Games.
Each region has its parade and football game.
The Pasadena "Tournament of Roses" parade is the biggest and oldest New Year's Day event. In Pasadena more than three million people go to watch the parade. More than 70 million Americans watch it on television.
Every year there are about 60 spectacular floats made of fresh flowers.
The floats show favourite storybook characters and animals. The queen of the parade is called the Citrus Queen, because so many citrus fruits grow in southern California.
It takes about a year to organise the Pasadena "Tournament of Roses'"
parade! The entire city participates in this extraordinary event. When the parade ends everyone goes to the football stadium to watch the Rose Bowl game, the biggest sports event of the year.
Another famous New Year's Day parade is the Macy's Day Parade in New FOOTBALL GAME PLACE
Rose Bowl Pasadena, California Orange Bowl Miami, Florida Cotton Bowl Dallas, Texas Sugar Bowl New Orleans, Louisiana York City. Many Americans watch this parade on television in the morning and in the afternoon they watch a football game.
Chapter Eight: Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the most important festivity for the Chinese people in America and Great Britain. It is also called the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year.
The exact date on the Western calendar changes from year to year.
However, Chinese New Year takes place between 1 January and 19 February. On the Chinese lunar calendar every month begins with the new moon. Every year has an animal's name. These animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon , snake, horse, ram , monkey, rooster , dog and pig.
A Chinese legend says that these twelve animals had a race. The first year was named after the rat, the winner. The other eleven years were named after the order , in which the animals arrived in the race. The clever rat jumped onto the ox's back then at the end jumped over the ox's head to arrive first!
The Chinese believe that a person born in a particular year has some of the characteristics of that animal.
Celebrations in Chinese families last for about two weeks. The celebration begin with traditional house cleaning. The Chinese get rid of old and useless things. They do this to throw away the misfortunes of the past year.
On Chinese New Year's Eve all family members enjoy a big, delicious meal. It is very important for the Chinese to be with their families on this occasion. Fish is always part of the dinner because it represents abundance .
On New Year's Day all Chinese children wear new clothes with bright colours. Red is considered a lucky colour. Parents and relatives give children the traditional New Year's gift called "Lai see" (lucky money). This money is put into bright red and gold envelopes. Red is a traditional colour for festivals, celebrations, weddings and birthdays.
In Britain a parade takes place in Soho, London. This is one of the biggest parades in an English-speaking country. Dragon or lion dancers often lead the parade. In Chinatown, Soho there are many Chinese restaurants. It is possible to stop and eat typical Chinese food.
Chinese New Year was celebrated on 21 February, 1851 for the first time in San Francisco! This was during the California Gold Rush. A lot of Chinese immigrants worked in California during the Gold Rush .
In big American cities such as San Francisco, New York, Honolulu and Houston, Chinese New Year is a major event with wonderful parades.
San Francisco, California, has the biggest Oriental community outside of Asia. This area of San Francisco is called Chinatown. There are many Chinese shops, restaurants and libraries in Chinatown. All street and shop signs are written in Chinese! During the Chinese New Year, Chinatown is decorated with beautiful ornaments.
Most of the costumes and masks come from Hong Kong. Every year there is a Miss Chinatown USA beauty and talent contest .
The lion dancers are always part of the festivities. The lion has a big head and long body made of cloth. The lion dance is accompanied by drums,
cymbals and noisy firecrackers. According to ancient traditions the great noise frightens away evil spirits.
The dragon is the most important figure of the Chinese New Year festivities and parades. The dragon is considered a lucky figure. A parade dragon can be 20 to 30 metres long! Sixty or more men move under a long cloth that represents the dragon's tail.
During the parade children represent the animals of the Chinese calendar.
There are also acrobats and musicians in beautiful costumes.
Every year the San Francisco parade attracts thousands of spectators . It is a magnificent event.
Chinese New Year on my fingertip 指尖上的新春佳节：新年初6 千家送穷鬼
Part Four: The Professor's Daughter
The next day, at lunchtime, the Student woke up and looked out of his window. "That's lucky," he said, "here is a red rose. It is an extremely beautiful red rose. I'm sure it has a long Latin name." He took the rose from the tree. He put on his hat and ran to the Professor's house. The Professor's daughter was sitting near the color.
"Look, here is a red rose for you. Tonight you must dance with me as you promised. You will wear it next to your heart and I will say 'I love you'.”
The girl didn't smile but she looked at him. "I'm sorry," she said, "I don't like the color. My dress is blue and the rose is red. And another thing, the Chamberlain's son gave me jewels. Everybody knows that jewels are more expensive than flowers. I don't want your rose."
"You are very ungrateful ," said the Student angrily, and he threw the rose into the street. At that moment a cart passed and the wheels crushed the flower.
"You are very rude," said the girl. "I will dance with the Chamberlain's son,
not with you." Then she stood up and went into her house.
The Student started to walk home. "Love is a stupid thing," he said. "I
prefer to study books. They are much more interesting and useful. Yes,
logic is much more useful than love. I will go home and study philosophy and metaphysics ." And that's what he did.
Today is the 6th day of the 一st month in Lunar Calendar。后天是农历嘉月首6。
威朗ing to traditional customs, families usually send away the Ghost of Poverty (穷鬼， qiong gui) on this day。依照守旧民俗，家里常备要在这一天送走穷鬼。
By doing this, Chinese people wish to send sway poverty and welcome the beautiful days and good luck in the new year。通过做那么些，中国人梦想能送走贫穷并且在新的一年迎来幸福和幸运。
Cavaliering to the legend, the ghost of poverty is a son of an emperor thousands years ago. He was short and weak, and liked wearing ragged clothes and eating poor porridge。根据传说，成百上千年前穷鬼是一个国王的幼子。他矮小而又弱小，并且喜欢穿破烂的行头，喝稀饭。
伊芙n when people presented him with new clothes, he would not wear it until he ripped it apart. So, he got the name of ‘the man of poverty (穷子， qiong zi) with time passing by, he gradually became the ghost of poverty。尽管人们送给他新衣裳，他也要扯破后才穿。由此，随着时间推移，他被称呼了穷子，慢慢地就产生了穷人。
The first day of Chinese New Year, also known as the "day of chicken", officially begins at midnight.
To send away the Ghost of Poverty, Chinese people will usually throw away their ragged clothes, rubbish and other dirty things。为了送走穷鬼，大家平常会将本身的破服装、垃圾和其余脏东西扔掉。
This practice also has its hygienic reason。那1做法也是为着清洁。
It is traditional to light firecrackers and make as much of a din as possible to chase off the evil monster nian.
As for the first five days of Chinese new year, people are not allowed to throw away any rubbish because the rubbish is regarded as fortune which cannot be swept off。就新春的前四天的话，人们分化意扔掉任何杂质因为垃圾被视为财富不可能被清扫掉。
However, after the Festival of Po Wu (破伍， po wu)， many taboos can be broken。可是在破5从此，大多禁忌就可被打破。
Most importantly the oldest and most senior members are visited with the visits strengthening family kinship.
Thus, people finally can clean up their houses again。于是，大家最后会再打扫三遍他们的屋子。
Nowadays, the custom of sending away the Ghost of Poverty is not common to see in big cities。近些日子，在大城市中送穷鬼的风土人情已经不时见了。
Senior members of the family hand out red envelopes containing cash (Chinese: ya sui qian), a form of blessing and to suppress aging and the challenges of the coming year, to junior members of the family, mostly children and teenagers.
On the second day, married daughters usually go back to their own family to visit parents, relatives and close friends. Traditionally, married daughters didn't have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently.
Some believe the second day is also the birthday of all dogs and remember them with special treats.
On the third day, an old saying goes: "A fat pig at the door", meaning the arrival of good luck and happiness.
Traditionally, the third day is known as "Chigou's Day". Chigou literally means "red dog", an epithet of "the God of Blazing Wrath", and it is considered an unlucky day to have guests or go visiting.
Folklore says the 3rd day is also "rat marriage day" (Chinese: lao shu qu qin), so people often go to bed earlier to give rats time for their wedding.
The old saying "three rams bring bliss" is connected with the fourth day, which says that by making a good beginning a happy end comes.
According to folklore, it is also the day to welcome back the Kitchen God. On this day, the Kitchen God would check the household and therefore people should not leave home.
The fifth day is also called the "day of cow". According to Chinese folklore, the first seven days of the 1st lunar month are respectively called "day of chicken", "day of dog", "day of pig", "day of sheep", "day of cow", "day of horse" and "day of man". When creating all living beings on earth, Nu Wa, a goddess in Chinese mythology, created the six creatures before human beings.
The fifth day is also the God of Fortune's birthday and people will celebrate this day with a large banquet. This day is also commonly known as the Festival of Po Wu, literally breaking five. According to custom, it is believed that many New Year taboos can be broken on this day.
On the sixth day, people make wishes for "ma dao cheng gong", win success immediately upon arrival.
According to tradition, families usually send away the Ghost of Poverty on this day. To send away him, Chinese people will usually throw away their ragged clothes, rubbish and other dirty things.
By doing this Chinese people wish to send away poverty and welcome the beautiful days and good luck in the New Year.
The seventh day is commonly referred as the "day of man", and in most parts of China people will eat noodles as they symbolize longevity in Chinese culture.
The eighth day is believed to be the birthday of millet, an important crop in ancient China.
According to folk proverbs, if this day is bright and clear the year will be a harvest year; however, if this day is cloudy or even rainy, the year will suffer from poor harvest.
Meanwhile, people also set free captive animals on this day, with a blessing for all living beings to flourish in the New Year.
The ninth day is called Ti Kong Dan, or the birthday of the Jade Emperor. There will be grand ceremonies in Taoist temples on this day, and ordinary families also offer sacrifices to the Jade Emperor.
The 10th day is believed to be the birthday of the God of Stone which played a very important role in the agricultural society of ancient China.
On this day, people are forbidden to move any stone, including stone rollers, stone mills and herb grinders, and should not cut into a mountain for rock or build a house with rocks, otherwise bad things will happen to the crops.
People also burn incense and candles for the stones and offer pancake to the God of Stone.
People make offerings to Zi Gu, the guardian angel for weak women, on the 11th day.
This day is also for Yuefu (fathers-in-law) to entertain Nuxu (sons-in-law).
In many areas, after this day, people will start preparing for the upcoming Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day of the 1st month.
Families buy lanterns and build a lantern shack on the 12th day.
On the 13th day, preparations for Lantern Festival continue.
The 14th day is the birthday of the Goddess of Linshui, who is believed to protect women from dying in childbirth. People make offerings to the goddess on this day.
The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is commonly celebrated as Yuan Xiao Jie, or Lantern Festival. The festivities of the Chinese New Year reach a climax on this day.
Since early morning, dragon and lion dancers parade on streets crowded with people. In the evening families go out together to enjoy the full moon and appreciate colorful lanterns and also solve lantern riddles.
Chinese people also eat yuan xiao, a traditional food made of glutinous rice flour which symbolizes family togetherness and reunion.
This day officially marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations.