45/365寫作計畫－華人新年特別的習俗 Special Chinese New Year Traditions
There are interesting or fun or not understable traditions in each ethnographic group, and Chinese is not the exception. Let’s take a look at what Chinese does for Chinese New Year!
- Congratulate you when you break a chinese. 打破瓷器還要說恭喜
In Mandarin, the phrase for this situation which chinese is broken / 碎 is 歲歲平安 sue-sue-pin-an. While 碎 and 歲 both pronounce sue, Chinese ancesters believed that saying this phrase could bring us luck out of bad luck.
2. Avoid eating the last portion of fish fresh. 最後一塊不准吃
Parents and grandparents always notice children NOT to eat the last one since 魚 / fish and 餘 / abundance both pronounce YU. It affect the wealth and luck for next year if we do not have any leftover of FISH.
3. Write four-word phrases into ONE word. 硬要把字擠在一起。
There are rectangle and square 春聯 / chong-lian / red papers to choose from. Since the skill of squeezing four words into one square red paper somehow represents the writer’s creativity and caligraphical ability, ancestors enjoyed this activity and tried to come up with new combinations during spring festival.
And also, we stick the 春聯 to the walls upside down. It’s because 倒 / upside down and 到 / arrival are both pronounce DAO.
4. Have birthday for animals. Seventh day of Chinese New Year is Human’s Birthday.
According to Chinese myths, humans were created by a female god, 女媧 Nu Wua, whose appearance is described as half human and half python, from normal mud / earth.
Since there is no further describtion for her, I drew what I believe she would look like. First, no clothing because of inadequate of technology. Second, simple decorations, same reason as former one. Third, copper skin because of over exposure to sun light. ( so rational )
Have you heard of any other interesting traditions from Chinese / Taiwanese / Singaporeans / Malaysians?
May you have a Wonderful Chinese New Year of Ox / Spring Festival!
Happy New Year of Ox! 牛年行大運!