Long, long ago the people of China told of a legend of a vicious beast with a long head and a sharp horn called Nian which means year in Chinese. Nian lived deep in the ocean the whole year, but on every Chinese New Year he would climb on the shore to destroy villages and harm the people. One day the Jade Emperor told the village people that Nian does not like the colour red and loud noise. In addition he told the people to build a fierce dragon to chase Nian, the year away. On the night of Chinese New Year, the people hung red banners, made a lot of noise by banging pots an pans and brought out their fierce dragon. When Nian saw the dragon and heard the loud noise, he fled the village in fear. Once a year since this night, on New Year's Eve the people of China perform a dragon dance, decorate their houses with red and make loud noises to chase Nian away and bring good luck to everyone.
There were really cool crafts for the kids (a little drum that they used to "scare the dragon away" during the dance), amazing food, great people and the release of lanterns in the sky (I wanted to do that since I read about the lantern festival of Thailand and the girls asked about is since seing the movie Tangled).
And you know what? It's the year of the horse. It's my year.
And it's going to be a great one!