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What is the origin of the Spring Festival?

Jan 02, 2019

The Spring Festival, also known as the lunar New Year, is one of the most solemn, lively and characteristic traditional festivals among the Chinese people. It is also the most important festival of the whole year. It is recorded that Chinese people have celebrated the Spring Festival for more than 4,000 years. The Spring Festival generally refers to New Year's eve and the first day of the first month, is the first day of the year, also known as the lunar calendar year, commonly known as "Chinese New Year"; But in the folk, the traditional sense of the Spring Festival refers to the twelfth lunar month from the wax festival or the twelfth lunar month 23 or 24 ovens, until the fifteenth day of the Lantern Festival, which is New Year's eve and the first day of the first month for the climax.

The Spring Festival has a long history, there are many stories about the origin of the Spring Festival, but it is generally accepted that it originated in the Yin and shang dynasties at the end of the year of worship activities. During the period of yu shun, shun ascended the throne and became the son of heaven. On the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar, he led his subordinates to worship the gods of heaven and earth. From then on, people regard this day as the beginning of the New Year. This is the origin of the lunar New Year. And about the origin of the Spring Festival said, there is such a legend one by one, zu yi when the king of the shang dynasty, there is a young man named wan nian, see at that time the festival is very messy, he intends to set the festival. Inspired by the movement of the shadows in the trees, he designed a heat meter to measure the time of day by the shadow of the sun.

After a long time of observation and research, he found that every 360 days, the four seasons cycle once, the length of time is repeated. Knowing that he had measured the laws of the sun and the moon, calculated the exact time of the morning and evening, and that the calendar had been created successfully, he composed a poem: "the sunrise and sunset are 360, and start all over again. There are four seasons of withering and glorious vegetation, and twelve circles in a year. Zu yi heard about it and came to see him for ten thousand years. Ten thousand years point to the moon in the sky said to zu yi: "the king, now is the twelfth month full, please give today a festival!" Zu yi said: "the old year is over, the New Year begins again, spring for the first year, it is called the Spring Festival. It is said that this is the origin of the Spring Festival.

In different historical periods, the date of Spring Festival is not consistent. For example, in the xia dynasty, meng chun's January was used as the first month, while in the shang dynasty, the twelfth month (December) was used as the first month. In 104 BC, the western han dynasty civil astronomers zuokuo, deng ping et al. formulated the "taichu calendar" will mengchun the first month into the first year, later, people gradually improve on this basis, slowly formed the lunar calendar we use today (that is, the summer calendar, also known as the lunar calendar). As a result, falling behind is also known as the "Spring Festival old man".

At the same time, in different times, the name of the Spring Festival is also different. For example, in the early qin dynasty, people called the Spring Festival "shangri", "change the year", "yuan", "present the year" and so on; In the han dynasty, the Spring Festival was also called "year Dan", "three dynasties", "zhengri", "zhengdan" and so on; In the wei, jin, southern and northern dynasties, people called the Spring Festival as the "head of state", "yuan day", "yuan Chen", "year" and so on; To tang, song, yuan and Ming dynasties, it is called "yuan", "New Year's day", "new is", "old day", "xinyuan" and so on; Qing dynasty, has been called "yuan day" or "New Year's day".

Although China has more than 4,000 years of history of the Spring Festival, but the lunar New Year officially named the Spring Festival, is China's modern revolution after the xinhai. It is said that after the victory of the revolution of 1911, in order to comply with the agricultural hours and facilitate statistics, the government stipulated that the Gregorian calendar should be used in government organs, factories, mines, schools and groups, and the summer calendar should be used in the people. At that time, the Chinese nationalist party tried to abolish the Spring Festival, but it was not accepted by the Chinese people. On September 27, 1949, the first plenary session of the Chinese people's political consultative conference (CPPCC) decided to adopt the universal calendar year while establishing the People's Republic of China. In order to distinguish between the Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar two "years", and because a year 24 solar terms "lichun" just before and after the lunar year, so the Gregorian calendar January 1 as New Year's day, commonly known as the Gregorian calendar year, the lunar January 1 as the Spring Festival, commonly known as the lunar calendar year.

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