Chinese New Year approaching

Sculpture of Horse from Chinese zodiac (Jakub Hałun)


Various ones are preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Here is a USA-related report:

Many Asians around the world are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This year, the year of the horse, begins on the last day of January. Many Asian Americans say celebrating the Lunar New Year in the United States is very different from what it’s like in Asia. One tradition in the Los Angeles, California area is going to the Asian American Expo.

From the music, to traditional foods from throughout Asia, to the sea of Asian faces, this event could be anywhere in Asia. But the Asian American Expo is fewer than 50 kilometers east of Los Angeles. It is a place where tens of thousands of people, mainly from the Chinese Diaspora, come as a part of their Lunar New Year Celebration.

“It made our New Year feel so much better,” said Julien Tan who is from Malaysia.

Lily He feels the same way. She said attending the event feels more like a New Year celebration in China, although it is not as good as the celebrations back home.

He remembers Lunar New Year celebrations in China where everyone would be on vacation for weeks. But in the United States she has to work, so the most she can do is go to her mother’s home for a holiday meal…

The Asian American Expo is trying to change that by scheduling the annual event around the Lunar New Year and by bringing a more festive feel to the Chinese Diaspora, according to event Operations Director, Gorden Kao.

“Overseas, New Year is a really big event, they bring out the firecrackers – everything – family, food and everything. In the local market, even though there are lot of Chinese immigrants, they do not really do much to celebrate. That is why we are putting on an event where we pretty much bring everything together to get all this done,” Kao said.

The Chinese New Year is based upon a lunar-solar calendar cycle. Like the biblical one, it is supposed to be somewhat related to Spring, though the Chinese one tends to begin earlier.

The Chinese New Year is basically considered an observance originally established to worship pagan gods and also has astrological implications (it also involves ancestor observes). Unlike Western astrology which is supposedly based up the astrological sign in the sky when one is born (which varies about monthly), Chinese astrology is based on being born in a particular astrological year. The Chinese have 12 astrological signs that rotate in a cycle.

The current year is the year of the , and the next year, beginning January 31, 2014 and ending, is the year of the horse. Thus people born between January 31, 2014 and February 18, 2015 are considered to ‘astrologically’ have been born under the sign of the year of the horse.

Here are some comments from Wikipedia about the days that precede the Chinese New Year:

On the eighth day of the lunar month prior to Chinese New Year, a traditional porridge known as làbāzhōu (臘八粥) is served in remembrance “of an ancient festival, called Là, that occurred shortly after the winter solstice”…For those that believe in Buddhism, the La 8th (臘八) holiday is also considered Bodhi Day. Làyuè (臘月) is a term often associated with Chinese New Year as it refers to the sacrifices held in honor of the gods in the twelfth lunar month, hence the cured meats of Chinese New Year are known as làròu (臘肉)…

In many households where Buddhism or Taoism is prevalent, home altars and statues are cleaned thoroughly, and altars that were adorned with decorations from the previous year are taken down and burned a week before the new year starts, to be replaced with new decorations. Taoists (and Buddhists to a lesser extent) will also “send gods” (送神, sòngshén), an example would be burning a paper effigy of Zao Jun the Kitchen God, the recorder of family functions. This is done so that the Kitchen God can report to the Jade Emperor of the family household’s transgressions and good deeds. Families often offer sweet foods (such as candy) in order to “bribe” the deities into reporting good things about the family.

Prior to the Reunion Dinner, a thanksgiving prayer offering to mark the safe passage of the previous year is held. Confucianists take the opportunity to remember the ancestors, and those who had lived before them are revered.

The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the Reunion Dinner,named as “Nian Ye Fan”. A dish consisting of fish will appear on the tables of Chinese families. It is for display for the New Year’s Eve dinner. This meal is comparable to Christmas dinner in the West.

Since about a quarter to a fifth of humanity is Chinese, I thought it may be important to point out the pagan implications of this holiday as it is celebrated by scattered Chinese around the world.

The Bible itself has a different start of the New Year. When speaking of the Hebrew month of Abib, which occurs around late March/early April God declared:

“This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).

And that was not January 1st nor will it be January 31st for 2014.

Also, the Bible is opposed to astrology (cf. Isaiah 47:13-15), and would not condone being part of astrological celebrations.

The first day of the next biblical new year is April 1 for 2014, which technically begins after sunset on March 31st.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Origins and Practices of Chinese New Year When is the Chinese New Year? What are its origins? Should Christians observe it?
The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work?
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related.
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel. Here is a link to a version of this article in Spanish: ¿Prueban los caracteres chinos la exactitud de la Biblia?
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 一个不合理的神?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.