Why Chinese New Year this year? It’s the Year of the Cat in Vietnam – BBC News Thailand

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This weekend’s Chinese New Year is celebrated by over 1.5 billion people around the world. But did you know that each area around the world has different traditions and beliefs about Chinese New Year?

Each culture has different beliefs about the year of the zodiac. like this year, this year, Chinese people or Thai people of Chinese descent I believe this is the start of the Year of the Rabbit. But for Vietnamese people They say it’s the year of the cat, so who’s right?

Dr. Nguyen Phong Mai, Dutch-Vietnamese scholar An expert on multiculturalism in Australia said she recently returned to her hometown of Hanoi. To celebrate the festival “Tet” or Vietnamese Chinese New Year.

This female scholar Written in 2016 about the dilemma of Vietnamese and other non-Chinese Asians when faced with greetings that say, Happy Chinese New Year

“South Korea, Vietnam and many other Asian nations Celebrate the new year by saying happy new year But for well-wishing foreigners, remember that good intentions do not prove ignorance,” Dr Nguyen said, adding that “the best festive greeting is happy new year

Chinese zodiac rabbit It means beauty, kindness, popularity, modernity and intelligence.

As for cats according to the year of the Vietnamese zodiac It means sensitivity, calmness, caution, alertness and intelligence.

Disappointment of the Vietnamese in Australia

last week The Vietnamese community in Sydney, Australia, expressed disappointment that Chinese New Year celebrations at various locations in the city did not feature cat symbols at the event, ABC News reported. And there is no mention of “cats” in any messages or advertisements related to the New Year celebration.

“It took years to lobby for the renaming of the New Year’s Eve festival in Sydney. to cover the culture of other racial communities Despite some objections from the Chinese community,” ABC said.

Illuminated artwork of rabbits dancing in Sydney, Australia 2019

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Dr. Nguyen pointed out that the voices of the Vietnamese people Reflecting on the diversity and inclusion of people of other races, she said Vietnamese people accept that The lunisolar calendar was invented by the Chinese people. But people in the “Sino” culture in East Asia It is calculated in the same way.

“Our expressions, our heritage, our emotions, the identity of the powers that lie in this festival are different. It is not a cultural property of just one nation or one community,” she said.

A large group of people sitting on mats making rice cakes

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Vietnamese steamed rice It is a dessert that Vietnamese people celebrate the Lunar New Year.

She said, of course, that traditions are similar. But when in Australia Everything about the New Year’s Eve in the shops and decorations in the city is solely for the Chinese community. She couldn’t help feeling that “barred out”

Dr. Robert Andre LaFleur, Director of ASEAN Studies and History Beloit College in Wisconsin, USA, pointed out that the emotional tension of people with their own specific culture. But it is overshadowed by the cultural and economic power of China. It really does exist, but this does not happen just today. But it happened all the time.

Children pose for a photo in front of a display of butterflies and a cat

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Vietnamese celebrate Lunar New Year, calling it the year of the cat zodiac.

Why does Vietnam have the Year of the Cat?

The Chinese calendar used to count the days of the new year is a calendar. The “solar lunar” age is at least 2,500 years old. How and why the ancient Chinese created 12 animals according to the year of the zodiac is still a mystery. However, the ancient Chinese pottery from the 8th century also showed symbols of 12 animals according to the year of the zodiac.

The order of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs begins with the Year of the Rat, Year of the Ox, Year of the Tiger, Year of the Rabbit, Year of the Dragon, Year of the Snake, Year of the Horse, and Year of the Horse. Goat (Goat) Year of the Monkey (Monkey) Year of the Rooster (Rooster) Year of the Dog (Dog) Year of the Pig (Pig)

The 12 zodiac signs of the Vietnamese zodiac are Rat, Buffalo, Tiger, Cat, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Stickers with cat image are on display at a Tet fair in the Old Quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam

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Cat stickers sold at the Vietnam Lunar New Year festival in Hanoi

Thang Nguyen, BBC Vietnamese editor Cats are believed to be more part of Vietnamese culture than rabbits. He gave examples of Vietnamese folk songs or folk songs that contain a lot of cat songs. This means that rural Vietnamese have long been associated with cats, while rabbits appear more often in literature. It is a symbol that represents the moon. which suggests that this is an imported culture.

“Some East Asian experts say that Rabbits or hares are colder climates, so they are not native to tropical wetlands like Vietnam. Meanwhile, cats are pets of ancient humans living in Vietnam and East Asia. South for centuries So Vietnamese people love cats. Rabbits are strange creatures to them.”

animal in zodiac sign

If cats and rabbits are the symbols of this year Does that mean that both animals have an equal influence on those born in these two races?

According to the motto of the Chinese saying that Each animal is unique. But using a person’s year of birth to define character or predict the future is what historians view as an invention of the modern era. Because there is no such belief in ancient Chinese texts.

The 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac

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12 Chinese zodiac signs

In addition to the symbols of the zodiac Chinese New Year’s objects and customs also have different meanings, such as food, lucky money giveaways. Activities during family reunions and the color of the clothes what to wear

Red is used during Chinese New Year in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, but is not as popular on New Year’s Day in South Korea or Seollal Day, which takes place around the same time.

in the Korean New Year Family elders distribute lucky money to young family members in white envelopes rather than red envelopes like Chinese and Vietnamese people.

For Chinese people, red is a very good color and it is believed that wearing underwear in the early days of the new year will ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

The article is in Thai

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