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Many people in this world have changed the way we think and live, with their inventions and effort. They are our scientists; the list is huge as there are many famous scientists in history. If the roster of all such scientists were to be compiled, the list would never be ending. Hence, a limited number has been taken into thought here. These great personalities were masters in their respective fields, and their astonishing work has changed the course of history and the way things were done. We'll have a look at some of the top scientists in history the world has ever seen.

Famous Scientists' List

We may know most of these names while we may not have heard of many of them either. There is no doubt that these are some of the best scientists the world has ever produced, and the contribution they gave to mankind is nothing less than amazing. We will have a look at a list of some of the famous in the business, along with a little information about their respective achievements.

The world will always be grateful to these great individuals, who with their outstanding contribution contributed to mankind in a way that will never be forgotten. The list goes on, as there are so many other great scientists that are worth a mention and their works and contribution to this world are simply unique.

 

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Tomorrow is Friday the 13th, the most fearful day for many people as there are many stories told. Get ready to face it and don’t get screwed. Be careful when you are driving the car “don’t crash”, watch your step when you are climbing the stairs “don’t fall” careful when you chopping veggies “don’t cut” your finger and for Christ sake start running if you see a man wearing  a hockey mask.

History of Friday the 13th 

There is a strong superstitious belief that Friday the 13th is considered as the unluckiest day in the calendar. Supporting to this there are so many myths and superstitions weaved on the day. However, due to lack of supporting evidence, it is still unclear why Friday the 13th is considered as an unlucky day, and there was no documented evidence of Friday the 13th belief before the 19th century. But there are some evidences on the number 13 considered as the unlucky number in the Babylonian History.

The ancient Babylonian Law: The Code of Hammurabi, which belongs to ancient Mesopotamia civilization, has omitted that number 13 from their list of laws. The fear of number 13 is called as “triskaidekaphobia", and the fear of Friday the 13th is denoted as “paraskevidekatriaphobia”.

The day before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, There were 13 people who attend the last supper, which was the Jesus Christ last dinner with his 12 Apostles and another myth is “God Odin” invited 11 of his close friends to Valhalla. When these 12 friends were dining together “LoKI” the god of evil and turmoil appeared at the dinner which caused the death of a demigod in the group.

Stories like this surfed on the internet even in the modern days. August 13, 2010, which was Friday the 13th a young English boy whose age was 13 was struck by lightning in Suffolk, England. The more bizarre thing is this happened when the clock was at 13:13. Luckily there was no life damage the boy saved with minor burns. Like this, there are many things happened on this day. But kids please be calm and don’t not take it on your mind, as it all happens only with some people who start their day with such beliefs.

I wish that this Friday the 13th, bring us all the happiness and love, but not fear.

 

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National Arbor Day!

Hello, my lovely friends! How are you guys doing? April has been great, isn't it? And hey! Did you guys fool each other on April Fools' Day? Did you? WOW! That's awesome. I'm sure you people had super fun.  The spring/summer season is in its full swing, and the weather outside looks absolutely lovely, isn’t it? So, amidst all this, what about doing your bit for the environment? Rings a bell in your head? Well, well, well… We’re talking about Arbor Day! Yeah! Now, sweets, all those of you who are going to celebrate it this year raise your hands, please? Come on, don’t feel hesitant; we hope that by the end of this article, we’ll be able to convince you entirely to gear up and make this Arbor Day super memorable! 

Alright, so we’re in the ‘encouragement’ mode, and we’ll go all out to make sure that you tick this day in your ‘favourite days’ list. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s begin with the scratch! Arbor Day is an important day celebrated worldwide for its great environmental significance. Every year, millions of people across several parts of the world go out, get their hands dirty and plant trees in their neighborhood. It’s all about going close to nature and helping in building a greener, healthier and safer tomorrow by planting saplings. 


 


Undoubtedly, trees are the most phenomenal supporters of my existence on my planet because they provide us with everything -- Food (in the form of fruits & vegetables) and water (by maintaining water balance and aiding in evaporation of water leading to rains in many cases). They also provide shelter (to man, animals, and other smaller plants), fresh air (oxygen included by their natural process of photosynthesis) and housing (by offering timber for building houses and wood for furniture, firewood, etc.). 

Plants are just an excellent source of our everyday need in the best possible way. Additionally, trees provide vital protection for the Earth’s topsoil from erosion, oxygen, and homes for wildlife. They also are a renewable resource that provides a variety of materials for building, fuel and office supplies.
 


Trees beautify our environment, provide shade on a sunny day and improve our quality of life. So, now that you know the amazing benefits of trees, why don’t you plan and act on planting them? It doesn’t take much of your time for sure.   National Arbor Day celebrates all these things and aims for American generations to come to enjoy all the benefits trees have to offer. And moreover, Arbor Day is a public holiday in various countries, especially in America! 

Now, let’s go back in time and know what exactly led to the celebration of this day; after all, we ought to find out the reasons to ‘how’ and ‘why’ of things at every level.  Always remember that it’s okay to appear ignorant and stupid while asking questions, but it’s terribly not okay to be ignorant about something for a long time! So, enlightened by this thought, let’s get to the root of the Arbor Day.


HISTORY:



History of Arbor Day

Arbor Day was not traditionally celebrated on the last Friday of April; in fact, it was not even set a particular date for a long time post its initiation back in the year 1854. Want to know the complete story? Here we roll! Long back in the year 1854 when J Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to Nebraska, he and his mates observed that the place lacked the blessing of Mother Nature. In other words, they noticed that there were hardly any trees or plants in the surroundings. Also, due to scanty vegetation in the area, there was no provision of windbreaks to stabilize the soil and to give shade from the Sun. Morton planted many trees around his home and encouraged others to do the same.


planting of saplings on Arbor Day

Finally, on the 4th of January, 1872, Morton proposed a holiday to plant trees on April 10 that year. It was known as "Arbor Day" and prizes were awarded to the counties and individuals who planted the maximum number of trees on the day. About one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday and was moved to April 22, which was Morton's birthday. In 1989, the official state holiday was moved to the last Friday in April. All states in the US now have an official Arbor Day; usually at a time of year that has the best weather conditions for planting trees.

This was the story behind the celebration of Arbor Day – A day that prompted people to take to contributing their bit to nature. There are hordes of things you can do to make a difference in the world and the environment, and you don’t need to be an adult to do that! Kids, you’re a great power in your own right, and you can certainly do a lot to improve the condition of this planet.


ACTIVITY SECTION:



 

Okay, we’ll make things easier for you and not give you the trouble of pondering over things on your own. Look, we are so considerate about you! Below is a list of a few activities you can do as a mark to commemorate the Arbor Day in your own simple yet effective way:

•    Study the ecosystem of one particular tree.

•    Write an Arbor Day poem or rap and perform it for the school.

•    Correlate the history of the United States or your community to one tree's growth rings.

•    Learn to identify trees in your community. Students can use a tree key or create their own. Take a nature walk and practice this new skill.

•    Study the structure of a tree, how it functions, and what benefits a tree provides.

•    Make bark rubbings and have the students’ trade rubbings to see if they can identify each other's tree.

•    Study the importance of trees in different cultures.

•    Collect leaves, brush tempera paint on them and make leaf prints.

•    Tree shapes often aid in tree identification. Have students pretend to be a particular type of tree—weeping willow, redwood, etc.

•    Write an Arbor Day poem or rap and perform it for the school.

•    Ask each to student write a description of a tree found on the school grounds. Then see if other students can find it using the report.

•    Have students write letters to community tree planters, thanking them for their efforts.

•    Learn about spices and other foods and learn about the trees that produce them.

•    Play ‘Who Wants to be a Trillionaire?’ or Tree-vial Pursuit and see which class or group of students can answer the most tree-related questions.

•    Plant trees on the school grounds and learn how to maintain them.

•    Participate in a community Arbor Day celebration.

•    Put on a play about Arbor Day. You can either have the students write their own play or perform Trees: A Joy Forever



 

Thus, this was the entire story behind the initiation, evolution, and commemoration of this very special day that celebrated the beauty, glory and significance of nature, especially plants & trees in all its exuberance, yet with a touch of unparalleled simplicity. We encourage you all to go out and enjoy nature by planting trees and samplings, and in turn, plant a beautiful tomorrow for you and your future generations! Happy Arbor Day!!!

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Hello, there! Here, we are! Back with a bang! Now, that was fast, isn’t it? We're particularly fast this time around; now please tell us that we're keeping up with the promise of coming up with interesting blogs more regularly. Yeah? Thanks, sweets. You're awesome! 

Titanosaur

Alright, so today, we'll speak about something ancient; something that belongs to several ages ago; something that still find their remnants in today's world. Umm... You’re thinking. Okay. Did You say civilizations? Well... Not really! Ah! Let's give you a clue -- it's something that lived several years ago. Mummies? Arghhh... No! We're not celebrating Halloween this month, are we? Nah, so it's not that. Uh… Guess we heard it as Dinosaurs? Yeah? Fab! Exactly! You guys are a genius; great! Yeah, we're talking about dinosaurs and how they have been making news since time immemorial.

Dinosaurs

The fossil imprints, the discovery of unique kinds of bones and teeth and the studies of ancient life pattern on the planet – these things give ample evidence that dinosaurs very much existed. In fact, they lived for centuries on earth before they were wiped away due to changes in the planet’s weather conditions, survival of the fittest theory and similar tales.

So yes, dinosaurs are no fairy tale characters; once upon a time, they were all out and kicking, quite literally! Hey, but wait! How did we even start wondering about the existence of dinosaurs? Good question. Here’s a small anecdote about the same: Apparently, The story of their discovery began way back in the 1820s, when Gideon Mantell, an English doctor, found some unusual teeth and bones in a quarry. Dr. Mantell realized there was something very different about these animal remains, and believed that he had found an entirely new species of reptiles. By 1841, about nine types of these various reptiles had been uncovered, including two called Megalosaurus and Iguanodon! Now, that’s what discoveries can take us towards, right? Seriously, folks, Curiosity is the Wick of Learning!

At this time, a renowned British scientist, Dr. Richard Owen, coined the name “Dinosauria,” meaning “terrible lizard,” for this is what the huge bones made him think of. Interesting name, isn’t? We totally think so.

Large dinosaurs

Do you guys know the real aspects which make dinosaurs such unique creatures? Sure, we’ll tell you. We, at Best Brains, are after all here to make you erudite about various aspects so here we go proving that: Of course, dinosaurs were mammoth giants with some of them reaching several meters, but that’s not what makes them unique, idealistically. Dinosaurs were distinct creatures because their limbs were placed in the same way as most present day mammals do and they used to stand and walk erect. Most other reptiles have limbs in a sprawling position.  For instance, dinosaurs – unlike crocodiles that were also reptiles – had their limbs placed in similar positions like that of a cow yet the dinosaurs were reptiles and had an erect posture. This distinctive characteristic made them different from the rest of the other mammals.

Beautiful creatures

Okay, well, guess we forgot to tell you the most important thing! Yeah….! Actually, we wanted to ask you if you’ve been to the exhibition set up to display Titanosaur in New York’s Museum. No? Haven't you? Oh, come on! It’s such a great place to be. Not convinced? By the end of this, you will be; we promise.

Titanosaur – the largest animal to ever walk on the surface of this planet – is the newest invader at New York’s Museum. In fact, the Titanosaur is so enormously big that it doesn’t fit in a room! The Titanosaur’s head and a portion of its 39-foot neck poke out of the doorway of the main gallery, where the top of the skeleton barely grazes the 19-foot-4-inch ceiling. So, all those of you who said that the Blue Whale has always been the biggest animal in this world – are wrong, at least, Blue Whale couldn’t be as tall as Titanosaur, we can assure you.

Setting up the Titanosaur

The Titanosaur dates back to the Cretaceous period, the age that ended with the mass extinction of dinosaurs, but the story of this particular specimen dates back to 2012 when a rancher in southern Argentina reported to the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio that he found fossils on his land.

By 2014, palaeontologists visited the desert site near La Flecha, part of the Patagonia region of Argentina, and excavated 223 fossil bones belonging to six dinosaurs at the site.

 And the rest, as they say, is history!

Scary Dinosaurs

Now, tell us, wasn’t this convincing enough. If so, then we urge you to get ahead and get going. Ask your parents or elders to take you to New York so that you can let your eyes gaze at this mammoth piece of beauty that stands tall in the New York Museum. And if you stay in New York, then hey, you’ve to, have to visit the place at any cost. So, take this weekend down south and let yourself get totally in awe with this huge creature that someday – millions of years ago – had walked on the same land as you and I. Sound scary, isn’t it? Yikes!!!

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National Women's History Month

Hello, you lovely people out there! It's been so long since we last connected, yeah? Been almost a month, right? Apologies, sweets! This time, we'll make up for it big-time and with this article, we'll kick-start it in a grand manner. By the way, did you miss us? Please say yes, because we really did, and so we promise to get you the most exciting anecdotes and blogs on the upcoming events.

Here's how we get started: Well, do you know what's special about this month? Yeah.... It's March and yes, it contains 31 days, what else? Come on, put on your thinking hats and come up with a promising answer. Uh... Did we hear you saying Women's Day? Oh, fab! Exactly, we recently celebrated the International Women's Day and that's the highlight of this month. But did you know what the real significance of this entire month is? Okay, let us tell you. March is all so important because it marks the National Women's History Month! This season is dedicated to celebrating and appreciating the most courageous, powerful and thoroughly badass (we love this word, you see) women of the world.

Women Power

The National Women's History Month is celebrated in several parts of the world; however, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia happen to be the front-runners in celebrating this awesome month-long occasion. 

Women have always been incredible at what they do, and it’s about these celebrations that give us a chance to felicitate their greatness at a considerable measure.

Women's History

As you guys know, we go all out to keep up with our ritual to make you erudite about every other thing. Here as well, we shall dive deep into the subject so that you know everything from its roots. The National Women’s History Month traces its initiation from the first International Women’s Day celebration way back in 1911. 

During that era, women’s history, women’s rights were completely alien topics and no one really knew about it. This continued till the late 1970’s until in 1978 the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration. That was perhaps the starting of a new chapter in acknowledging women and their significance in the society.
 Again in the year 1979, a fifteen-day conference about women's history was held at Sarah Lawrence College from July 13 until July 29, chaired by historian Gerda Lerner. It was co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, the Women's Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution. When its participants learned about the success of the Sonoma County's Women's History Week celebration, they decided to initiate similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts. They also agreed to support an effort to secure a National Women's History Week. And that, my little friends, brought us to the great National Women’s History Month. 

Phenomenal Women

In 1980, the then President of the United States of America issued a proclamation that tremendously encouraged the celebration of Women’s History Week. He said,

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.
As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.” – It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.”

I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980.
I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul.

Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people.
This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Celebrating Women

National Women’s History Month honors the extraordinary contributions of women to the history of this great country, America. It observes the exemplary things women did that made our nation the way it is today. We’re sure you’ve looked up to phenomenal women like Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, Elle DeGeneres, Mala Yousufzai, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, and Oprah Winfrey, who’ve changed the way the world looks at women today. And not just them,  it’s time you acknowledge your own mothers, sisters, aunts, grannies and all the other exceptional women in your life who make life all the more pleasing and delightful for you. This month is all about commemorating their greatness and showering them with the love, gratitude and honor they deserve!

Strong Women!

So stand up and get going. Stand up for the women in your life, stand up for every woman you know who’ve been instrumental in shaping you the way you are. It’s important that you grow up to be fine citizens who’d be an asset to the great country – The United States of America! 
We’d like to close this article with a few beautiful lines on womanhood by the great American poetess, human rights activist and feminist, Maya Angelou:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.”

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Hello, people! Hope you’re doing great in this month of February with festivities galore. Right from Valentine’s Day to Martin Luther King’s Day and from Groundhog Day to Chinese New Year – we had the best of everything this season! But wait, stay put and think, think hard. Is there something special this year? Oh, come on, guys, you people know about everything, right? Yeah? Fabulous! You guys are very well-informed! Yes, indeed, we’re talking about the great Leap Year that marks the addition of one extra day this season – the 29th of February!

Leap Year
 

So we have 366 days this year, instead of the traditional 365. That gives us one day in excess! Imagine, what all you can do if you get 24 hours extra? There can be a whole lot of learning, exploring, understanding, studying and yes, of course, playing and enjoying. 
 

Thirty days hath September, 
April, June, and November; 
All the rest have thirty-one, 
Excepting February alone 
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine, 
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine
-    Anonymous 

 

Well, we think you must know the reason we anoint the 29th of February with such significance. Okay, now sit straight and read on carefully: Every year the earth completes 365 1/4th day which is apparently a quarter greater than the actual number of 365 days. Therefore, now since you guys are great at math, please tell us how much does a quarter multiplied by 4 equals to? Come on, hurry up! Let’s do the math right here: 1/4 * 4 = 1. Exactly! You’re awesome. We get one day at the end of every 4 years. There you get the answer – Leap Year occurs once every 4 years!

Julius Caesar
 

Here’s another piece of valuable information regarding the month February and the subsequent story of the Leap Year. Legend has it that earliertThe Roman calendar used to carry 355 days with an extra 22-day month every two years until Julius Caesar became emperor in the 1st Century and ordered his Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes to devise something better.
Sosigenes, being worth his name, decided on a 365-day year with an extra day every four years to incorporate the additional hours, and so February 29th was born.

Now, as you very well know of our tradition of having history and inspiring accounts of folklore and some real life tales, we’ll again travel back in time to discover some lost pearls of legends. Okay, guys, now tell us. Do you know Christopher Columbus? Yeah? Right. He was a great explorer, discoverer and is known to travel across the Atlantic Ocean four times! He is also known to be the one to discover America! Well, that’s huge. 
 

Well, Leap Year has certainly been a lucky one for Mr. Columbus. 
 

Christopher Coumbus

It so once happened that Columbus found himself stranded on an island of Jamaica. The locals were kind and generous and offered their simple food and essentials to the great explorer. But Columbus, holding up his arrogant and snobbish attitude, didn’t accept any of it to the extent that the natives decided never to provide him anything.
 

As they say, what goes around, comes around, Christopher did have to give up his whims and fancies to obtain food from the people. However, the local folks were now smart and didn’t pay any heed to his requests.

Lunar Eclipse
 

This was when the great Columbus devised a plan. He knew that the lunar eclipse was going to occur a little later. Therefore, he proclaimed that if he is not given food, then the moon will get shadowed by God in a way to punish the natives. The people started taking his words seriously when the sun cast a dark shadow on the moon and darkened the entire region. The local population were scared and pleaded Christopher to do something about it. The discoverer stayed put in his ship’s cabin for over an hour when he came back and announced that God was ready to save the moon only if the natives provided him and his naval chiefs with food and water.
 

The panicked pupils served delightful food to Columbus and his entourage, and it saved the day for everyone, as the moon started emerging from the shadow leaving the people in awe of the explorer. 

This was the tale of the great Columbus, who took complete advantage of the Leap Year.

Guess what, in many traditions across the world, Leap Year is known to be a highly successful occasion. Several people believe that anything started on the 29th of

February bring with it a lucky omen as everything is deemed to be successful.

Let’s talk about a few of the traditions related to the celebration of the Leap Year.

Women Propose on this Day:

Yes! We’re sure you watch movies where the entire concept of proposing is done by men, well, mostly. However, according to age-old rituals, women can propose on leap year’s day to optimize their chances to getting hitched to the man of their dreams.

 

Leap Day Customs & Traditions:

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore, and superstitions ever since Julius Caesar first introduced Leap Years over 2000 years ago.

 

Women Propose to Their Men

Women Proposing To Men

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.
This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap day balances the calendar.

 

Gloves Hide Naked Ring Finger

Bachelor's Day

In some regions, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the very same reason. Interesting, isn’t it? “Bachelor’s Day!” On lines with a popular tradition, a man is expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refuses a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.
 

In many European countries, especially in the upper sections of the society, tradition dictates that any man who doesn’t honor a woman's proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. Now, that makes us go, “Äwwww.”
 

St. Oswald’s World

St Oswald;s Day

The St Oswald’s day is celebrated in the memory of the late Archbishop of York, who died on the 29th of February 992. In non-leap years, this day is celebrated on 28th February.
 

Leap Year babies:

abies

The children born on 9th February are considered to be lucky by some while others consider them to be unlucky; However, many folks take the Leap year, especially the leap day to be unfortunate for love and marriages and abstain themselves from the same.
 

So, here we go, folks! This was the extraordinary tale, better epic, about the leap year! Indeed, as we've seen; it holds quite a significant stature in history and in traditions and legends too. We think that this day must help you realize that life is short, and it does give you a complete extra day to make the most ou of it. Then what are we waiting for? Hiking this weekend, anyone
 

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Hey everyone! We're already into the month February and as you know, there are several events coming up this month. Yes, we will walk you through each of these events, be assured; we promise some more things: we will add to your celebrations, make you well-informed about everything around you and lastly, we will assure that you make the most of all these celebrations! Yay!! Now, that's a great. Isn't it?

Chinese New Year

Okay, we know that you're excited about the upcoming events and you wish to know more about it. Alright, we understand your curiosity! So, we’ll give you a brief insight into what you can look forward to this month: Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. Now, both the occasions are sure to pack a punch and keep you feasting! 

In this article, we wish to help you with your preparations for the Chinese New Year. Well, hope you remember that it's on the 8th February this year. 
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important festival in the Far East Asian countries, mainly those which follow the Chinese calendar. Celebrations, traditionally, run from the evening preceding the first day to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first Chinese calendar month. The first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February.Hey! Sorry to interrupt the flow of your reading, but have you observed that the entire festival is marked with the color red? Umm…You did? Exactly! The color red holds an important significance for the entire occasion. 


HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL

The festival of Chinese New Year has got an interesting tale to its background. The legend has it that about several years ago in the land of China, there lived a ferocious beast named Nian. This intimidating figure, Nian, was the cause of severe distress for the people. He would destroy land, property and crops; he would rob people of their food and sometimes, he would even kill people. The entire state was massively tormented by his wrong doings. But obviously, since they were very weak in front of the ruthless creature, they would place food and other goodies on their doorstep, so that they are saved from his wrath. 


As it is said that time changes for the good, there came a situation where a local man – being fed up of the beast’s torture – decided to do something to alleviate the situation (time to get your dictionary, sweets!). He resolved to do something that will put an end to all the atrocities put forth by the barbaric creature. And that’s when a God appeared before him instructing him to scare away the beast using the color red and fireworks. 

Color Red


The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. As luck would have it, the God’s instruction worked well and the country was saved from the brutalities of the wicked beast! From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by HongjunLaozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became HongjunLaozu's mount.

So there you have it folks, the inspirational and righteous story that led to the celebration of Chinese New Year. This tale reiterates the fact that no matter how strong evil is, righteousness and virtue always triumph over evil and wrong! 

Interestingly, the year 2016 is the year of the monkey and for all those born under this Chinese sign, this year has a lot to offer you. We’ve attached a picture that enables you to check our Chinese birth sign based on your birth year. For all you, ‘monkey’ people out there, we give you a Hi-5! 
Officially, Chinese New Year is celebrated on Chuyi (?? /choo-ee/) the very first day of the New Year, and Chuxi (?? /choo-sshee/), the last day of the previous year, Chinese New Year's Eve.

 

TRADITIONS AND FESTIVITIES

Traditionally, though celebrations can start much earlier than Chinese New Year's Eve. Some people start to celebrate from three weeks before itself. This date is called Laba (?? /laa-baa/), the eighth day of the twelfth Chinese month, while other pupils celebrate prior to one week of the main event— the 23rd of the twelfth month.

Now, let’s come to the fun part – the festivities. As we’ve mentioned above, the festival of New Year spans for a complete fortnight (15 days). Each day has its own set of special rituals and traditions that add to the authenticity and yes, the fun element of this festival. 

Fun activities

Let’s go a step further and get a breakdown of rituals and traditions followed on each day during this festive season:

Day 1: 
The first day is marked with the welcoming of Gods and deities of the heavens and the Earth, which happens officially at midnight. This is followed by the traditional practice to light fireworks, burn bamboo sticks and firecrackers, and to make as much of a din as possible to chase off the evil spirits as encapsulated by Nian, the evil beast. 

Many groups of people, especially Buddhists, abstain from the consumption of meat on the New Year’s Day because this is believed to extend longevity of the practicing pupils. According to some other traditions, the lighting of fire is considered as a bad omen, therefore most of the food is prepared on the previous day that should be relished on the D-day.

1st day celebrations

More importantly, the first day of the New Year is signified to be the day where you need to celebrate the respect you have for your elders, teachers and family members. It is about honoring the elders of the family and visiting the senior members of one’s family tree.

Day 2:
The second day of the Chinese New Year, known as "beginning of the year” is signified with the tradition of married daughters visiting their parents, relatives and close friends. 
Further, some theories say that this day is the birthday of all dogs, so many people celebrate it by treating dogs to special delights. Furthermore, the second day is the Birthday of Che Kung, a deity worshipped in Hong Kong, worshippers go to Che Kung Temples to pray for his blessings. 

Day 15:
The fifteenth day of the New Year is celebrated as "Yuanxiao Festival" or the Lantern Festival. It is basically of feasting of some yummy food like Rice dumplings and a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup.

lantern festival

People in groups walk the street with lighted candles, thus signifying the name of the festival – The Lantern festival.

Now, here’s something a little mushy since we’re fast approaching the Valentine’s Day. In countries like China, Malaysia and Singapore, this day is celebrated by individuals seeking for a romantic partner. Yes, it is something very close to our Valentine’s Day. As per the tradition, single women write their name on mandarins and oranges and throw them in rivers. While single men find the oranges and eat them, the taste and flavor of the orange becomes the deciding factor here. Like for example: if the orange turns out to be sour, the relationship is thought to lead to a bad relationship; while if the orange turns to be sweet, it signifies a happy and contented relationship.

 

So, here we go with the uniqueness and exuberance of this delightful festival that has everyone in its grip. Gone are the days when it was famous only in a few South-East Asian countries; today the entire world celebrates and looks forward to the Chinese New Year for its amazing sense of tradition, ritual and feasting that embraces human emotions and celebrates the gift of elders, love, humanity and life! Cheers!!!

Best Brains wishes all of you a Very Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!!!

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