Here is the Chinese New Year story I heard when I was growing up:
Long ago in China, over 3000 years, many farmers lived in China. They worked very hard all year long in the fields. At the end of the winter, a beast they called “Nian” （年） would come to the village the night before New Year. Nian was very mean, and would eat any person he could catch. This frightened all the villagers. So they got together to discuss how to get rid of Nian once and for all. One man said, "We might chase away Nian if we dress in red.” Another man said, "We should light firecrackers. The noise and lights will frighten Nian." Another man said, "We should hang red lanterns to scare Nian.” Finally, a young man suggested, "We should play the gong and drums. The music will surely make Nian go away."
After the meeting, the villagers stayed at home and prepared for Nian to return. It was the night before New Year. All the villagers wore red and hung lanterns. They also hung firecrackers outside their houses and had the drums and gongs ready. As midnight approached, Nian came closer and closer. The villagers were frightened. Some even held their breath.
When Nian finally reached one of the houses and tried to open the door, the villagers lit the firecrackers and played their drums and gongs as loud as they could!!!! Nian was so scared that he ran away. The villagers never saw Nian again. Ever since that night, Chinese villagers play gongs and drums every New Year and say "Gongxi, Gongxi, “ （恭喜恭喜）which means congratulations; and “Kuo Nian,” (过年) that means get rid of Nian.
First, let's learn the whole chant.
Second, let's put the rhythm on our bodies.
Third, Let's learn how to play the instruments:
Drum (鼓, gu), Small gong (锣, luo), Cymbals (嚓, ca)
Lastly, let's put everything together.
Are you having fun?
Lion Dance is not only for Chinese in Malaysia
Excellent site, good information about Chinese New Year!
Excellent video about the origin of Chinese New Year.
Excellent video. It will make more sense if you know Chinese characters. The characters come from pictograph (甲骨文）.