Nian, The Maneating Monster
Have you guys watched the recent video by Apple’s Shot in iPhone 12 pro max series, “Chinese New Year – Nian”? It is a reference from a folktale, basically about a Maneater Beast waking from its hibernation (Once every year) deep inside an ocean, just to feast on livestock and humans in its wake.
This Maneater beast is called 年 (Nian), or 年兽 (Nian Shou), which is basically translated in English as “Yearly Beast.” It has been described as having horns, sharp teeth, sharp claws, and glowing angry eyes.
When the Chinese New Year eve arrives, Nian will wake up from its hibernation, jump out from the deep sea to the land, just to feast on livestock and human flesh, leaving a bloody scene in its wake.
To keep the elderly and the children safe, the village adults will hide them deep in the mountains.
One fateful Chinese New Year’s eve, a weak elderly homeless beggar with a walking stick carrying a very old and rugged backpack, arrived in 桃花村 (Tao Hua Cun) Cherry Blossom Village to beg for food. No one would bat an eye on him in a chaotic scene as they all busy packing up their stuff, locking their houses, managing their livestocks, preparing to guide the eldely and the children to the deep mountain again just to prepare for the upcoming attack by the Maneater.
A kind-hearted old lady noticed the old beggar in the chaotic scene. She prepares some food for him and tells him to hide inside the deep mountain after he finishes the food. The beggar, unfazed and squeezing his beard gives the old lady a smile and promises that he will drive away the Maneater if she allows him to stay the night.
The old lady doubts the old beggar can fend off the Maneater and continues to persuade him to hide in the deep mountains. But the old beggar insisted with a smile that he can do so despite looking frail and weak.
Since it is already too late for the old lady to hit the road and hide in the deep mountains, the old lady, left with no choice, stays in her house with the old beggar.
In the middle of the night, the Maneater Nian woke up from its 365 days of hibernation, jumping out from the deep sea. Break into Cherry Blossom Village to look for food. Its giant body shape, tall horns, loud sniffing, loud stomping, and scary yellow eyes can be heard and seen from distances.
Then, the Maneater smells “foods” nearby; as it tracks down the smell, the Maneater arrives at the old lady’s house. Scared by the bright red colored paper that had been pasted outside the home and the red lantern that was hanging outside the house, fear sets in!
The Maneater’s bodies start to tremble in fear, but seeing the old lady in the house, from a wide-opened door, it lets out a deep cry, dashing toward the old lady.
Before the Maneater reached the old lady, loud cracking noises, produced by firecracker by the old beggar, who also wears a set of bright red cloth, from head to toe. The Maneater, overwhelmed by the fear of bright red color and the loud cracking noise, makes its escape and is never seen again.
After the Maneater has escaped, the old beggar also disappears without a trace. As it turns out, the beggar is actually a celestial being to help the humans deal with the Maneater.
This is a folktale about why people who celebrated Chinese New Year would wear bright reds, paste red papers written with poems, and lit the firecracker. And this tradition has continued decade over a decade!
This story has mostly been a reference to a lot of children’s cartoons and movies. But it comes to my surprise that not a single soul would create a horror movie out of it! As a Chinese, it makes me kind of jealous of Japanese folklore and Youkais. They got their way into the mainstream media, anime, and movie, which is very popular worldwide! I really look forward to anyone being able to turn Maneater Nian’s story into a horror movie with their own twist into it!
What do you guys think? Is there any underrated folklore you guys would love to see turned into a horror movie? Tell me in the comment section!
Last but not least, this is the Apple’s video I’ve talked about in case you didn’t see or know about it:
The Story of Nian