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Say It Right Series

A Spring Festival Tale - The Legend of the Beast 年

Posted by toianw February 2, 2011 in the Group General Discussion.

So, why does New Year’s Eve in any Chinese city sound like a fire in the local munitions factory? Why is the colour red so auspicious at this time? Why the couplets of poetry hung on either side of every doorway? And why is it so important to see in the Chinese New Year together with your family in a brightly lit room?

According to legend, it’s all to do with a ferocious beast called, by strange coincidence, (Nian).

Here's the link to the story. I’ve tried to emulate Tal’s excellent format. The translation is my own attempt so not necessarily the best choice of words - I’ve tried to keep the English natural; hopefully I’ve preserved most of the meaning/feeling of the Chinese, but it doesn’t always follow word-for-word.

The original Chinese is taken from the Confucius Institute website  (which – despite the sometimes dodgy English) looks like an interesting resource. You can even download an MP3 of the story from that site.

Happy New Year!

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