CNY Day 7: Happy Birthday to Us


In the Bible, God created the world in seven days. According to Chinese mythology, it was a beautiful fairy 女娲 (nǚ wā) who brought the creatures to life. It is said that she created roosters on the first day, dogs on the second day, pigs on the third day, sheep on the fourth day, cows on the fifth day, and horses on the sixth day. However, she still felt very lonely. Then on the seventh day, she used mud from the riverbank, made little people as her companions, and blew life into them! Therefore, the 7th day of the lunar New Year is considered the birthday of human beings in China. Happy Birthday to us! In ancient China, executions would be put off on this day, and the emperor would host a big banquet to treat his courtiers. People celebrated on the streets, putting up decorations and wearing special headdresses. Even today, there are many traditions and sayings left to honor this special day. For instance, parents can’t scold their children on this day; a sunny day forebodes a smooth and safe year ahead for all humankind; furthermore, it is a day to stay home and be with family, which means people who work in another city should not leave until this day is over. In the afternoon, it is also a tradition to eat noodles which is called 拉魂面(lā hún miàn, noodles to bring back your soul and spirit.) For people that have gone wild in celebrations, it is now time to focus back on work and bid farewells to New Year parties.

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