Chinese New Year Pageant

Chinese New Year Pageant

Each year, the Chinese New Year Pageant is even more beautiful than the year before. These photos from 2015 and 2017 are no exception. The Chinese New Year is a festival that celebrates the beginning of the new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. This is one of the most important holidays celebrated by the Chinese culture to celebrate the beginning of spring and a new year.

First, legend states that the Chinese New Year stemmed from an ancient battle against the Nian (/nyen/, which sounds the same as ‘year’ in Chinese), a terrifying beast that showed up every Lunar New Year‘s Eve to eat people and livestock. To scare away the monster, people displayed red paper, burned bamboo, lit candles, and wore red clothes. These traditions have been continued until the present time.

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February 2015

The colors used in these parades are beautiful and bright, celebrating the start of a new year, but symbolizing a lot within their culture as well. I am glad it is celebrated worldwide and we are able to experience and celebrate the Chinese culture and heritage.

vivid
February 2015

Traditionally, the New Year celebration was to celebrate deities and ancestors, but these customs and traditions vary widely. Some other traditions include meeting the day after the start of the new year for a Reunion Dinner. These celebrations go on for about 15 days each year.

vivid
February 2015

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The streets are filled during this holiday, but the parade isn’t the only ways to celebrate. Other traditional ways including cleaning, putting up decorations, red specifically, offering sacrifices to ancestors, reunion dinners, giving out red envelopes and gifts, fireworks, as well as watching dragon and lion dances.

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In Chinese culture, red is the color of luck, prosperity, and celebration. During the New Year celebrations, red is everywhere, on decorations, clothing, and envelopes of gifts that are given out.

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The streets are always crawling with people held back by barrier tape and fences.

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Happiness and love surrounds this celebration, and moments of tenderness are visible through the dense crowd.

This year, it was celebrated on February 10, and we are in the year of the Rabbit.

The Rabbit is the fourth of all zodiac animals. Legend has it the Rabbit was proud—arrogant even—of its speed. He was neighbors with Ox and always made fun of how slow Ox was. One day, the Jade Emperor said the zodiac order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. Rabbit set off at daybreak. But when he got there, no other animals were in sight. Thinking that he would obviously be first, he went off to the side and napped. However, when he woke up, three other animals had already arrived. One of them was the Ox he had always looked down upon.

It is believed in Chinese culture that the Rabbit represents the moon, for its purity. Happy (quite late) Chinese New Year, I hope you learned something as I did and hopefully next year you will go experience the parade!

Emilie Leger
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