There are several versions for the origin of Chinese New Year. The most widely heard one is that there was a mythical beast called "Nian" which means "year" in Chinese. Nian always came on the first day of New Year to prey on livestock, crops, and even people. In order to protect themselves, people started putting food in front of their doors at the beginning of every New Year, as they believed that after Nian ate the food prepared for him, he wouldn't eat any of their crops and people. Coincidentally, some people once saw that Nian was scared away by the red clothes worn by a child so they concluded that Nian was afraid of the color red. Therefore, in preparation for the New Year, people began to buy new red clothes for themselves. Also, they hung red lanterns and red spring couplets on doors and windows. They also lit firecrackers to scare Nian away. From then on, Nian never came back again.
This tradition has been handed down through generations. People still buy many red items in preparation for the New Year: red clothes, red lanterns, red paper-cuttings, red spring couplets, red fireworks and firecrackers, and all manner of red objects. So now you know that people don't just feel the color red is exciting or festive, they have a reason to do that!
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