© article by @siobhanseville – @tcmireland
The Chinese New Year is a festival also called Spring Festival that shows the start of a new year, which begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
Dating back more than 4000 years, it is the most important and grandest celebration for the Chinese people.
They clean their homes thoroughly in preparation, as it is said to be bad luck to “sweep away good luck” on the first few days of the year.
It is much like Christmas celebrations in the west, as paper and lantern decorations are put up. New clothes and gifts are bought for each other. During the celebrations, people wear red – as red symbolises fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck.
It is a reunion for all members of the family for dinner on this special time and the New Year dinner is thought to be the most important dinner of the year. Cash, known as “lucky money”, is given to children in red envelopes.
There are parades with colourful lions and dragons in the streets. The dragon which might be as long as hundred feet long, it is made of silk, paper, and bamboo.
There are fire crackers and firework displays to light up the skies. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
In the Chinese New Year of Sheep, the Chinese always mention San-Yang-Kai-Tai, “Three Sheep Auspicious Begin”, which means “Three Goats Start Fortune”.
The corresponding element is Wood. Wood in nature is the element associated with all living things, the “spring” or the renewal of life.
Wood is associated with trees which relates to the colour green so it could also be called the Year of the Wood Sheep or the Year of the Green Sheep.
The Sheep is kind, tender and understanding. Sheep are creative and delicate. They are symbols of peace and harmony.
The Year of the Sheep follows the Year of the Horse (a fast and racy year), and marks a more slow and calm ambiance. Together with the renewal of Wood and the Sheep’s creativity, will bring new beginning and acknowledgment for what has already been accomplished. So a more calm look for the future year and hopefully a peaceful one too.
The Sheep is the 8th sign of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, 8 is the lucky number for the Chinese.
People born under the Sheep, have a natural empathy and they are most happy when the people around them are happy.
They are kind, loyal, forgiving and they always look after everyone else first.
Celebrate The Year of Sheep in Dublin – check out full details here: www.cny.ie