Thus, these two historical dates of the Lunar Calendar are traditionally set in stone. Like many agrarian societies, Chinese New Year is rooted in the celebration of Spring. We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives. Many, many centuries ago, there was a monster named Nian. At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. The cards are suitable for Word Walls and associated learning activities.2020 is the Year of the Rat!The fr. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. In 1533, a famous Portuguese trading vessel called the Bom Jesus went missing on its way to India. The one you tell on this page or the one that Year/Nian was resting at the bottom of a river or sea and made him self visible at the spring festival? It was a ferocious animal that lived in the mountains and hunted for a living. According to legend, the Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk, and Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount. 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. One year, an old man arrives and says he can keep the dragon beast away. Shang Dynasty. The Megalithic Mystery of the Greek Dragon Houses, Landmark Study Reveals Elephant Tusk Origins Of 16th Century Shipwreck, Three Mysterious European Bog Body Murders, Saturnalia: The December Festival of Joy and Merriment in Ancient Rome, New Tech Reveals Origin Of Egyptian Mummies’ Skin Color, New Study Raises Questions about the Tyrolean Iceman’s Murder Scene, 7.2 million-Year-Old Pre-Human Fossil Suggests Mankind Arose in Europe NOT Africa, Ancient Anomalous Human Skeletons: Humanity Could be Much Older Than We Think, The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts, Where are Ashkenazi Jews from? Every year during the spring, Chinese new year, he comes out and attacks people. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. After the attack, the villagers discussed how to make the nian leave them in peace. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. 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. April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. In July 2014, an avocational surface collector chanced across a partially exposed Chinese votive sword behind roots in an eroded bank of a small stream in Georgia. They also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. 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. Gong Xi Fa Cai! The sole purpose, in early history, of creating a calendar or keeping track of time was to facilitate agriculture. Windows and doors are decorated with red colour paper-cuts with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity." It was important to know when to till the soil and sow the seeds. This tunnel was built by the Knights Templar when the city was under the rule of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and served as a strategic passageway connecting the Templar palace to the port. During the Zhou Dynasty the year was formally called “Nian” and the beginning of the year was called “SuiShou”. 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. Legend has it that on the eve of every Chinese New Year, an animal would appear in the Chinese countryside. (Dr. Loh-Hagan). Did Egyptian Mummification Descend from a More Ancient and, Perhaps, Reversible Preservation Technique? 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. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained. 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). 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. The Legend of Nian. Chinese New Year always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. They add to them as well the white colour laces for purity and innocence and call those laces martenichki. The first calendar in China had strong roots based on the benefit of agriculture production. Every winter he came down to get a nice feast. People found out that the beast was terrorized by bright red lights, red color and loud sounds. On New Year’s Day people give gifts of money to friends, family, and colleagues in red paper envelopes. Learn more about the The Legend of the Nian here Whether there was any truth in this charming little tale, the Lion Dance today has become a main fixture in Chinese New Year. He ate animals and people. The find dates back almost 1500 years when the Japanese nation was only just emerging. 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. Legend (fiction), 188 words, Level G (Grade 1), Lexile 490L . The impact of seasonal changes is demonstrated in the expressions of more or less every culture on the planet...informative article. Legend has it that in ancient China, there was a ferocious monster called 'Nian', which had horns, lived deep in the ocean all the year, and went onshore only on the New Year's Eve to eat animals and hurt human. On the Chinese opera stage, a painted red face usually denotes a sacred or loyal personage and sometimes a great emperor. The legend says, long ago, there was a monster called Nian. Same prehistoric traditions, same spirituality and beliefs all around the world, preserved till nowadays from the first human civilization The Stone Civilization of Ancient Bulgarians, people of Sun God Bal. Mysterious Cocaine Mummies: Do They Prove Ancient Voyages Between Egypt and Americas? An artist reunites with her brother after the two were separated years ago when she left Liudau, an island off of Taiwan. Every year on the eve of the New Year, the monster, Nian, would emerge from the sea and kill people and livestock and tear the village up. Many modern-day celebrations trace back to the legendary story of Nian. In 104 BC, Emperor Liu Che of the Western Han Dynasty presided over the formulation of the solar lunar calendar which is similar to the Hebrew Calendar. With wishing that the year of the Pig will be prosperous. Book Resources. 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). The Legend of Nian: In the distant past, the people of Peach Blossom village lived in fear of the monster. 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. The New Year was likely the start of preparations for a new growing season. The legend has a central place in Chinese New Year lore and is passed down from generation to generation. Unlike other tellings, this version uses a little girl to portray the heroine, Mei, because "...well, girls rule!" The Legend of Nian presents the classic Chinese legend with beautiful illustrations and is a great way to introduce … Historically, the Spring Festival was a way of letting the people know what time it was 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. 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. 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. Red is the predominant colour used in the New Year celebrations. The people, who were terribly afraid of the monster, would flee the village and head for the mountains. On the first and the 15th of each lunar month, the monster would come down from the mountains to hunt people. Somalia: The Ancient Lost Kingdom of Punt is Finally Found? 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. As a result, all the villagers would flee to the mountains to escape from 'Nian… The whole purpose, in history, of creating a calendar or keeping track of time was to facilitate agriculture. Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon by Virginia Loh-Hagan, illustrated by Timothy Banks, is a retelling of Nian legend, giving the origins of the Chinese New Year. 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. The tradition has its origins in a story of a Nian's attack on a village. He liked to do this just as the new year began, to remind people that Nian was still around. Paleo rock art from around the world ranges in style, method, and age, and includes cave paintings, petroglyphs, pictographs, polished and engraved stones such as effigies, stone sculptures, and portable ceremonial objects. One legend is that of Nian, a hideous beast believed to feast on human flesh on New Year's day. The prototype of the Chinese lunar calendar is the Ancient Bulgarian calendar first human calendar, datedback to 5504 BC and officially recognised by UNESCO as th oldest calendar. One year, an old man arrives and says he can keep the dragon beast away. He especially likes to eat children. Ancient Origins © 2013 - 2020Disclaimer - Terms of Publication - Privacy Policy & Cookies - Advertising Policy - Submissions - We Give Back - Contact us. 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. 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. Over time the villagers realized that the ferocious Nian was afraid of three things: the color scarlet, fire, and noise. The new study could reshape history, since it openly challenges the “out of Africa theory.”. It was born to be very ugly and ferocious, which looked like either dragons or unicorns. 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 Nian or Nián shòu is a Chinese creature that lives in the sea and mountains. The Chinese New Year (農曆新年, Nónglì Xīnnían), also known as the Lunar New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. However, the ancient Chinese calendar, on which the Chinese New Year is based, also functioned as a religious, dynastic and social guide. 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. Here’s the legend of the nian, one of the most storied Chinese mythological monsters: Legend has it that that in ancient times, a nian would come annually around the eve of the new year to the village (some say it was called “Peach-Blossom Village”) and ransack it in search of food, eating whatever it could get its paws on. Your email address will not be published. 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. 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. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. Nian According to a Chinese legend a terrible monster (pictured sometimes with features of a lion, unicorn, and ox), a really giant, monstrous creature by the name of ‘Nian’ lived in the mountains and would come down at the end of the year to destroy the fields, crops … Directed by Sylvia Chang. the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called Nian 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 . The fearsome monster has sharp teeth and horns. Since the beginnings of the Han Dynasty, New Years Day as well as the Winter Solstice were the Emperor’s most important dates. Is the Assyrian Nimrud lens the oldest telescope in the world? Messiah on Temple Mount: Are We Nearing the End of Time? On the first and the 15th of each lunar month, the monster would come down from the mountains to hunt people. What does Nian mean? According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called Nian, who had the body of a bull and the head of a lion. 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. The people lived in fear for a long time. It was a ferocious animal that lived in the mountains and hunted for a living. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. 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. This calendar is consisted of different animals for every month, hour and year. The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe. 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. 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. The story is said to have originated in a small province of Shanghai. For thousands of years, nilometers measured the water level of the Nile River during the annual flood season. According to the ancient Chinese legend, in ancient time, there was a ferocious monster named “Nian” with sharp teeth and horns. Use this Chinese New Year mask craft to create a brightly colored Nian mask! Perfect to accompany the legend of the Nian!Teach your students all about the legend of Nian, the ancient Chinese beast, who played a part in originating the now widely celebrated Chinese New Year! 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. While both Buddhism and Daoism have unique customs during the New Year, Chinese New Year is far older than both religions. The Templar Tunnel is an underground passageway located in the city of Acre, in what is now Israel. It was said to be a ferocious animal that lived in the mountains and hunted for a living. He especially likes to eat children. According to the legend, the Nian hates loud noises and the color red. The date of Chinese New Year, which is also called Spring Festival, changes every year as it is based on the lunar calendar. 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. Legend has it that this monster named "Nian" was usually asleep at the bottom of the sea, but it would wake up from the Abyss on Lunar New Year's Eve. Legend of Nian Nian is a Chinese mythological giant creature which lived in the mountains or under the sea and would come down to terrorize the people, even kill them and destroy the crops. 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. One year, an old man arrives and says he can keep the dragon beast away. The legend says, long ago, there was a monster called Nian. It was important to know when to till the soil and sow the seeds. Before the Gregorian Calendar, a good harvest or the process of a harvest was considered a year. This, in turn, was used to predict the fortunes of the annual harvest, the taxes to be imposed (which determined the revenues of the state), as well as the prices of foodstuffs. This is the legend of Nian—the mythical beast that ate children and started Chinese New Year. Long, long ago in ancient China, there was a fierce beast called “Nian”. The pinyin for the Chinese title is Yan Yun Tai, so for the sake of brevity, I shall use YYT to represent the drama/novel. Nian loved to visit a little village in China each year, and scare everybody he saw. The Chinese Lion dance is known to have originated from the legend of the Nian. It was born to be very ugly and ferocious, which looked like either dragons or unicorns. According to legend, in ancient China there lived a monster called the Nian, which means “year”, that would attack villages every lunar New Year, eating livestock, crops and even people, especially children. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is similar to the Western Farmer’s Almanac. The tradition has its origins in a story of a nian's attack on a village. A long time ago, a terrible demon beast called Nian lived in the mountains. The Lunar Calendar has all sorts of important days to keep people in tune with their daily rituals and Chinese Culture. Will he succeed? 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. So when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. 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. It is a traditional practice to light fireworks, burn bamboo sticks and firecrackers and to make as much noise as possible to chase off the evil spirits as encapsulated by Nian. By insuring the accuracy of these important dates, the state and the people knew when to work and when to do what. The next morning everyone got up congratulated each other and had a big celebration. Nian is a dragon beast that comes out of the ocean once a year and eats people. 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. One legend is that of Nian, a hideous beast believed to feast on human flesh on New Year’s day. Have you ever wondered why Chinese people display red items and set off fireworks during the Chinese New Year? With Isabella Leong, Lawrence Ko, Hsiao-chuan Chang, Angelica Lee. He lived in a cave high up in a mountain. Overview Edit. Some local legends attribute the Chinese lion dance (舞獅) to the legend of the nian. The Legend of the Beast “Nian” Our Chinese language teacher Wang Qixia shares with us the story of the Nian beast. Subjects: Besides historical records, there are also many stories and legends worth mentioning. Required fields are marked *. 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). In Chinese mythology, a Nian is a beast that lives under the sea or in the mountains. It would destroy the fields, crops, food and animals belonging to the farmers of a village in China. 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Other customs and traditions include honouring one’s elders, which involves visiting the oldest and most senior members of the extended families. No one dared to go out after night because that was the time he hunted. 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. 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. Villagers could not identify the beast and decided to name it Nian, which meant, “year” in Chinese. Ismail al-Jazari: Medieval Muslim Inventor and "Father of Robotics", Sloup Castle: Bohemia’s Salt Trade Defense, Hermitage and Tourist Spot. Which do you believe is the most common told legend? 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. The Legend of Nian. The awaken "Nian" would bring darkness to the world. This is why Chinese firecrackers are colored red, to scare the beast away. 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. After Nian was captured, everyone had a big celebration and the ritual involved in banishing him was repeated the following year, and so the ritual was passed down from generation to generation and the custom of celebrating New Year with firecrackers, noise, and the colour red has persisted to this day. Oracle bones inscribed with astronomical records indicate that the celebrations existed at least as early as 14th century BC, when the Shang Dynasty was in power, although some believe it started from as early as Emperor Yao and Shun (2,300 BC). Information and translations of Nian in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. The kind and brave people eventually discovered that "Nian" had a weak spot and they began to retaliate. The story will also provide opportunities to teach students about characters, adjectives, and onomatopoeia. 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. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. 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. Millions of people across China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and other countries around the world are today celebrating the Lunar New Year and welcoming in the Year of the Pig as part of an ancient custom that dates back at least 3,400 years. The monster came down saw and heard the ruckus, freaked out, and ran into the mountains never to return again. Ching Shih (or Zheng Shi) was a Chinese prostitute who became a powerful female pirate, controlling the infamous Red Flag Fleet. Their Origins May Surprise You, The human skull that challenges the Out of Africa theory. The Vinland Map carries with it the air of mystery and, some would say, the stench of deception. 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). > So, every New Year’s Eve, villagers would have to flee to the mountains to avoid the Nian. Your email address will not be published. A long time ago, there was a monster named Nian. He thought that was great fun. Etruscans Transported Bees by Boat to Reach the Best Flowers! Experts believe that they have found the oldest work on Confucian teachings in Japan. Head for the annual flood season Origins, we believe that they have found the oldest telescope in the.. New moon after the two were separated years ago when she left,. Is rooted in the expressions of more or less every culture on the first calendar in China with Isabella,! 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