Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Should Christian celebrate Chinese New Year?

 Feb 7, 2008

Today is the first day of Chinese New Year. This major celebration celebrated by Chinese all around the world, Chinese New Year is marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends. These visits are often accompanied by food hampers and oranges as wishes of prosperity and good fortune. Many companies send Chinese New Year Hampers to their clients as a gesture of appreciation for successful business transactions.Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese Calender. The Chinese Year 4706 begins on Feb 7, 2008.
Chinese months are reckoned by Lunar calendar with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of month and continue until the fifteenth, when the month is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

By the way they said this is year is a ratty year.
Legend has it that in ancient times. Buddha asked all animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.
As Christian people do you believe with that kind of thing?

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
How about that , should Christians believe with this supernatural things according to Chinese custom?

**The Lantern Festival

In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however many early Chinese Immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-Americans neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.

Chinese New Year ends with the lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon which stretch a hundred feet long is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held a lot of by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United states where the New year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.

Although I live in Kansas, in recent years there are more and more people celebrate Chinese New Year. Well, it seems more and more Americans like to celebrate this Holiday although they are not Chinese. I guess they just like doing that as more Chinese Immigrants do that and more Americans are become accustomed to it! Of course Americans not celebrate Chinese New Year like really Chinese people do, usually they just like to watch the Chinese New Year parade, join Chinese Ethnic Festival things and eating Chinese Food!

I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but I'm Chinese descendant, my dad had a full blood of Chinese (he already died 2 years ago) and my mom is half Chinese and half Indonesian. My family is from several generations of Chinese ancestors, we don't speak Chinese and both my grandparents from my mother and father side can't speak Chinese either, my grandparents were Christians already, they're not Buddhist or no have religion close to Chinese Ancestors.
I don't have a Chinese name like most my Chinese Indonesian friends, most of them, they have one other than they have Indonesian name.
So most of my family more like Indonesian than Chinese, even though we're still Chinese ethnic in Indonesia. That's why during my life in Indonesia since I was a little girl my family never celebrated Chinese New Year and I never got red envelope with "the lucky money" in it!

There are still Chinese people who already become Christian still celebrate this BIG DAY I mean Chinese New Year, even they have one too at their Churches!
Well, Chinese New Year is not any different with the other Holidays that originally from Pagan Holidays. Chinese New Year is Chinese Tradition and rooted by Buddha, we should avoid all this.

Chinese New Year tidbits and traditions

Before the New Year, people give their home a thorough cleaning, sweeping out the bad luck of the preceding year and making their homes ready for good luck. They wash their hair and get a new hair cut. On New Year's Day, you're not supposed to wash your hair or clean the house for fear that good luck will be washed and swept away.
All debts must be paid by New Year's day and nothing should be lent on this day. It's believed that anyone who does so will be lending all year long.
References to the past are avoided as everything should be turned toward the new year and a new beginning.
Shooting off firecrackers on New Year's Eve is the Chinese way of sending out the old year and welcoming the new year.
At Chinese New Year celebrations, people dress in red clothes, decorate with poems written on red and gold paper and give children little red envelopes filled with money. This symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the coming year. Red symbolizes fire which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten the evil spirits.
During the New Year, death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are taboo. People also shouldn't use bad language, unlucky words or negative terms.

What do you think?
True Christians Live by God's word, not by "Tradition of Men" True Christians know that they must live "by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). They know that man cannot rely on himself to determine right from wrong, good from evil. Why? Because "the heart (mind) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9), and "the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jer. 10:23). God's ways are higher, better, than man's ways (Isa. 55:8-9). He designed us and gave us life. Wouldn't He knows how are supposed to live?

God (your creator) has given you (His creation) an "instruction manual" to help you live with your life the way He originally intended (Joh 10:10). That "manual", the Holy Bible is God's Word and His Truth (John 17:17). It is filled with spiritual laws, statutes and judgments guided by perfect spiritual knowledge, understanding and Wisdom. II Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All scripture is given by inspiration God and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness that the man of God maybe perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Only God's Word can accurately distinguish right from wrong, righteousness (obedience to God's commandments-Psalm 119:172) from Sin (breaking God's spiritual laws-I John 3:4 and Romans 7:17)

True Christians understand that as the only real standard of truth man can live by, God's Holy Scriptures "cannot be broken" (John 10:35).

But most people even most professing Christians love to follow the ideas of men. Jesus recognized this warning. "This people honors Me with their lips, but their  heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men... Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition...making the word of God of none effect
through your tradition, which you have delivered" (Mark 7:6-9, 13 )
God commands His people not to follow pagan practices.