The Origin of Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is now popularly known as the Spring Festival because it starts from the Begining of Spring (the first of the twenty-four terms in coodination with the changes of Nature). 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.
One legend goes that the beast Nian had a very big mouth that would swallow a great many people with one bite. People were very scared. One day, an old man came to their rescue, offering to subdue Nian. To Nian he said, I hear say that you are very capable, but can you swallow the other beasts of prey on earth instead of people who are by no means of your worthy opponents? So, it did swallow many of the beasts of prey on earth that also harrassed people and their domestic animals from time to time.
After that, the old man disappeared riding the beast Nian. He turned out to be an immortal god. Now that Nian is gone and other beasts of prey are also scared into forests, people begin to enjoy their peaceful life. Before the old man left, he had told people to put up red paper decorations on their windows and doors at each year's end to scare away Nian in case it sneaked back again, because red is the color the beast feared the most.
From then on, the tradition of observing the conquest of Nian is carried on from generation to generation. The term Guo Nian, which may mean Survive the Nian becomes today Celebrate the (New) Year as the word guo in Chinese having both the meaning of pass-over and observe. The custom of putting up red paper and firing fire-crackers to scare away Nian should it have a chance to run loose is still around. However, people today have long forgotten why they are doing all this, except that they feel the color and the sound add to the excitement of the celebration.
The Spring Festival is the most important festival for the Chinese people and is when all family members get together, just like Christmas in the West. All people living away from home go back, becoming the busiest time for transportation systems of about half a month from the Spring Festival. Airports, railway stations and long-distance bus stations are crowded with home returnees.
Strictly speaking, the Spring Festival starts every year in the early days of the 12th lunar month and will last till the mid 1st lunar month of the next year. Of them, the most important days are Spring Festival Eve and the first three days. The Chinese government now stipulates people have seven days off for the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Many customs accompany the Spring Festival. Some are still followed today, but others have weakened.
On the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, many families make laba porridge, a delicious kind of porridge made with glutinous rice, millet, seeds of Job's tears, jujube berries, lotus seeds, beans, longan and gingko.
The 23rd day of the 12th lunar month is called Preliminary Eve. At this time, people offer sacrifice to the kitchen god. Now however, most families make delicious food to enjoy themselves.
After the Preliminary Eve, people begin preparing for the coming New Year. This is called Seeing the New Year in.
Store owners are busy then as everybody goes out to purchase necessities for the New Year. Materials not only include edible oil, rice, flour, chicken, duck, fish and meat, but also fruit, candies and kinds of nuts. What's more, various decorations, new clothes and shoes for the children as well as gifts for the elderly, friends and relatives, are all on the list of purchasing.
Before the New Year comes, the people completely clean the indoors and outdoors of their homes as well as their clothes, bedclothes and all their utensils.
Then people begin decorating their clean rooms featuring an atmosphere of rejoicing and festivity. All the door panels will be pasted with Spring Festival couplets, highlighting Chinese calligraphy with black characters on red paper. The content varies from house owners' wishes for a bright future to good luck for the New Year. Also, pictures of the god of doors and wealth will be posted on front doors to ward off evil spirits and welcome peace and abundance.
The Chinese character fu (meaning blessing or happiness) is a must. The character put on paper can be pasted normally or upside down, for in Chinese the reversed fu is homophonic with fu comes, both being pronounced as fudaole. What's more, two big red lanterns can be raised on both sides of the front door. Red paper-cuttings can be seen on window glass and brightly colored New Year paintings with auspicious meanings may be put on the wall.
People attach great importance to Spring Festival Eve. At that time, all family members eat dinner together. The meal is more luxurious than usual. Dishes such as chicken, fish and bean curd cannot be excluded, for in Chinese, their pronunciations, respectively ji, yu and doufu, mean auspiciousness, abundance and richness. After the dinner, the whole family will sit together, chatting and watching TV. In recent years, the Spring Festival party broadcast on China Central Television Station (CCTV) is essential entertainment for the Chinese both at home and abroad. According to custom, each family will stay up to see the New Year in.
Waking up on New Year, everybody dresses up. First they extend greetings to their parents. Then each child will get money as a New Year gift, wrapped up in red paper. People in northern China will eat jiaozi, or dumplings, for breakfast, as they think jiaozi in sound means bidding farewell to the old and ushering in the new. Also, the shape of the dumpling is like gold ingot from ancient China. So people eat them and wish for money and treasure.
Southern Chinese eat niangao (New Year cake made of glutinous rice flour) on this occasion, because as a homophone, niangao means higher and higher, one year after another. The first five days after the Spring Festival are a good time for relatives, friends, and classmates as well as colleagues to exchange greetings, gifts and chat leisurely.
Burning fireworks was once the most typical custom on the Spring Festival. People thought the spluttering sound could help drive away evil spirits. However, such an activity was completely or partially forbidden in big cities once the government took security, noise and pollution factors into consideration. As a replacement, some buy tapes with firecracker sounds to listen to, some break little balloons to get the sound too, while others buy firecracker handicrafts to hang in the living room.
The lively atmosphere not only fills every household, but permeates to streets and lanes. A series of activities such as lion dancing, dragon lantern dancing, lantern festivals and temple fairs will be held for days. The Spring Festival then comes to an end when the Lantern Festival is finished.
China has 56 ethnic groups. Minorities celebrate their Spring Festival almost the same day as the Han people, and they have different customs.
題目：Happy New Year
(一)Spring Festival is the most important festival in China .It’s to celebrate
the lunar calendar ‘s new year .In the evening before the Spring
Festival ,families get together and have a big meal .In many places people like
to set off firecrackers .Dumplings are the most traditional food .Children like
the festival very much ,because they can have delicious food and wear new
clothes .They can also get some money from their parents. This money is given to
children for good luck . People put New Year scrolls on the wall for good
The Spring Festival lasts about 15 days long .People visit relatives and friends
with the words “Have all your wishes ”. People enjoy the Spring Festival ,during
this time they can have a good rest .
(二)Probably more food is consumed during the New Year celebrations than any other
time of the year. Vast amounts of traditional food is prepared for family and
friends, as well as those close to us who have died.
On New Year's Day, the Chinese family will eat a vegetarian dish called jai.
Although the various ingredients in jai are root vegetables or fibrous
vegetables, many people attribute various superstitious aspects to them.
Other foods include a whole fish, to represent togetherness and abundance, and a
chicken for prosperity. The chicken must be presented with a head, tail and feet
to symbolize completeness. Noodles should be uncut, as they represent long life.
In south China, the favorite and most typical dishes were nian gao, sweet steamed
glutinous rice（糯米）pudding and zong zi (glutinous rice wrapped up in reed（蘆葦）
leaves), another popular delicacy.
In the north, steamed-wheat bread (man tou) and small meat dumplings were the
preferred food. The tremendous amount of food prepared at this time was meant to
symbolize abundance and wealth for the household
(三)My Spring Festival
My Spring Festival was great. Before the Chinese New Year, my families were all
going to my grandparents’. Many of my relatives there were playing all the night.
At night, we set off firecrackers. The voice was very loud, cars parked far from
us were sounding. Maybe they feared the voice too.
The first day of the Chinese New Year, we all got up early. We said “Happy New
Year!” or “Good luck this year!” to each other and get money from them. We
visited our relatives all day. That made me feel very tired but very happy
because I also can get money.
The second day of the New Year, I slept during the morning. In the afternoon, I
went to the beautiful countryside, and visited the Yi River, it is very wide,
about 1 kilometer.
Next day, we left my grandparents’ home for Qingdao. The expressway had been
frozen. It was terrible! So we could only run by at a slow speed.
This festival was great, I love Spring Festival!
（四）Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is a Chinese traditional festival. We also call it the Spring
Festival. It is on lunar January 1st.
On New Year’s Eve, all the people sit around the desk and have a big family
dinner. There are some vegetables, some fish, some meat, some fruits and some
drink like juice, Coke, Pepsi and some nice wine. Overall, this is a good and
delicious dinner. After dinner, we always watch TV New Year progammes. We have a
wonderful evening on New Year’s Eve.
On the first day of the Spring Festival, most of people get up early and say
“happy new year” to each other. For breakfast, people often eat dumplings and
baozi. After breakfast, people often make many delicious foods, and children
often play cards, computer games and fireworks. On the second and third day, we
visit friends and relatives.
Everyone is busy on Chinese New Year, and everyone is happy, too.題目：新年快樂資料：（一）春節是中國最重要的節日。這是為慶祝農歷氏新的一年。晚上在春節前，家人相聚大吃一頓。許多地方人喜歡燃放鞭炮。餃子是最傳統的食品。節兒童一樣，非常