Hello everyone! So Super Bowl is just right around the corner – basically in a few hours! (*time of my writing). Tonight perhaps is going to be one of the biggest/ most anticipated nights in U.S/Canada. Personally, I’d hope Eagles to win the game, but let’s be honest --- Tom Brady and his Patriots probably are going to crash Eagles somehow… Either way, to all the Mandarin students out there, do you know “Super Bowl” in Chinese? It’s quite simple actually: it is being called 超(chāo)级(jí)碗(wǎn) - literally means “Super Bowl”. “Super” = 超(chāo)级(jí), “Bowl” = 碗(wǎn) 。
I am sure most of you already know, Chinese New Year and few others. Today, I simply want to introduce a few essential ones that you (as a Mandarin language learner) should know.
Chines New Year春(chūn)节(jié)
Obviously, you must know what Chinese New Year, which is the most important holiday in China. This year, Chinese New Year begins on February 16 and marks the beginning of the “Year of the Dog” 狗(gǒu) 年(nián). The date was set based on our ancient Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese New Year typically begins with the new moon that occurs between the end of January or the end of February, and it lasts about 15 days until the full moon arrives with the Festival of Lanterns. So if you are in China, you will typically see people celebrate the festival for almost 15 days straight. Most important was the feasting: On New Year’s Eve 除(chú)夕(xī)夜(yè), the extended family would join around the table for a meal – pretty similar to Christmas.
White Day白(bái)色(sè)情(qíng)人(rén)节(jié) – White” “Valentine’s day”
I didn’t know this one exist until one day when I was still in High School, some of my buddies were talking about this special day (3.14). The event was originated from Japan I think, but it became quite popular in China. It is literally the reverse version of traditional Valentines Day (2.14). Instead of asking a guy to prepare the gift for a girl, on 3.14, a month after valentine’s day. The girl should be the one to do the honor. It’s truly awesome for guys.
Dragon Boat Festival 端(duān)午(wǔ)节(jié)
It’s the time of the year, we would see people racing dragon boats and eating 粽(zòng)子(zǐ). Oddly enough, the reason why we celebrate this day is to remember a patriot named Qu Yuan, who committed suicide once he heard his country was invaded by others. He eventually jumped into the river. After his death, many local people rowed out on the river and threw lumps of rice into the river to feed fishes – so those fish wouldn’t eat Qu Yuan’s body. Interesting ancient story, you can learn more here: https://www.chinahighlights.com/festivals/dragon-boat-festival-history.htm
Qi Xi七(qī)夕(xī) – Chinese Valentine’s Day
Similar to Chinese New Year, our traditional version of Valentine’s Day follows Lunar Calendar as well. It is usually around 7.7 on Lunar Calendar – which is around either July or August. Having another Valentine’s Day means all the guys need to be creative/romantic and to prepare gifts twice per year…wait…actually, it’s 3! Remember the White Day I mentioned earlier… Well, it’s actually just a wishful thinking for all the guys. Most likely, 85% of the times, the guys would end up buying gifts again for their significant others… So it’s not easy to be a boyfriend/husband in China! We are hardworking people. Learn more about the original story of Qi Xi, check the link: https://qz.com/1062110/chinese-valentines-day-what-is-the-story-behind-qi-xi-%E4%B8%83%E5%A4%95-and-how-is-it-celebrated/
Mid-Autumn Festival 中(zhōng)秋(qiū)节(jié)
This festival is one of the most important ones in China, it’s equivalent to Thanksgiving in North America. On this day, we eat Moon Cakes(月(yuè)饼(bǐng)), enjoy the full-moon; most importantly, having a great time with your loved ones.
Single day 11.11单(dān)身(shēn)节(jié)
Whoever invented this one is a genius. It has literally become one of the most important dates in a calendar year in China. This day is to initially to remind all the single folks out there that YOU ARE SINGLE AND ALONE. However, in recent few years, it has become the biggest shopping event. On 11.11, all the retailers especially the e-commerce, they give consumer heavy discounts to encourage them to buy more --- I guess shopping to single folks is more like easting “comfort food” when he or she got dumped? Last year, the total transaction in e-commerce alone in China on 11.11 is $27 B USD. It’s quite crazy how people spend so much on a single day if you think about it.