The Legend of Chinese New Year
A long, long time ago in China, there was a big, scary, nasty beast named "Nian," whose name means "year." He had razor-sharp teeth, giant claws, and a really mean growl. Most of the time he lived in the wilderness, but on the darkest night of the year, when the new moon was in the sky, he would sneak into the village and scare everyone inside, even the animals.
People dreaded the new moon for many, many years, until a wise man taught them the three things Nian was afraid of: loud noises, fire, and the color red. The next time Nian came, the villagers fought back. They hit their drums as loud as they could, lit every firecracker they had, and wore the color red from head to toe. Nian ran far away and never came back.
After that, the people started celebrating the new moon instead of fearing it. That celebration became a 15-day festival of family, food, and good fortune called Chinese New Year.