Year Of The Horse: Chinese Black Ink Painting
In celebration of the Chinese new year, here we have a painting created from memory and using only black ink. The painting represents the horse which is the zodiac sign for the Chinese new year 2014.
What is the Chinese new year?
Chinese New Year, also known as the spring festival, is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The spring festival celebrates the start of new life and the season of ploughing and sowing.
Chinese New Year is the oldest Chinese festival and has many traditions. Before the start of the festivities, Chinese people spring clean their houses to sweep away any bad luck. On New Year’s Eve, all brooms, dustpan and brushes are put away so that good luck can not be swept away. Houses are decorated with paper scrolls with good luck phrases such as ‘Happiness’ and ‘Wealth’.
On New Year’s Eve, families gather together and have a large, traditional meal. There are different types of food depending on which region of China people come from. in the north, people eat djiaozi – a steamed dumpling and in the south nian gao – a sticky, sweet rice pudding.
People will stay up until midnight setting off fireworks to frighten away evil spirits. Red symbolises fire which will scare away evil spirits, so people dress head to foot in new red clothing.
On New Year’s Day children will wake up to find a red envelope filled with money and sweets under their pillows left by their parents and grandparents.
Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival on the fifteenth day of the month. The lanterns are often hand painted with scenes from history or legend. People hang glowing lanterns at the windows of their houses and carry, lanterns under the light of the full moon. A dragon dance often takes places with a dragon made of paper, silk and bamboo held aloft by young men dancing and guiding it around to collect money.
Do the Chinese people follow the same calendar as us?
No. The Chinese follow their own calendar, based on the moon
What is the Chinese zodiac?
The Chinese Zodiac has 12 animal signs. They are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The year you were born stipulates which animal you are.
Here is a table to help find yours and a description about each animal
Happy Chinese New Year x