Quotes for Events - Chinese New Year

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Quotes for the Chinese New Year.

No-one, after the twelfth hour has struck, can claim a debt, or even make the slightest allusion to it. You now only hear the words of peace and good-will; everybody fraternizes with everybody. Those who were just before on the point of twisting their neighbor's neck, now twine their friendly arms about it.

The flower-boats, as they are commonly called, are particularly gay at new-year time with flowers of all hues, and gaudy flags streaming from each mast and stern.
And the crackers--the firecrackers--here is a perfect apotheosis of noise. A perfect carnival of uproar and deafening sound is produced, especially at New Year's time, by their almost continuous discharge, for at that joyous season a perfect pandemonium reigns rampant.
She spoke of the New Year's gifts she had lately sent us, explaining that the flowers were symbolical of happiness and long life, that the tea had medicinal virtues, and that the bon-bons were a Chinese dainty, of which she herself was very fond.
At New Year time, solitary dwellers in remote districts leave their homes and seek some follow-creatures with whom to rejoice, and eat boiled pork; while village dwellers often flock into towns on account of the more numerous excitements there available.
Anyone who is able to do so returns about this time to his home. New year is the feast of the family. The parents and the children reunite.
Even the sky seems to proclaim the arrival of the New Year, as the old calendar scrolls toward the last page, to say nothing of the villages and towns lying expectantly underneath. Pallid clouds loom overhead, intermittently brightened by flashes of firecrackers set off to bid farewell to the Hearth God.
[The firecrackers] were ricocheting in every direction, and with many subtle modulations of sound, so that, had I been the possessor of a properly trained ear, I should, in all probability, have been able to differentiate between the bang and hiss of the numerous varieties . . . and to distinguish Small Boxes, Flower Pots, Lanterns of Heaven and Earth, Fire and Smoke Poles, Silver Flowers, Peonies Strung on a Thread, Lotus Sprinkled with Wa- ter, Golden Plates, Falling Moons, Grape Arbours, Flags of Fire, Double-Kicking Feet, Ten Explosions Flying to Heaven, Five Devils Noisily Splitting Apart, Eight-Cornered Rockets, and Bombs for Attacking the City of Hsiang Yang, one from another.
I am sorry to say that the New Year customs are gradually dying out. I cannot but regret it. It may be better to be practical rather than formal, but how few really joyful times one has in one's life! Looking back on the New Year Festivals of my childhood I find them very precious. What a business they were! But what pleasure and good fellowship they gave!
The Chinese New Year, even in communities so thoroughly Americanized as our Chinatowns, is a big event. . . . This is more than just a show for the visitors. New Year's day is the last and strongest link that unites the Chinese-American spiritually with his old home in Kwangtung province (for it is from this one province that the vast majority of Chinese Americans come).
Indeed, it is difficult for us Westerners to grasp the full significance of the Chinese New Year. Our Christmas, our Easter, and whatever national holiday we celebrate, all taken together really mean less to us than the great festival of their calendar does to the hardworking Chinese. Socially, it signifies re-union. Morally, it represents the idea of resurrection, the re-birth of the year. . . . Materially, it stands for re- juvenation both in the home and in the market place. Personally and commercially, men turn over a new leaf, strive to pay off old debts in money and loyalty, and start with a clean sheet on which they hope to write better success and greater happiness.
He is not Santa Claus. More like a spy--FBI agent, CIA, Mafia, worse than IRA, that kind of person! And he does not give you gifts, you must give him things. All year long you have to show him respect--give him tea and oranges. When Chinese New Year's time comes, you must give him even better things-- maybe whiskey to drink, cigarettes to smoke, candy to eat, that kind of thing. You are hoping all the time that his tongue will be sweet, his head a little drunk, so when he has his meeting with the big boss, maybe he reports good things about you. This family has been good, you hope he says. Please give them good luck next year.
We weren't to sweep or empty the trash on New Year's, since we might inadvertently throw out our luck. We weren't to cry, because it would bring a sad year. We weren't to wash our luck away by washing our hair. For us children, New Year's meant our parents were not supposed to yell at us lest discord follow throughout the year.
Chinese New Year is like a combination of Thanksgiving and Easter that celebrates the sacredness of the family and presents a time of renewal.

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