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Happy Chinese New Year 4709 (by the Chinese calendar)!! It’s the year of the rabbit and is formally call Xin Mao. This is the biggest celebration for the Chinese people and much of it revolves around fear, good luck, and evil spirits. It is based on a legend involving a monster called Nian (also the word for year in Chinese) and how this monster came to prey on the villagers. The villagers received counsel from a wise old man who told them they could get rid of the monster by making loud noises with drums and firecrackers. They should also hang red paper cutouts and scrolls on their doors because the monster is afraid of the color red. The villagers did this and the monster was conquered. Chinese New Year is the anniversary of this date.  (Interestingly, when we visited the Forbidden City, the doorways had 8 – 12 inch steps painted red to step over to enter the buildings. We were told this was to ward off the evil spirits.)

Another aspect of the Chinese New Year is cleaning! Out with the old, in with the new! Sound familiar? For the Chinese,  this cleaning “sweeps away” the evil and bad luck of the past year.  The Chinese clean all of the old dirt away and get rid of things that are associated with the old year, including paying off old debts and resolving differences with family and friends. No sweeping is done during the first few days of the new year so that they don’t sweep away the good luck that has come in! They also use new money and get new clothes and shoes. An old Chinese proverb states that all creations are reborn on this day.  God says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (New King James Bible) Please pray with us that the Chinese people will find the good news that they really can become a new creation by accepting Jesus’ death on the cross to sweep away all of their past sins, never to be seen again!!! And that His resurrection gives them the new life they’re looking for, not only now, but for all of eternity! 

 

Wishing you and your families happiness in the New Year.  Gwen 🙂

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