INI DIA LEGENDA DI BALIK TAHUN BARU IMLEK YANG SERBA MERAH 2022-01-31 22:25

 

Tahun Baru Imlek, Chinese New Year, identik dengan warna merah. Ya dekorasi, ornamen yang dipajang di rumah, lampion, petasan, semua merah. Bahkan ada kepercayaan, bukan hanya wajib pakai setelan baju merah saat malam dan hari pertama Tahun Baru, tapi juga underwear! Nah, bukan tanpa alasan kenapa semuanya mesti serba merah dan kenapa Tahun Baru Imlek dirayakan dengan meriah tiap tahun, termasuk dengan membunyikan petasan. Ada legenda yang mendasarinya. Mau tahu?

 

Baca juga: "Merah Meriah Pernak-Pernik Imlek"

 

MONSTER JAHAT DATANG MENYATRONI KAMPUNG-KAMPUNG

Alkisah, zaman dahulu kala hiduplah seekor monster jahat dengan taring tajam dan tanduk di kepalanya. Dikenal dengan nama Nian. Monster Nian ini hidup di dasar laut dalam yang gelap dan hanya muncul ke permukaan setiap akhir tahun kalender lunar (Imlek). Monster ini akan menyatroni kampung-kampung dan memangsa manusia serta ternak, juga merampas hasil bumi di lumbung warga. Makanya, untuk menghindari Nian, saban menjelang malam Tahun Baru, warga pergi menyembunyikan diri ke pelosok pegunungan.

 

 

DATANGLAH PENGEMIS TUA

Sampai suatu ketika, saat warga tengah sibuk hendak melarikan diri ke pegunungan, datanglah seorang kakek berambut putih dengan pakaian compang-camping layaknya pengemis. Didera rasa panik yang bertambah dengan munculnya kakek ini, warga pun buru-buru mengunci pintu dan jendela rumahnya rapat-rapat, membawa perbekalan seadanya dan lari ke gunung.

 

Sia-sia si kakek berusaha mengharap belas kasihan, semua mengabaikannya. Kecuali seorang nenek. Ia membuka pintu rumah dan memberi si kakek makanan ala kadarnya. Si nenek pun menceritakan soal ketakutan warga terhadap Nian yang sebentar lagi akan menyatroni kampung mereka. Dia menyuruh si kakek buru-buru lari ke gunung bersama yang lain agar selamat. Tanggapan si kakek di luar dugaan, dia tetap tenang, malah dengan santai mengelus-elus jenggotnya. Ia malah minta izin menginap di rumah si nenek malam itu, dan berjanji akan mengusir Nian si monster sebagai tanda terima kasihnya.

 

Si nenek tak percaya begitu saja. Dia pikir mana mungkin kakek renta ini mampu melawan Nian yang perkasa. Dia tetap membujuk, tapi si kakek bergeming. Nenek itu pun melarikan diri ke gunung dan meninggalkan si kakek seorang diri.

 

Baca juga: "Ini Dia 'Mantra' yang Harus Diucapkan Saat Menyajikan Yee Sang, Prosperity Salad Imlek"

 

NIAN PUN LARI TERBIRIT-BIRIT

Tengah malam, seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya, Nian pun muncul dan masuk ke kampung. Tapi malam itu dia merasakan ada yang berbeda. Biasanya seluruh kampung gelap total, tapi kali ini ada satu rumah yang terang benderang. Nian menghampiri rumah tersebut dan mendapati ada kertas-kertas merah tertempel di sisi kiri kanan dan atas pintu maupun jendela. Dari dalam rumah juga terlihat cahaya-cahaya menyilaukan.

 

Tiba-tiba tubuh Nian bergetar dan dia pun meraung, matanya melotot demi melihat semua yang dianggapnya aneh itu. Didorong kegusarannya, Nian pun menyerbu pintu rumah. Seketika itu juga terdengar suara ledakan keras petasan bertalu-talu, menghentikan laju langkah Nian. Bersamaan dengan itu pintu rumah terbuka disertai kilatan cahaya, sang kakek muncul dalam balutan pakaian serba merah sambil tertawa menggelegar. Nian pun terlompat ketakutan dan langsung lari terbirit-birit menembus gelapnya malam.

 

 

ESOK PAGINYA….

Keesokan paginya para penduduk desa berbondong-bondong kembali ke kampungnya dan terheran-heran karena tak ada kerusakan apa-apa seperti yang terjadi di tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Hanya si nenek yang paham apa yang terjadi. Si kakek benar-benar telah memenuhi janjinya! Diceritakanlah hal itu kepada semua warga yang kemudian bergegas menghampiri rumah nenek untuk membuktikan sendiri. Mereka mendapati rumah si nenek penuh tempelan kertas-kertas merah bertuliskan syair, lilin-lilin di dalam rumah, dan sisa bambu untuk meledakkan petasan di halaman.

 

Dari situ warga mendapat pencerahan bahwa Nian takut dengan warna merah, cahaya terang dan bunyi petasan. Akhirnya hari itu warga desa merayakan takluknya Nian dengan memakai baju baru berwarna merah dan saling berkunjung dari rumah ke rumah. Berita pun menyebar dengan cepat tentang bagaimana cara menaklukkan dan mengusir Nian.

 

Sejak saat itu masyarakat China merayakan pergantian tahun dengan baju merah, memasang chun lian (kertas merah bertuliskan syair) di samping pintu dan jendela rumah, menyalakan lampu maupun memasang lampion, membunyikan petasan dan juga kembang api.

 

Tradisi memasang chun lian di sekitar pintu

 

Tradisi ini berlangsung terus turun-temurun hingga kini. Dan makanya Tahun Baru Imlek atau Spring Festival sering disebut dengan istilah “Guo Nian” (baca: kuo nien, atau di lidah sini berubah jadi konyan) yang selain punya arti “melewati atau merayakan tahun (baru)” juga berarti “menaklukkan (monster) Nian”.

 

Baca juga: "Koh Konyan Koh, Hongbao Nalai?"

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Wan Shi Ru Yi, Shen Ti Jian Kang. Happy Chinese New Year 2022/2573!

 

 

Teks: Mayawati NH (Maya The Dreamer), dari berbagai sumber Foto: www.chinaxiantour.com, www.lovefuntaiwan.com, www.newsela.com, www.poetryclubs.com
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