Chinese New Year Stories

Posted by admin on July 1, 2024 in Chinese New Year Messages |

新年快乐 xīn nián kuài lè = Happy New Year
过年好 ɡuò nián hǎo = Happy New Year
恭喜发财 ɡōnɡ xǐ fā cái = I wish You Great Prosperity
牛年吉祥 niú nián jí xiáng = Good Luck in the Year of the Ox

Chinese New Year Stories
The Story of Nian

Our friend, Chou told Will and Guy this story about the beast, that lives under the sea or in the

mountains, who often appears on New Year’s eve to attack people, particularly children – however,

as luck may have it some things frighten him.
A long time ago during the age of great floods, and when the world was not a safe place, there was

a vicious monster named Nian. Whenever the thirtieth day of the last lunar month arrived this

monster would rise up out of the sea or he would come down from the mountains killing people and

wreaking havoc in their fields and gardens. The people would bar their doors before dark and sit up

all night, terrified. The next day they would leave their homes to greet their neighbours and

congratulate them on surviving.
Once on the last night of the last month, legend has it, Nian suddenly burst into a small village

devouring almost all the people who lived there. Only two families emerged unscathed.
The first were a newlywed couple who avoided harm because their celebratory red wedding clothes

resembled fire to the monster, so it did not dare to approach them.
The other family was unharmed because their children were playing outside setting off noisy

firecrackers and the noise scared the monster away.
Ever since then Chinese people have worn red clothes, set off firecrackers and put up red

decorations on New Year’s Eve to keep the vicious monster Nian away.

The Chinese Story of the New Year Animals
This is a story from China. It is about twelve animals: a dog, a pig, a rat, an ox, a tiger, a

hare, a dragon, a snake, a horse, a ram, a monkey and a cockerel.
One day the twelve animals were having an argument. They wanted every year to have a name.  ‘I

think that this year should be named after me,’ barked the dog. ‘It should be called the year of

the Dog.’
‘No.’ gibbered the monkey, ‘I think this year should be named after me.’ said the monkey. ‘It

should be called the Year of the Monkey.’
‘No, no,’ breathed the dragon. ‘This year should be named after me. It should be called the Year of

the Dragon.’
The gods were listening. They heard the animals arguing. ‘Stop arguing,’ demanded one of the gods.

The dog stopped arguing. The monkey stopped arguing. The dragon stopped arguing. They all stopped

arguing and listened. The gods boomed, ‘Can you see the big river? You must have a race across the

big river. We will name this year after the winner of the race.’
So, all the animals lined up on the bank of the river ready for the race. They’re off! The animals

jumped into the water and swam as fast as they could towards the other side.
The ox was very strong and he could swim very fast. Soon he was in front of all the other animals;

but the rat was very clever. He grabbed the ox’s tail and climbed onto his back. The ox didn’t know

he was there.
The ox thought he was going to win the race. Just before the ox got to the other side, the rat

jumped off the ox’s back onto the grass and won the race.
‘Yippee! Hoorah!’ shouted the rat, ‘I’m first.’
The ox was very surprised. ‘How did you do that?’ he asked, but the rat only laughed.
The gods laughed too and said, ‘The rat is the winner. We will call this year the Year of the Rat.

The ox was second, so next year will be called the year of the Ox.
All the other animals finished the race. The tiger was third, the hare was fourth, the dragon was

fifth, the snake was sixth, the horse was seventh, the ram was eighth, the monkey was ninth, the

cockerel was tenth, the dog was eleventh and the pig was last.
The gods decided that each year would be named after one of the animals in the race. The animals

didn’t argue any more. They were very happy, especially the rat because he had won the race.

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