Happy Lunar New Year - It's The Year Of The Ram!

West Portal Elementary's Chinese Performing Arts Program @ Chinatown's Lunar New Year Mini Parade - 2/14/15

Sun Neen Fai Lok (Happy New Year)! Gung Hay Fat Choy (May You Come Into Good Fortune)! CIPEC Chairs wishing all of West Portal Elementary a prosperous Year of the Ram!

We all know that it is the New Lunar Year and are familiar with the festivities that takes place around our city and in the homes of our friends or family, but have you ever heard of the legend that this celebration came to be? Yes, it is the New Lunar Year (double the fun considering the Gregorian new year was celebrated not long ago), but I'm talking about "Nian" (Cantonese phonetic Neen 年). No? Well, let me read you a story for you to read the story to your little one, which they can repeat the story to their friends who don't come to our awesome new website and eventually tell you the story full circle because they forgot it originated from you.

(Read in the voice of Morgan Freeman because he's got a great storyteller voice)

Long long ago, on the last day of a year, a monster called Xi always came to the human world to cause chaos. Nian, the grandson of Shennong, came to rescue mankind from Xi.
Nian waved a piece of red ribbon in front of Xi, making Xi so dizzy that he lost his balance. Then, Nian fed Xi some sticky rice cakes which glued his mouth shut and Xi could no longer bite people.
Finally, Nian set off some firecrackers on Xi's back. Xi was so frightened that he quickly ran away. He did not dare to return to the human world ever again.
In memory of Nian, people called the first day of the year "Xin Nian" (New Year), and the last day of the year Chu Xi (getting rid of Xi).

Well, there you have it. A condensed version of the legend Nian, or Neen as pronounced in Cantonese. You can always Bing/Google for the long version (link for the lazy here), which I suspect you might as you are still reading this wall of text. Happy reading, and Happy Lunar New Year!

B o r d o n
CIPEC Co-Chairs w/Carolyn Ng, F Vasquez & Phyllis Moir