Chinese New Year is a very important festival in Chinese lore, according to legend, started with a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would come on the first day of the New Year and cause havoc
eventually a hero coached by a god neutralized Nian. Prior to this, the Chinese folk would use firecrackers red colors to ward off this beast.
New Year celebrations traditionally start on Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the calendar month and continue to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. The festival was a time to honor deities and ancestors today, this tradition is passé however,the festival remains the longest in the Chinese calendar.
During this time many Chinese continue to gather for their annual family reunion dinner during the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day. In preparation homes are cleaned, prepped, and decorated with red paper on which popular themes like “good fortune”, “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity” are written designed to counter bad luck allowing for good fortune.
My image of a goat donning a gas mask signifies the heavy industrial pollution existing in China. This is the year of the goat, and news reports this week, allege that the Chinese government is finally moving to curb the pollution.