Cultural Exposé: The Spring Festival ,春节(2 of 2)

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Happy year of the Rooster to all! Welcome to my first post of the Lunar year and in today’s post we are going to take a quick look at some of the major greetings of the Chinese Spring Festival!

timgIn our last issue, we got a basic understanding of the Spring festival in terms of what it is and why it came to be. For a quick re-cap, the Spring Festival marks the beginning of the Chinese New year, which takes the form of a two week celebration falling some time during late January or early February. The legend of the Spring festival has to deal with the defeat of the fiend known as (年/年怪)(Nian/ Nian Guai) and the celebration which came about as a result.

Now, what is it that makes the Spring Festival so unique? We mentioned them in our last issue, but let’s go one step further this time. We dedicate this issue to some of the more popular forms of holiday greetings for the spring festival.timg-1

新年快乐 (Xin nian kuai le): A basic happy new year is always welcome but in a language as ancient and diverse as Mandarin, a plethora of ways to spread holiday cheer has developed. Most of them revolve around wishes of prosperity, kindness, longevity, happiness and of course, love.

万事如意 (Wan shi ru yi): Wishing you success in every endeavor.

新年大吉 (Xin nian da ji): Wishing you prosperity for the Year. Additionally, this greeting can be adapted to pertain a specific year, thus becoming;

鸡年大吉 (Ji nian da ji): Wishing you prosperity in the Year of the Rooster.

心事有成 (Xin shi you cheng): Wishing you every success in everything you set your heart on. 

年年有鱼 (Nian nian you yu): I wish you fish every year! Now this greeting is a jovial play on the characters “Yu,鱼” which means “fish” and “Yu,裕” which stands for “wealth”. A fish course is a staple at every New year’s dinner not only because it is delicious (of course) but due to the fact that it also represents the potential wealth which could be gained the following year.

事事顺利(Shi shi shun li): Wishing everything goes your way.

u21012658033489482650fm23gp0With this we come to the end of our issue and also, the end of the spring festival, as today marks the Lantern festival (Yuan xiao jie 元宵节), which is the traditional end of the New Years festivities! Happy Lantern Festival!

Next week we continue with our exploration of Yunnan Province and I hope to see you there!

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