Why Chinese people let off firecrackers at 'New Year'

TODAY marks the start of a new year in the Chinese calendar and this time it's the rooster in the spotlight.

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for the Chinese and celebrations can last for 15 days.

The calendar is based on a traditional lunisolar cycle including both the moon phase and the time of the solar year - this will be the Year of the Fire Rooster.

According to tales and legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a fight against a mythical beast called 'The Year' which looks like an ox with a lion head and lives in the sea.

At night 'The Year' would come out to harm people, animals and property, so the legend goes.

But the creature was said to be afraid of the colour red, fire and loud sounds, so the people began placing red in front of their houses, hanging lanterns and letting off fireworks.

The beginning of the New Year, Saturday January 28, marks the end of the Year of the Monkey and the start of the Year of the Rooster.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2017 will be an unlucky year for anyone born in the Year of the Rooster, which comes around every 12 years.

Roosters are said to be hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented and confident, however, personality traits differ depending on which particular year a person was born.

For example, there are different types of roosters; a wood rooster is one born in 1945 or 2005 and is said to be energetic, overconfident, tender and unstable.

  • Fire rooster: 1957, 2017 - trustworthy and responsible
  • Earth rooster: 1909, 1969 - lovely, generous, trustworthy and popular
  • Gold rooster: 1921, 1981 - determined, brave and hardworking
  • Water rooster: 1933, 1993 - smart, tender-hearted and compassionate

The most extravagant celebrations will be held in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, in the Chinatown Mall where a large firecracker display will be let off at 6.30pm with celebrations on from 5pm to 10pm.


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