Nian

A new year myth from China.

So I delved a little bit into the new years myths and legends and I’ve pulled one from the web that may just pique your interests.


The monster and New Years Eve.
It begins much like any other tale with monsters who destroy homes and villages. This specific monster, however, is called Nian. It’s name actually means ‘Year’ or ‘New Year’ and is a modern legend dating from the 20th century.


At the beginning of the new year, Nian, comes out from the bottom of the sea, or some say caves, to feast on the flesh of animals and men and so the tale goes…


There was once a small village with a dreaded monster who once a year would come up from the depths of the ocean and rampage through their village. They named the monster Nian.


On one such day where Nian was about to return the villagers headed towards the mountains in search of shelter. It was on a day like this that a stranger appeared in the form of a beggar dressed in red.


He asked each of the villagers to offer him shelter but all turned him down. Feeling sorry for him, an old woman, who knew her time was limited and had no more fear for Nian, took him in, for he promised to keep her safe from the monster’s wrath.


He was true to his promise and hung red paper above all the doors of the houses, decorating them in the bright colour.


When Nian came it stopped short in front of the villagers houses. Seeing his opportunity the beggar set off fireworks and Nian trembled in fear. The beggar then stepped forward and laughed at the sight of the monster trembling before his trickery, and Nian, afraid, ran away.


When the villagers came back they were pleasantly surprised to find the village standing and decorated in red paper. The old woman relayed what had happened and since then it has been custom to dress in red and shoot off fireworks each new year.


I hope you enjoyed this short story, if you’d like to read more of my works look no further than here.


Thanks again for reading,


S.McC.

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