庆祝中国新年–你知道”年”的传说吗? Beth dych chi’n gwybod am y Flwyddyn Newydd Tsieineaidd? What do you know about the Chinese New Year?

Bydd dathlu’r Flwyddyn Newydd Tsieineaidd eleni yn brofiad newydd sbon, oherwydd fi yw’r myfyriwr cyntaf o Tseina i astudio yn Adran y Gymraeg, a hwn ydy’r tro cyntaf rydw i wedi dathlu oddi cartref. Rwy’n falch fod pobl yn Aber eisoes yn gwybod cryn dipyn ynghylch yr arferion. Mae ffrindiau a dieithriaid wedi gofyn i mi pa anifail yn y sidydd Tsieineaidd sy’n cynrychioli’r flwyddyn 2014? Ydw i’n gallu gwneud dawns y ddraig a’r llew? A fyddaf i’n llosgi cracer tân ar Nos Galan? Mae’r traddodiadau yma i gyd wedi datblygu o gwmpas y syniad canolog ‘Nian (年)’. Er bod y gair yn golygu ‘blwyddyn’, ydych chi’n gwybod mai enw bwystfil cyfriniol oedd e yn wreiddiol?

Mewn un fersiwn o lên gwerin Tsieineaidd, anghenfil hyll gyda phen fel llew a chorff fel tarw oedd Nian. Roedd e’n gaeafu yng ngwaelod y môr. Deffrodd pan oedd y gaeaf yn troi a daeth e i bentref, gan ddal pobl a’u bwyta. Cafodd y pentrefwyr eu dychryn a doedden nhw ddim yn gwybod sut i amddiffyn eu hunain. Daeth Nian i ymosod ar y pentrefwyr unwaith eto, ond y tro hwn gwelodd e wisg goch yn hongian mewn clos cyfagos. Teimlodd bigyn yn ei lygaid a achoswyd gan liw coch gloyw y wisg, ac oherwydd y boen, rhedodd e i ffwrdd i rywle arall yn y pentref. Roedd pentwr o frigau bambŵ yno, ac roeddent yn cracio gan wres y tân ac yn gwneud sŵn clecio mawr. Dihangodd Nian yn ôl i’r môr gan ofn y sŵn, ac ni feiddiodd allan byth eto. Dathlodd y pentrefwyr a lledaenu cyfrinach y wisg goch a’r brigau bambŵ. Cyn bo hir, daeth yn draddodiad i ysgrifennu geiriau cadarnhaol ar ddarnau o bapur coch (weithiau mewn cwpled), a’u glynu ar flaen y drws er mwyn bwrw i ffwrdd ysbrydion drwg a dod â lwc i’r flwyddyn newydd.

Wel, mae llawer o fersiynau eraill o chwedl y bwystfil Nian. P’un a yw person Tseineaidd yn credu’r chwedlau neu beidio, maen’ nhw wedi dod yn ran bwysig o draddodiad y Flwyddyn Newydd Tseineaidd, ac mae hi’n ddiddorol rhannu’r storiau yma. Nawr, sut i ddweud ‘Blwyddyn Newydd Dda’ yn Tseinëeg? ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ (新年快乐)! Ie, ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ i bawb sy’n darllen y blogbost: rwy’n dymuno rhannu llawenydd y flwyddyn newydd Tsieineaidd gyda chi!

dawns y ddraig ar llew

For me, this year’s Chinese New Year celebration will be a brand-new experience, for it is the first time that I, the first Chinese student ever to study in the Department of Welsh, have celebrated away from home. I’m glad to find that people in Aber already know quite a lot about the customs. I’ve been asked by friends and strangers alike which animal in the Chinese Zodiac represents the year 2014, if I can do the dragon-and-lion dance, or whether I burn firecrackers on Chinese New Years’ Eve. All these belong to the traditions that developed around the core concept of Nian (年). The meaning of the word is just ‘year’, but did you know that originally it is the name of a mystical beast?

In one version from Chinese folklore, Nian was an ugly monster with a head like a lion and a body like a bull that hibernated at the bottom of the sea. It awoke one day at the turning of winter and spring, and came into a village, catching and eating human beings. The villagers were frightened and didn’t know how to defend themselves. Nian came to attack the villagers again, but this time it saw a red gown hanging in someone’s courtyard. It felt a piercing pain in its eyes, caused by the shiny red colour and, because of the pain, Nian scurried away to another place in the village where a heap of bamboo twigs was being used to make a fire. The twigs were cracking under the heat of the fire, casting loud banging sounds. Nian monster was scared off by the sound, ran back to the sea and never dared to come out again. The villagers celebrated and spread the secret of the red gown and the firecrackers far and wide. Before long, it became a tradition to write auspicious words on one or two pieces of red-coloured paper (sometimes a couplet), and stick them on the front door to drive off evil spirits and bring good luck for the New Year.

Well, there are many other versions of the legend about the Nian beast. Whether or not a Chinese person believes the legends, they have become an important part of the traditions for Chinese New Year, and it is interesting to share those stories. Now, how to say ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese? It’s ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ (新年快乐)! Yes, ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ to everyone who’s reading this post: I wish to share the happiness of the Chinese New Year with you!

Xiezhen (Rowan) Zhao, Myfyriwr MA / MA Student

Semester Newydd, cartref newydd – New Semester, new home

Mae Adran y Gymraeg wedi ail-leoli ac mae hi erbyn hyn ar brif gampws Prifysgol Aberystwyth. Rydym drws nesaf i Lyfrgell Hugh Owen a Chanolfan y Celfyddydau, ac mae Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru hefyd ar ein stepen drws.

Adran y Gymraeg
Adeilad Hugh Owen (Llawr D)
Prifysgol Aberystwyth
SY23 3DY

The Department of Welsh has relocated and is now housed on Aberystwyth University’s main campus. We are located next door to the Hugh Owen Library and the Arts Centre, and the National Library is on our doorstep.

Department of Welsh
Hugh Owen Building (D Floor)
Aberystwyth University
SY23 3DY