Chinese Way

Human Day celebrates mankind's birthday

Updated: 2011-02-11 13:58


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It's everyone's birthday on Wednesday according to Chinese legends. Renri, which literally means Human Day, falls on the seventh day of the first month on the lunar calendar. Now, let's see how people across China celebrated the common birthday of all human beings.

People in Chaoshan of south China's Guangdong Province prepared special food for Renri. The special soup cooked with seven vegetables is a lucky food for the day.

In Chinese legends, Nüwa is the goddess who created the world. She created the animals on different days, and human beings on the seventh day.

Since the first days of the first lunar month are considered birthdays of different animals, Chinese people avoid killing the animals on their respective birthdays; that includes limits on punishing prisoners on Renri.

In Chengdu city of southwest China, people practiced the tradition of the literary men in ancient China who would climb mountains or go hiking and compose poems on this day.

There are other customs surrounding Renri like presenting human shaped paper cuttings to each other.

According to legend, the custom dates back to the Han Dynasty, and gained importance after the Three Kingdoms period and Jin Dynasty.

Chinese believe if Renri lands on a sunny day, it will bring the fortune of a flouring population, good luck and peace in the new year. For a woman to give birth on this day was considered a great and happy event.


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