Happy New Year!!! It’s the Year of the Cock or if I must consider American sensitivity, the Year of the Rooster. You may not realise it but it’s probably one of the oldest new year celebrations in the world. It probably started in 2300 BC (that’s more than 2000 years before Christ!) but celebrations were on a small scale then. The celebrations became bigger when the New Year was turned into a religious ceremony in the Shang Dynasty (1766 BC – 1122 BC).
It was only in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) that bamboo was first placed in fire to make a loud cracking sound and loud sounds were thought to chase away the forces of evil. That explains the connection of bamboo trees with the Chinese New Year or any Chinese painting for that matter. As you can see, I’m standing among bamboo trees for good effect.
It was only in the Wei Dynasty (AD 220 – AD 265) when fireworks were first used for new year celebrations.
But celebrants are usually required to put on red clothes, red being the traditional auspicious colour. Going nude while wishing others “Xin nian kuai le” or “Happy New Year” is not really what Confucian scholars would approve. But I thought since my skin was already burnt to almost a red hue, I was good enough to pass off as the auspicious colour.