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During the Zhou Dynasty the year was formally called “Nian” and the beginning of the year was called “SuiShou”. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Keep in mind that the emperors of old did not do everything by themselves and had experts or “officials” to help out, but the burden of responsibility was always on the ruling emperor. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=730826050370354&set=a.313566... Ching Shih – From Prostitute to Infamous Female Pirate, Oldest Japanese Manuscript on Confucius Teachings Confirmed, The Vinland Map: A Most Non-European Artifact, High Levels Of Ancient Extreme Siberian Nomadic Violence Discovered, Sherlock Holmes and the Foil Covered Brain of Lake Michigan, Chinese Votive Sword Found in Georgia suggests Pre-Columbian Chinese travel to North America. The Nian or Nián shòu is a Chinese creature that lives in the sea and mountains. The legend says, long ago, there was a monster called Nian. Legend (fiction), 188 words, Level G (Grade 1), Lexile 490L . According to the legend, the Nian hates loud noises and the color red. The new study could reshape history, since it openly challenges the “out of Africa theory.”. One night when Nian was spotted coming down the mountain they started the fires, put up the boards painted with scarlet, and stayed up all night long making noises. With wishing that the year of the Pig will be prosperous. The date of Chinese New Year, which is also called Spring Festival, changes every year as it is based on the lunar calendar. The Templar Tunnel is an underground passageway located in the city of Acre, in what is now Israel. The story is said to have originated in a small province of Shanghai. The villagers would live in terror over the Winter, but over time they learned that the ferocious Nian was afraid of three things: the colour red, fire, and noise. It was born to be very ugly and ferocious, which looked like either dragons or unicorns. Some local legends attribute the Chinese lion dance (舞獅) to the legend of the nian. The story will also provide opportunities to teach students about characters, adjectives, and onomatopoeia. It was said to be a ferocious animal that lived in the mountains and hunted for a living. The find dates back almost 1500 years when the Japanese nation was only just emerging. As a result, all the villagers would flee to the mountains to escape from 'Nian… In ancient China it was the responsibility of the Emperor to keep track of important dates, perform traditional rituals, and select the music so that heaven and earth were in harmony. The 30 cm artifact is possibly a... Over a thousand years ago, in the mists of the cloud forests of northern Peru, near the source of the mighty Amazon River, the Cloud Warriors reigned supreme. Your email address will not be published. In the end of winter Bulgarians also use to decorate their domestic animals with those martenichki and food and flowers for keeping them alive and healthy during the year. Chinese New Year always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Is the Assyrian Nimrud lens the oldest telescope in the world? Legend (fiction), 205 words, Spanish Level H (Grade 1) Nian is a dragon beast that comes out of the ocean once a year and eats people. The marking of the Winter Solstice was an important event because if an emperor miscalculated, the kingdom wouldn’t know which day marked the coming of the New Year. Ching Shih (or Zheng Shi) was a Chinese prostitute who became a powerful female pirate, controlling the infamous Red Flag Fleet. Your email address will not be published. So when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. Villagers could not identify the beast and decided to name it Nian, which meant, “year” in Chinese. The tradition has its origins in a story of a Nian's attack on a village. It would destroy the fields, crops, food and animals belonging to the farmers of a village in China. Eventually, the villagers came together and agreed that when it was time for Nian’s annual visit towards the end of winter they would start a fire in front of every door, hang a scarlet painted board in front of every house, and not go to sleep but rather make noise. Nian is a dragon beast that comes out of the ocean once a year and eats people. The kind and brave people eventually discovered that "Nian" had a weak spot and they began to retaliate. The fearsome monster has sharp teeth and horns. In Chinese mythology, a Nian is a beast that lives under the sea or in the mountains. The Legend of Nian presents the classic Chinese legend with beautiful illustrations and is a great way to introduce students to the Chinese New Year. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. Legend (fiction), 188 words, Level G (Grade 1), Lexile 490L Nian is a dragon beast that comes out of the ocean once a year and eats people. The monster came down saw and heard the ruckus, freaked out, and ran into the mountains never to return again. This calendar is consisted of different animals for every month, hour and year. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is similar to the Western Farmer’s Almanac. It was important to know when to till the soil and sow the seeds. They also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. Messiah on Temple Mount: Are We Nearing the End of Time? In the vaults of Yale University, and insured for $25 Million, it is either a colossal fraud or an... A Swiss-Russian team of archeologists, anthropologists and forensic experts have discovered evidence of extreme Siberian nomadic violence within communities of ancient Siberians . Because Nian feared the colour red, loud noises, and fire, red paper decorations were pasted to doors, lanterns were burned all night, and firecrackers were lit to frighten the beast away. On New Year’s Day people give gifts of money to friends, family, and colleagues in red paper envelopes. Dinner Invitations for Famous People from the Past, Harvard Scientists Say That There May Be An Ancient Earth Inside Earth, about Ching Shih – From Prostitute to Infamous Female Pirate, about Oldest Japanese Manuscript on Confucius Teachings Confirmed, about The Vinland Map: A Most Non-European Artifact, about High Levels Of Ancient Extreme Siberian Nomadic Violence Discovered, about Sherlock Holmes and the Foil Covered Brain of Lake Michigan, about Chinese Votive Sword Found in Georgia suggests Pre-Columbian Chinese travel to North America, The Templar Tunnel: Knight’s Strategic Passageway Was Lost for 700 Years, Spitalfields Roman Woman Reveals London’s Multicultural, Morbid Past. Since the beginnings of the Han Dynasty, New Years Day as well as the Winter Solstice were the Emperor’s most important dates. The Tale of the Fearsome Monster. In 1533, a famous Portuguese trading vessel called the Bom Jesus went missing on its way to India. The next year they repeated the ritual and it has been passed down generation to generation until today, and thus the custom of Guo Nian (过年) was established. In many cities, there are performances and dances which have been in existence for thousands of years, such as the royal heaven worshipping ceremony which was performed by emperors throughout history in Beijing to pray for the peace and prosperity of the nation. Directed by Sylvia Chang. While the western Gregorian calendar is based on the earth’s orbit around the sun, China and most Asian countries use the lunar calendar that is based on the moon’s orbit around the earth. He especially likes to eat children. Etruscans Transported Bees by Boat to Reach the Best Flowers! Other customs and traditions include honouring one’s elders, which involves visiting the oldest and most senior members of the extended families. Chinese New Year freebie contains the following printable activities: a webquest, two fun thinking trek task cards, a Legend of Nian storyboard and Chinese New Year vocabulary on 5 Word Cards. Which do you believe is the most common told legend? Somalia: The Ancient Lost Kingdom of Punt is Finally Found? The whole purpose, in history, of creating a calendar or keeping track of time was to facilitate agriculture. On the first and the 15th of each lunar month, the monster would come down from the mountains to hunt people. Some families may invite a lion dance troupe as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Chinese New Year as well as to evict bad spirits from the premises. The first and most well known is the legend of Nian (Year “Nian” as in New Year –”Xin Nian”): There was a monster in ancient times with a body of a bull and the head of lion. Nian loved to visit a little village in China each year, and scare everybody he saw. Ancient Origins © 2013 - 2020Disclaimer - Terms of Publication - Privacy Policy & Cookies - Advertising Policy - Submissions - We Give Back - Contact us. He especially likes to eat children. Book Resources. One year, an old man arrives and says he can keep the dragon beast away. Petroglyphic Features of Portable Rock Art, The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age, Floki and the Viking Discovery of Iceland, 3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis. Long, long ago in ancient China, there was a fierce beast called “Nian”. According to the ancient Chinese legend, in ancient time, there was a ferocious monster named “Nian” with sharp teeth and horns. The legend of the Nian occupies a fundamental role in traditional Chinese, having given birth to a tradition that survives very much unchanged among the Chinese of the modern era. This is why Chinese firecrackers are colored red, to scare the beast away. I have read the legend of Year/Nian at different pages on the Internet and am curios to know why this legend has several variations. Remorseless Chronicles of Slaughter: Fatal First Contact Between Ancient Greece and the Tribes of India, Uluburun, one of the oldest and wealthiest shipwrecks ever discovered, Speculum Alchemiae: Secret Underground Alchemy Lab Discovered in Prague During Flood, Craniums and Controversies of the Chachapoya Cloud Warriors, Ancient Race of White Giants Described in Native Legends From Many Tribes, Wayland the Smith: The Lost Germanic Legend of the Flying Blacksmith, The Real Story of Medusa: Protective Powers from a Snake-Haired Gorgon, In Search of the Origins of the Philistines - Part 1, Nilometers: Ancient Egypt’s Ingenious Invention Used Until Modern Times, Han Purple: A 2,800-year-old artificial pigment that quantum physicists are trying to understand. At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. The Chinese Lion dance is known to have originated from the legend of the Nian. The sole purpose, in early history, of creating a calendar or keeping track of time was to facilitate agriculture. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One legend is that of Nian, a hideous beast believed to feast on human flesh on New Year's day. Overview Edit. The Chinese New Year holiday also known as Spring Festival starts on the 23rd or 24th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival which occurs on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Lunar New Year (which is a full moon). The first and most well known is the legend of Nian (Year “Nian” as in New Year –”Xin Nian”): There was a monster in ancient times with a body of a bull and the head of lion. What does Nian mean? A long time ago, a terrible demon beast called Nian lived in the mountains. The people, who were terribly afraid of the monster, would flee the village and head for the mountains. One year, an old man arrives and says he can keep the dragon beast away. In the story, Nian refers to a terrifying beast which lives in the mountains (or under the sea according to some versions of the story). While both Buddhism and Daoism have unique customs during the New Year, Chinese New Year is far older than both religions. The legend has a central place in Chinese New Year lore and is passed down from generation to generation. With Isabella Leong, Lawrence Ko, Hsiao-chuan Chang, Angelica Lee. Experts believe that they have found the oldest work on Confucian teachings in Japan. He especially likes to eat children. Unlike other tellings, this version uses a little girl to portray the heroine, Mei, because "...well, girls rule!" In my country as well in the end of winter people use to decorate themselves with red woolen laces for keeping good health and vitality. An artist reunites with her brother after the two were separated years ago when she left Liudau, an island off of Taiwan. The tradition has its origins in a story of a nian's attack on a village. The old Chinese word “Nian” translates to “ripe grains.” This word dates back more than three thousand years to oracle bone inscriptions inscribed with astronomical records during the 14th Century B.C. Every winter he came down to get a nice feast. Subjects: It is the emblem of joy, and also symbolizes virtue, truth and sincerity. Legend has it that on the eve of every Chinese New Year, an animal would appear in the Chinese countryside. April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. The Legend of Nian. Information and translations of Nian in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Towards the end of Winter when there was nothing to eat, Nian would come on the first day of New Year to the villages to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. It sank off the coast of present-day Namibia while it was filled with more than 40 tons of precious cargo, including gold, silver, copper, and more than 100 elephant tusks. Did Egyptian Mummification Descend from a More Ancient and, Perhaps, Reversible Preservation Technique? The Vinland Map carries with it the air of mystery and, some would say, the stench of deception. No one dared to go out after night because that was the time he hunted. People found out that the beast was terrorized by bright red lights, red color and loud sounds. Before the Gregorian Calendar, a good harvest or the process of a harvest was considered a year. Secluding itself in the dark sea for a long time, the beast would go onshore by the end of the lunar year and hunt people and livestock. By insuring the accuracy of these important dates, the state and the people knew when to work and when to do what. A new analysis of two 7.2 million-year-old fossils belonging to a hominin species nicknamed “El Graeco” from Mediterranean Europe, suggests that mankind emerged in Europe and not in Africa. A little over a week ago, I was wondering if I should write about Charmaine's character; Xiao Hu Nian (萧胡辇) in the upcoming Mainland China drama The Legend of Xiao Chuo (燕云台). Will he succeed? A long time ago, there was a monster named Nian. This is the legend of Nian—the mythical beast that ate children and started Chinese New Year. The Lunar Calendar has all sorts of important days to keep people in tune with their daily rituals and Chinese Culture. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan. According to legend, the Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk, and Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount. Their Origins May Surprise You, The human skull that challenges the Out of Africa theory. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Gong Xi Fa Cai! The awaken "Nian" would bring darkness to the world. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. After the attack, the villagers discussed how to make the nian leave them in peace. It was a ferocious animal that lived in the mountains and hunted for a living. Besides historical records, there are also many stories and legends worth mentioning. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. With best regards, Joanna. The impact of seasonal changes is demonstrated in the expressions of more or less every culture on the planet...informative article. It is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar (the first day of the second new moon after the day on which the winter solstice occurs, unless there is an intercalary eleventh or twelfth month in the lead-up to the New Year—in such a case, the New Year falls on the day of the third new moon after the solstice). Towards the end of winter when there was nothing to eat Nian would visit the villages and attack and eat whatever it could causing the villagers to live in terror. 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