Chinese New Year and the Passover

Monday, 05 January 2009 @ 09:42 AM SGT

Contributed by: Admin

May I share my observations about Chinese New Year with you? These came to me some years ago, right in the middle of Carlisle, PA, when I was talking about Spring Festival observance with my American sisters. I saw some things in these traditions I had never considered before.

I found it thrilling that Chinese New Year and Passover shared a few things in common. They are both spring festivals, and both mark the beginning of the calendar year through lunar calculations. It is very important for the Chinese traditionally to clean our houses before New Year. It is called “Spring Cleaning.” New Year Day gives us the chance to start anew. Families bustle and clean and then no more cleaning is allowed on New Year’s Day. Is it something like the Jewish tradition of clearing the yeast out of the house?

Many Chinese families place red banners over the top and sides of their main door to "ward off evil spirits." In Taiwan, they like to decorate their doors with seven-character couplets, gold characters over red strips. Why seven, the biblically perfect number? For the Jewish Passover, the blood of a lamb was applied to the top and posts of the main door so that the Angel of Death would "pass over" and spare the life of the firstborn. Why is red such an auspicious color for the Chinese anyway? Could it be because it is the color of blood, of redemption?

Some Chinese anthropologists may well come up to me and give me some perfectly well researched reason for why these traditions are just so. But do you know what I think? I think, the Lord, being the Master Artist that He is, has left an indelible mark, His imprint, His signature, His legacy—call it what you like—in this culture, as He has probably done with many other cultures.

I believe this because I know my God to be all-powerful, all-knowing, the ruler of ALL nations, and THE Creator of everything that is. One day, when the trumpets sound, and we are all “out of here”, we will meet Him face to face and finally see Him in His true light. Then He will tell us why these traditions are celebrated just so.

Yinghuo Chong

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