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  • Dipanshu Grover, Hridya Chaudhary

Lunar New Year: People Celebrate the Defeat of Nian

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

It was that time of the year when I got to try some dumplings with a couple of Asian friends. Had a bubble tea and not to mention, I also got a gold coin packed in a beautiful red envelope [Spoiler Alert: It turned out to be a chocolate in disguise]

Yes, you guessed it right. It was Lunar New Year celebration at CBU which was rejoiced by everyone who had a skip in their legs.

One of the many legends say that. the Lunar New Year celebrates the defeat of Nian, a hideous cannibal sea monster.

In a village far far away, lived a ferocious monster named Nian. The beast would spend all his time under the sea, but once a year, at the end of the Lunar Year, he would emerge from the darkness and hunt kids for food. This one unusual day, a beggar came to seek refuge in the village. Inevitably, he was subjected to chaos and hysteria because of Nian and no one was willing to let him in; except, this one old grandma. This beggar was a blessing in disguise. He helped defeat the monster by covering the house in red papers and candles. The villagers soon came to know, that Nian is deathly afraid of the colour red, bright lights, and loud noises. They now knew the beast’s secret. Just like that, Nian, the monster was scared off. Following this, every New Lunar Year was marked by red coloured decorations, clothes, gifts and candles.

I was taking in all the culture the festival had to offer and just when i stumbled upon a candy booth. It looked like a salted potato crisp but I was again surprised when I discovered that it was a traditional ginger candy soothing my throat.

Fun Fact: The ginger candy originated from Changsha and has been a part of the Chinese tradition since the Ming dynasty (1368). This means the candy is as old as your great great great *18 grandfather.

I, personally don’t know Chinese. Kudos to you if you do. To fuel my fascination with languages, the event also showcased a corner wherein the masters of the said language translated your name for you.

All in all, I was grateful to celebrate New Year one more time!

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