Mandarin Madness

Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted 2369 days ago by matthew

The Native Tongue team wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of The Dragon and hope that you have a prosperous year filled with fun and excitement!

Here is how you say the word “dragon”:

Chinese New Year is a tradition that is celebrated in countries with significant Chinese populations such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and by Chinese people throughout the world. It is also celebrated in Korea, Vietnam and other South East Asian countries. Chinese New Year is a time of celebration, where families gather together and look ahead to the new year. People will often travel back to their home towns or to where their families are.

To celebrate this special occasion, we’ve created a specific Chinese New Year themed pack which is available to our Android users. We’ve also recorded some Chinese greetings as well to help you learn. We will give you a preview of the words below and their images in our Chinese New Year special themed pack.

If you are using our Android app, you may also receive a pop up message in the free version of the app to upgrade to the full version which contains the Chinese New Year pack.

My favourite memories of Chinese New Year is our family dinner. We would eat seafood such as prawns, fish, crab, long-life noodles, roast duck and BBQ pork. It would be a joyous occassion where we would indulge ourselves in food!

These noodles are long and uncut and symbolise a long life in Chinese tradition. It represents an unbroken life. They are often eaten during Chinese New Year or at birthdays.

In the morning we would say “Happy Chinese New Year” (新年快乐) to my parents and my grandma. Here are some Chinese New Year greetings you can practice:

In return, we would receive red envelopes (红包) which contained gifts of money. We would also go to our relatives house and eat Chinese sweets and receive red envelopes from our Aunty and Uncle. Red envelopes are given out to the younger generation by the parents, grandparents, relatives, family friends and close neighbors. The envelopes often have Chinese characters written on them in gold or black with words such as “luck”, “fortune”, and “happiness”.

Our house would also have red banners with Chinese New Year phrases hanging on our front door and back door. These are intended to bring “good luck” to the New Year. Here is how to say the word “red banner” (春联).

Lastly, one of my favorite things to do is go to Chinatown to watch the lion dance. Usually, the local martial arts schools will have troupes that perform the lion dance. It is a sight to see! There will be loud drums playing and the lion will visit each of the stores and restaurants. Hanging from the doorways will be a green cabbage which symbolises fortune (the words for cabbage and fortune sound very similar) and a red envelope. The lion will climb onto another performer’s shoulders or bamboo stilts, eat the cabbage and spit it out, and collect the red envelope. The lion dance symbolises fortune and luck to the business. The word for lion dance is 舞狮 and can be heard below:

Happy Chinese New Year!

Matthew Ho
Native Tongue

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