Ten tips on the Spring Festival: Why is the Spring Festival also called Xinzheng and Yuanri?

  BEIJING, Beijing, January 22 (Reporter Shangguan Yun) "The sound of firecrackers is one year old, and the spring breeze warms Tu Su." Another Spring Festival is coming, and people greet the long-awaited Lunar New Year with rich and varied festival customs.

  Meng Lingfa, an associate professor at the School of Law and Sociology in chongqing technology and business university, mentioned in an exclusive interview with Zhongxin.com that the Spring Festival reflects the exchange between the old and the new in natural time and space, and has a beautiful meaning of getting rid of the old, praying for the good fortune, feeling grateful and reuniting the family.

  In fact, no matter how the customs change, the Spring Festival is always a reunion festival valued by China people, and it also reflects the profoundness and long history of Chinese excellent traditional culture from all aspects.

  1. What is the meaning of the Spring Festival?

  Spring Festival is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. As the saying goes, "one hundred years is the first" and "four seasons spring is the first", which reflects the exchange of old and new natural time and space.

  Therefore, as a title of "Year", the Spring Festival has a beautiful meaning of getting rid of the old and spreading the new, praying for happiness, giving thanks and family reunion in various sacrificial ceremonies and celebrations.

  In essence, "Chinese New Year" can also be regarded as a time period. In ancient times, there was no word "Spring Festival", but "the first day of the first month" was often called Yuanshuo, Yuanri, SGD, New Year’s Day, Zhengri, Yuanchen or Xinzheng.

  Meng Lingfa said that until the Republic of China, "the first day of the first month" was named "Spring Festival" and it has been used ever since.

  Second, why is the Spring Festival called Xinzheng?

  Among the various names of the Spring Festival, "Xinzheng" has been widely used since the Sui and Tang Dynasties. For example, Meng Haoran’s poem "The New Year’s Eve will be a happy house in Zhang Shaofu" says: "The old plum blossoms sing, and the new Zhengbai wine bottle."

  In Yuan Xi, an old story of Wulin, Zhou Mi of the Song Dynasty wrote: "As soon as you enter the new school, the lights are getting brighter." In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the name "Xinzheng" was also continued. In "Cold Swallow in Pingshan", a mountain man wrote: "Because I spent the New Year at home at the end of the year, Xinzheng got up and took office."

  The title of "Zhengri" may have appeared in the Han Dynasty. In the Book of Beginners of Tang Xujian, four quotations from the Four People’s Moon Order of Han Dynasty said: "The first day of the first month is called Zhengri." Whether it’s a new day or a new day, these titles all reflect the ancient people’s understanding of the first day of the New Year.

  In essence, these words have certain beautiful meanings. No matter which word is used to refer to "the first day of the first month", the concepts such as "new", "positive" and "yuan" embodied in it all show people’s time positioning for the beginning of a year and their recognition of Vientiane’s renewal.

  Third, how to set the festival with the beginning of the year?

  The Spring Festival can become a traditional festival in China, and it has experienced a long development process, which is also related to the choice of calendar.

  According to Meng Lingfa, China has a very long history of observing images and giving time, but there are still differences from one dynasty to another, which has a direct impact on the tradition of observing festivals at the beginning of the year.

  In ancient times, people took the Big Dipper as the benchmark, and determined that "bucket handle Huiyin" was Chunzheng and "beginning of spring, who built Zhengyin Moon", was the beginning of the year. This is exactly the method of the era of the main branch, or the star calendar.

  Simply speaking, the first month of the summer calendar is in Meng Chun, the first month of the business calendar is in winter and December, and the first month of the week calendar is in winter and November. After Qin unified the six countries, the Qin calendar (Zhuan Xu calendar) was adopted, and the first month was set in October.

  In the early Han Dynasty, the Qin calendar was used. By the time of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, astronomers Tang Dou, Luo Xiahong, Deng Ping, etc., while absorbing the solar terms, made the "taichu calendar" and restored the first day of the spring of the summer calendar as the beginning of the year. This laid the time foundation for today’s Spring Festival, and Luoxiahong, a native of Langzhong, Sichuan, became the "first person in the Spring Festival" recognized by contemporary scholars and was regarded as the "grandfather of the year".

  4. Why was "Nian" extended to the name of the year?

  Nowadays, when people mention the Spring Festival, they always say "Spring Festival". Meng Lingfa explained that "Nian" belongs to the word "He", and Xu Shen wrote "Nian" as "Bang" in Shuo Wen Jie Zi, which means "which is the valley".

  "Gu Liang Chuan Huan Gong Three Years" records that "all grains are ripe for years". Based on this, "year" has the meaning of "year achievement", that is, "one year’s harvest" Based on this original meaning, "year" gradually extended to the meaning of expressing time, and thus concepts such as "year festival", "age", "anniversary" and "age" appeared.

  The same is true of the "year" of "Chinese New Year". As the so-called "spring planting", "summer hoeing", "autumn harvest" and "winter storage" go round and round, it is not difficult to understand that people regard "Chinese New Year" as a festival to celebrate the harvest.

  In addition, "food is the most important thing for the people" and "community" and "millet" are extremely important to people, and in such an important period of the Spring Festival, posting Spring Festival couplets with the meaning of "bumper harvest", holding performances of "social fire" and "social drama", and praying for "good weather" and "bumper harvest" have become very important belief activities.

  5. What is the relationship between New Year’s Eve and Spring Festival?

  From the time point of view, New Year’s Eve is connected with the Spring Festival, but it has its origin, that is, "expelling diseases and ghosts". Han stone reliefs have "Nuo Opera Map", and Song Yi’s painting "Da Nuo Map" is proof.

  Meng Lingfa explained that the original meaning of "except" is "transaction" and "evening" means "night", and this day is generally on the 30 th of the twelfth lunar month, commonly known as "the 30 th of the year" It is night people who "stay up all night", which is commonly called "keeping the old age".

  Therefore, from its original meaning, it can mean "abandoning the old and welcoming the new" and "exorcising evil spirits and avoiding filth" on the last night of the year. Therefore, there are similarities and differences between Spring Festival and New Year’s Eve, and the former can also include the latter to some extent — — Folk custom says that "it is the year after Laba", and "Year" is called "Spring Festival" in modern and contemporary society.

  In addition, according to different kinship, people go to relatives’ homes to pay New Year greetings at different times from the first day of junior high school. For example, in some places, they "return to their parents’ homes" on the second day of junior high school and "aunts and uncles" on the third day.

  6. When does New Year’s Eve appear at the earliest?

  People in China often refer to New Year’s Eve as "New Year’s Eve", which is called "New Year’s Eve" if it is a day or a night. In some areas, the day before New Year’s Eve is also called "New Year’s Eve".

  From the perspective of classics, the appearance of "New Year’s Eve" may be much later than the Spring Festival. The earliest reference to "New Year’s Eve" in the existing literature is the "Records of Local Customs" written by the Western Jin and Zhou Dynasties. "On New Year’s Eve, if you don’t sleep, it is called keeping the year."

  Most of New Year’s Eve falls on the 30th of the twelfth lunar month, but it also falls on the 29th of the twelfth lunar month. Meng Lingfa said that the traditional calendar in China is generally a combination of yin and yang, which considers both the sun and the moon, and the Big Dipper and the Twenty-eight Nights. However, in order to bridge the time difference between the sun, the moon and the stars, a flat year and a leap year were established.

  Therefore, there are 30 days and 29 days in the last month of the lunar year, but there are more than 30 days.

  Seven, why do you want to keep the age?

  "Shounian" is also called "Shounian Fire", according to the age, etc. Simply put, after dinner, the whole family entered the first day of the first month from "New Year’s Eve" until dawn.

  Meng Lingfa believes that one of the reasons for this custom may be that "Shounian" originated from ancient nature worship and people’s reasonable explanation of it. People take the behavior of "staying up late" to resolve the survival crisis brought by the imaginary "Nian beast".

  In other words, people hope to build an invisible force in the span of two periods to drive away all evil diseases and epidemics, so as to realize the effective protection of family or collective members.

  In a word, the custom of "keeping the old age" on New Year’s Eve mainly comes from a symbolic expression of people’s alternation between the old and the new, which embodies people’s perceptual cognition and treatment of the cyclical changes in natural time series, and gradually moves towards national entertainment.

  8. What are the main customs of the Spring Festival?

  During the Spring Festival, there are various festival customs, such as eating jiaozi, setting off fireworks, paying lucky money and visiting temple fairs.

  After eating the New Year’s Eve dinner, I also took back the Kitchen God. When the first day of the first month, everyone went to visit relatives and friends as usual, and "Happy New Year" in turn. People put on their favorite new clothes, prepare refreshments and sweets, and entertain guests warmly.

  In the old folk customs, from the first day to the seventh day, everything is exquisite every day, which is quite ceremonial.

  Nine, why do you want to eat "five spicy dishes"?

  Interestingly, some places eat "five spicy dishes" during the Spring Festival, which are cold dishes composed of five kinds of plants: raw leeks, raw onions, Polygonum cuspidatum, Polygonum cuspidatum and Artemisia scoparia, and some also use onions, garlic sprouts, ginger, peppers and mustard.

  In the Southern Dynasties, Liang Zonggu’s Chronicle of the Age of Jingchu recorded: "Spring cakes, radishes and spiced spring plates are eaten in the New Year". It can be seen that the "five-spice plate" was widely distributed in Chu.

  The "five-spice plate" is basically based on spicy dishes, and its homonym is "new", which means the beginning of a new year. In addition, eating "five spicy dishes" has the meaning of eliminating evil and diseases, and praying for "good health in the new year".

  Ten, saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new is the core topic of the Spring Festival?

  "Thousands of families always change new peaches for old ones every day." Meng Lingfa said that "saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new" is indeed the core topic of the Spring Festival. It can be said that most Spring Festival activities are inseparable from this.

  Sticking Spring Festival couplets, door gods, etc. generally appear on New Year’s Eve (noon); The bowing in New Year’s greetings on the first day of the first month, the auspicious words when greeting each other, etc., can all show that both of them have the characteristics of "resigning the old and welcoming the new".

  Meng Lingfa believes that, comparatively speaking, the "farewell to the old" attribute of New Year’s Eve is prominent, and the custom of the first day of the first month is more inclined to "welcome the new".

  In his view, celebrating the Spring Festival is an important activity that China has inherited for thousands of years. We should pay attention to the role of traditional culture in the development of contemporary society, do a good job in the process of protection and inheritance, and better maintain the cultural identity function of traditional festivals. (End)