Obviously many of us celebrate 1st January as the New Year, but today – 31st January – is in fact the Chinese New Year! 2014 (well, 31.01.2014 – 18.02.2015) is the year of the horse (马), so it’s your zodiac sign if you were born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990 or 2002 (source). One of the chapters we’ve just studied in my uni class is about the Lunar New Year so I’ve got a few phrases to share today!
So, here are a few useful phrases that I’ve learnt related to the Lunar New Year:
新年快乐 (xīnniánkuàilè) – Happy New Year!
马年快乐 (mǎniánkuàilè) – Happy Year of the Horse!
恭喜发财 (gōngxǐfācái) – May you have a prosperous New Year!
万事如意 (wànshìrúyì) – May all your hopes be fulfilled!
年夜 (niányè) – The Lunar New Year’s Eve.
年夜饭 (niányèfàn) – Family reunion dinner on the Lunar New Year’s Eve.
春节 (chunjie) – Spring Festival.
守岁 (shǒusuì) – To stay up all night on the Lunar New Year’s Eve.
放鞭炮 (fàngbiānpào) – To set off firecrackers.
包饺子 (bāojiǎozi) – To make dumplings. This seems to be traditionally done the night before the New Year (so on 年夜), but my university offered a dumpling making competition today, so we got to go and make dumplings (and then took them home to eat, yay!). Since Chinese dumplings are literally my favourite food, I was very excited about this, and I ended up making ten of them. Yum!
春联 (chūnlián) – Spring Festival couplets. These are the words you see, usually on red banners, which are usually hung around doors. They have different meanings but are usually related to bringing in good luck with the new year.
窗花 (chuānghuā) – Paper-cuts for window decoration. These are really pretty and I’ve never tried to make one myself because they mostly look way too intricate.
I’m off now to cook those dumplings I made and enjoy the rest of this Friday evening – you all have fun too! Let me know if you’re doing anything to celebrate the New Year!