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Archive for the 'Chinese Holidays' Category

The Magic of Chinese Culture

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China is an old country with thousands of years of history. This rich background has created an enchanting Chinese culture and civilization that attracts nearly 1.5-million tourists in a given year. 

You might have heard of such Chinese traditions as Kung Fu and the Chinese opera…but how much do you really know about them? The more you learn about Chinese culture and traditions, the more profound and fascinating they’ll become to you! 

Language is always a huge component of a country’s culture, so becoming familiar with the culture of China is crucial in mastering the Chinese language. In this guide, we’ll lift the cultural curtain from one of the greatest countries in the world—and trust us, we won’t fail to amaze you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. Values
  2. Philosophies and Religions
  3. Family and Work
  4. Art
  5. Chinese Food
  6. Traditional Holidays
  7. Conclusion

A Chinese Woman Playing a Traditional Chinese Instrument

Let’s learn about all the fun of Chinese culture!

1. Values

Before we dive deeper into the Chinese culture, let’s look at some prominent Chinese cultural values. 

Collectivism is the embodiment of Chinese culture, a pillar around which society functions. The Chinese are also extremely patriotic. Other values the Chinese hold dear are courtesy, modesty, harmony, righteousness, and filial piety. These traditional values can be traced back to Ancient Chinese culture, thousands of years ago. 

For example, you’ll notice that Chinese people never accept compliments directly. While Westerners are more likely to reply with a “thank you,” the Chinese are more likely to express the fact that they don’t deserve such compliments. However, values like these are two sides of the same coin. While they do have their positive aspects, they can potentially prevent individual critical thinking and decrease the effectiveness of communication.

2. Philosophies and Religions

There are as many as 56 ethnic groups in China, with the Han group being the largest. Each group has distinctive traditions and beliefs, especially minority groups such as the Miao. In addition to different cultural beliefs, people may also identify with different religions. The three major religions in China are Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. However, many Chinese people are not accustomed to having a religion. Unlike in many Western countries, it’s not a necessary part of daily life in China. 

Confucianism is the most important philosophy in Chinese culture. It’s integrated into many areas of Chinese life, especially in the field of education. Many Chinese children learn of the founder of Confucianism, 孔子 (Kǒng zǐ), at a young age from the textbooks in school. Confucianism sheds light on ethical and socio-political teachings that help improve personal and governmental morality.

If you’ve watched any Chinese dramas, you may have heard of the term 神仙 (shén xiān). This refers to gods who live above the sky and are in charge of human lives. Different gods have different roles, such as being in charge of dreams, relationships, deaths, the weather, and so much more. This concept is from Daoism, which stresses the importance of all beings co-existing in harmony. 


3. Family and Work

A Mother and Her Two Children Walking Down a Hill Together

No matter how busy you are from work, always try to make some time for family!

Due to the high respect the Chinese have for collectivism, family has always been prioritized over personal needs in China. It’s very common for married couples to live with the husband’s parents under the same roof, which also shows an imbalance in how the Chinese perceive males versus females. 

In China, families are typically small with a maximum of three or four people. This is due to the restrictions set in place regarding birth, under which most families only have one child and some may have two. Traditional Chinese family structures are strictly based on hierarchy, so many children’s lives are arranged under the total control of their parents. Nevertheless, as people are getting more open-minded in modern Chinese society, this phenomenon is gradually improving. 

Filial piety is another paramount trait for a Chinese person to have. This has made many young men—who rarely work far away from their parents—committed to all the responsibilities at home. 

In the Chinese business world, people often mention connections, which are called 关系 (guān xi) in Chinese. This means that networking well is the key to making your business successful in China. People always like to treat their business partners to a meal and discuss business while eating.

4. Art 

Another fascinating aspect of Chinese culture, art serves as a window into the long history of China as well as its modern-day society. Take a look at the most prominent and unique forms of Chinese art with us!

A- Calligraphy – 书法 (shū fǎ)

Chinese Calligraphy Written with Black Ink

Even our daily writing can be a form of art!

Chinese calligraphy refers to a visual art form that emphasizes the writing of Chinese characters using traditional ink brushes. Chinese people typically use a special type of paper called 宣纸 (xuān zhǐ), which is particularly good for use with an ink brush. There are several standardized styles of Chinese calligraphy, and one can also create their own style of writing. If you’re interested, why not grab a sheet of Xuan paper and an ink brush, write some Chinese characters down, and let your imagination go wild?

B- Chinese Opera – 京剧 (jīng jù)

Unlike any other form of theater art, Chinese opera includes a wide variety of other art forms such as acrobatics, martial arts, and makeup arts. Styles can also vary depending on the region, though there are five major types of operas: Beijing, Yue, Huangmei, Cantonese, and Henan. In Chinese operas, the musical and singing styles are often exaggerated and the costumes are extremely expressive. 

C- Martial Arts – 武术 (wǔ shù)

Chinese martial arts are popularly known as Kung Fu, which is 功夫 (gōng fu) in Chinese. You’ve probably seen crazy fighting scenes in Asian movies with all kinds of fighting styles based on religion. However, the ones you often see on screen are way more dramatic than the authentic Kung Fu today in the real world.

D- Ceramics – 陶瓷 (táo cí)

Everyone knows that the word “China” refers not only to the country itself but also to the famous Chinese ceramics. Because porcelain was originally found in China, Chinese ceramics has a long-established history dating back to the Paleolithic era. The art was later perfected during the Ming Dynasty. The most classic Chinese-style ceramics feature a blue and white willow pattern and are often coupled with some kind of dragon design, which is another iconic representation of China.

E- Ancient Poetry – 古诗 (gǔ shī)

Ancient Chinese poetry played an important role in shaping Chinese literature, and more broadly, Chinese culture. Many Chinese people have a habit of expressing their feelings with verses from Ancient Chinese poetry, showing that these poems have integrated into modern Chinese society. 

This old poetry style is also called classic Chinese poetry, which differs from modern poetry which requires less of a rhythm. Back in the old days, poetry was one of the most powerful influences on people’s view of the world. The deep emotions and strong messages conveyed through this poetry could transform one’s view on both personal matters and political matters—an impressive feat for a time when technological media was not an option.

5. Chinese Food

Chinese Buns with Red Stamps on Them

Have you ever tried authentic Chinese food?

The history of Chinese food culture can be traced back to thousands of years ago and has taken different shapes depending on local preferences. Under the profound influence of Chinese history, Chinese people naturally enjoy sharing dishes. Contrary to many other cultures where everyone gets their own dish, the Chinese share large dishes with everyone around the table. Classic Chinese dishes such as hot pot and dim sum are a great representation of this habit. The most common eating utensil is chopsticks.

There are vast differences between Chinese food culture in the northern regions and the southern regions. The eight major Chinese cuisines are:

  • Sichuan
  • Jiangsu
  • Shandong
  • Zhejiang
  • Anhui
  • Cantonese
  • Fujian
  • Hunan

Ginger, garlic, and green onions are staples across all Chinese cuisines. Star anise and chili are also added to certain dishes. Unlike many Western cuisines where the entree is usually meat, the main component of a Chinese meal is always grain-based (rice, noodles, and steam buns). However, meat is also a star in Chinese food culture as Chinese people eat a variety of meats ranging from fish to ducks, rabbits, and goose.

Aside from main meals, tea is also a big part of Chinese people’s diet. In China, tea is more than just a drink: it is what brings people together and inspires conversations. People love to have a cup of tea and just appreciate the complexity of its lingering taste while having in-depth conversations. This is how the Chinese, especially old people, want to spend their relaxing afternoon. Tea is also widely used in Chinese cuisines and medicines.


6. Traditional Holidays 

Each country has unique holidays that represent the country’s traditions and values. In Chinese culture, holidays tend to revolve around family and loved ones. While we can’t cover all of the major holidays here, we will introduce the most important ones.

A- Chinese New Year – 春节 / 新年 (chūn jié / xīn nián)

Firecracker Debris after Chinese New Year

You know what people usually do for the new year: fireworks!

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or 春节 (chūn jié), is just as important in China as Christmas is in Western countries. On Chinese New Year, everyone is reunited with their families to celebrate the beginning of the new year, based on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. 

Families hold a reunion dinner, called 年夜饭 (nián yè fàn), on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Dumplings are usually the staple food for this meal. Traditionally, elders need to give children 红包 (hóng bāo), or red envelopes containing money. Other activities during the Chinese New Year include setting off fireworks, going to temple fairs, and watching the traditional TV show made just for the New Year called 春晚 (chūn wǎn).  

B- Mid-Autumn Festival – 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié)

The Mid-Autumn Festival, called 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) in Chinese, is another important holiday in China. It usually takes place on August 15 (according to the lunar calendar) when the full moon occurs. Mooncakes are a traditional rich pastry served during this holiday, as their appearance is a perfect reflection of the full moon. They’re usually filled with sweet red-bean paste or lotus-seed paste.

C- QingMing Festival – 清明节 (qīng míng jié)

The QingMing Festival, or 清明节 (qīng míng jié), is a unique holiday from Ancient Chinese culture, observed for the purpose of reminiscing the dead. It takes place in April, on the fifteenth day after the Spring Equinox. During the holiday, Chinese families will visit and sweep the tombs of their deceased family members, serve ritual offerings, or even burn joss paper in the hope of providing them a better life in the other world.

D- Dragon Boat Festival – 端午节 (duān wǔ jié)

The Dragon Boat Festival is known as 端午节 (duān wǔ jié) in Chinese, and it’s held on May 5 of the traditional Chinese calendar every year. The festival originated from the death of the heroic poet and minister named Qu Yuan, who committed suicide in the Miluo River due to the shame he felt after the emperor decided to become allies with Qin. Today, in remembrance of Qu Yuan, people have dragon boat races and eat 粽子 (zòng zi), a traditional dish made with sticky rice filling wrapped in bamboo leaves.

7. Conclusion

How many Chinese culture facts have you learned now? Hopefully a ton! The profound and ancient Chinese culture, though, is far deeper than what we’ve introduced here. You’ll need to really immerse yourself to get a real taste of it. 

If you want to experience Chinese culture in a more systematic way, ChineseClass101.com is here to provide you with a wide spectrum of materials taught by professional teachers. Our lesson structures are designed to create a fun and natural Chinese learning experience for you. Why not create your free account today and give it a try?

Happy learning!

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National Single’s Day in China

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Holidays are one of the most essential embodiments of a region’s culture. Some traditional holidays have brewed throughout history, while some modern holidays are indicating the new emerging facets of culture. If you’re a Chinese language learner, you must have heard of some traditional Chinese holidays such as the Chinese New Year. However, today we’re going to introduce an off-the-beaten-path holiday called Singles’ Day.

What? You’ve only heard of Valentine’s Day? Well, now you’re going to open your eyes. China’s Singles’ Day became a fad in recent years, originally in an attempt to celebrate single people. Now, it has evolved into a big shopping holiday

Want to know more about it? No problem. We’ve got everything you need here about China’s Singles’ Day!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?
  2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?
  3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary
  4. Conclusion

1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?

Man lying on a sofa

Tired of being jealous of people who can celebrate Valentine’s Day? Now it’s single people’s turn!

Singles’ Day in Chinese is 光棍节 (guāng gùn jié), which literally means “single stick day.” It’s a single-awareness day among young Chinese people. This non-official national Singles’ Day originated from college students at Nanjing University in 1993 in an attempt to celebrate their pride in singledom as opposed to being part of a couple on Valentine’s Day. 

So when is Chinese Singles’ Day? Because the date 11/11 resembles four single sticks that indicate being solitary, November 11th was agreed to be the proper Singles’ Day. 

Interestingly, it has become trendy for many young people to confess their feelings for people they like on Singles’ Day! Guess why? Because if it ever works out, then they can finally end their journey of being single exactly on Singles’ Day and start a romantic date right after!

Binge-shopping on Singles' Day

2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?

Singles’ Day has now been transformed from an “anti-Valentine’s Day” into the biggest online shopping day worldwide. This idea was triggered by Alibaba back in 2009 and people have embraced it ever since. The Chinese Singles’ Day Alibaba paved the way for also encourages single people’s inner pride by providing them with such perks.

A version of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, also known as the Double Eleven Shopping Day, was created by offering prodigious discounts for twenty-four hours mainly through Alibaba-operated platforms such as Taobao, as well as some other big competitors that integrated Alibaba’s idea. It’s much like American’s Black Friday, but the Singles’ Day shopping festival is more E-commerce-focused and has a larger scale due to the huge Chinese population. 

Now you know why many people can’t wait for the exciting Double Eleven Shopping Day to clean their cart and buy all of their favorite products they’ve been waiting a long time for! If you ever want to get these good deals on China’s Singles’ Day, remember to have some good Wi-Fi service and try to get your desired items exactly at the time the sale starts. Otherwise, your website may crash due to the large demand and you’ll end up getting nothing!

3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary

Love phrases

1- Words about Relationships

Single dog – 单身狗 (dān shēn gǒu)

Meaning: Someone who is single and sad

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我今年还是一只单身狗。

Pinyin: Wǒ jīn nián hái shì yī zhī dān shēn gǒu.

In English: I am still a single dog this year.

A single noble – 单身贵族 (dān shēn guì zú)

Meaning: Someone who is single and proud

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我想一直做个单身贵族,无拘无束。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng yī zhí zuò gè dān shēn guì zú, wú jū wú shù. 

In English: I just wanted to be a single noble all the time and keep myself free.

Single stick – 光棍 (guāng gùn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我已经做了快二十年的光棍,真希望可以快点找到自己的另一半。

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng zuò le kuài èr shí nián de guāng gùn, zhēn xī wàng kě yǐ kuài diǎn zhǎo dào zì jǐ de lìng yī bàn. 

In English: I have been a single stick for almost twenty years; I really hope to find my other half as soon as possible.

Not single anymore – 脱单 (tuō dān)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 今年的我终于不用再过光棍节了,因为我已经脱单啦!

Pinyin: Jīn nián de wǒ zhōng yú bú yòng zài guò guāng gùn jié le, yīn wèi wǒ yǐ jīng tuō dān la! 

In English: Finally, I won’t have to go through Singles’ Day this year, because I am not single anymore!

Couple at a restaurant

Public display of affection (PDA) – 秀恩爱 (xiù ēn ài)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我朋友总是在公共场合秀恩爱。 

Pinyin: Wǒ péng yǒu zǒng shì zài gōng gòng chǎng hé xiù ēn ài.

In English: My friend always likes to show public displays of affection.

Eat dog food – 吃狗粮 (chī gǒu liáng)

Meaning: A single person who suffers from other people’s public displays of affection.

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 看来我今年情人节又要吃狗粮了。

Pinyin: Kàn lái wǒ jīn nián qíng rén jié yòu yào chī gǒu liáng le. 

In English: It seems like I will have to eat dog food again on this year’s Valentine’s Day.

2- Chinese Singles’ Day Shopping Vocabulary

Sign up – 注册 (zhù cè)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我刚刚注册了一个淘宝的账号。

Pinyin: Wǒ gāng gāng zhù cè le yī gè táo bǎo de zhàng hào. 

In English: I just signed up for an account on Taobao.

Coupon – 优惠券 (yōu huì quàn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我终于领到了优惠券,可以用来买我购物车里的东西。

Pinyin: Wǒ zhōng yú lǐng dào le yōu huì quàn, kě yǐ yòng lái mǎi wǒ gòu wù chē lǐ de dōng xi. 

In English: I finally got coupons, which I can use to buy the products in my shopping cart.

Sales sign

Aren’t sales the best things ever?

Sale – 促销 (cù xiāo)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每次我都会等到商场大促销再去购物。 

Pinyin: Měi cì wǒ dōu huì děng dào shāng chǎng dà cù xiāo zài qù gòu wù. 

In English: I always wait to shop until there is a big sale in the mall.

Online shopping – 网上购物 (wǎng shàng gòu wù)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 网上购物真方便。

Pinyin: Wǎng shàng gòu wù zhēn fāng biàn. 

In English: Online shopping is so convenient.

Double Eleven Shopping Day (11/11 Shopping Day) – 双十一购物节 (shuāng shí yī gòu wù jié)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我打算等到了双十一购物节再买购物车里的这些东西。

Pinyin: Wǒ dǎ suàn děng dào le shuāng shí yī gòu wù jiē zài mǎi gòu wù chē lǐ de zhè xiē dōng xi. 

In English: I am going to wait to clear my cart until Double Eleven Shopping Day.

The same style as internet celebrities’ – 网红同款 (wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们店有很多网红同款的宝贝。

Pinyin: Wǒ men diàn yǒu hěn duō wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn de bǎo bèi. 

In English: Lots of products in our store are in the same style as internet celebrities’.

Shipping fees included – 包邮 (bāo yóu)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每个人都很享受买东西包邮这项服务。 

Pinyin: Měi gè rén dōu hěn xiǎng shòu mǎi dōng xi bāo yóu zhè xiàng fú wù. 

In English: Everyone enjoys free shipping when they buy something.

People with smiling boxes on their heads

Remember to give your seller a thumbs-up if you are happy with your purchase.

Positive feedback – 好评 (hǎo píng)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 如果您对我们的服务满意的话,请给我们一个好评吧。

Pinyin: Rú guǒ nín duì wǒ men de fú wù mǎn yì de huà, qǐng gěi wǒ men yī gè hǎo píng ba. 

In English: If you are happy with our service, please give us positive feedback.

Negative feedback – 差评 (chà píng)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我刚从这家店买的东西,几天就坏了,于是我毫不犹豫地给了他们一个差评。 

Pinyin: Wǒ gāng cóng zhè jiā diàn mǎi de dōng xi, jǐ tiān jiù huài le, yú shì wǒ háo bù yóu yù de gěi le tā men yī gè chà píng. 

In English: I just bought a product from this store, and it broke within just a couple of days. Thus I gave them negative feedback without any hesitance.

Store – 店铺 (diàn pù)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这家护肤品店铺的宝贝又便宜又好用。

Pinyin: Zhè jiā hù fū pǐn diàn pù de bǎo bèi yòu pián yí yòu hǎo yòng. 

In English: The skincare products from this store are inexpensive and of good quality.

Limited to one store only – 独家 (dú jiā)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这件衣服是我们店独家设计的。 

Pinyin: Zhè jiàn yī fú shì wǒ men diàn dú jiā shè jì de. 

In English: The design of this piece of clothing is limited to our store only.

New arrival – 新品 (xīn pǐn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 听说这家店会在今年双十一上很多新品呢。 

Pinyin: Tīng shuō zhè jiā diàn huì zài jīn nián shuāng shí yī shàng hěn duō xīn pǐn ne. 

In English: I heard that this store will have many new arrivals on 11/11 this year.

Products – 宝贝 (bǎo bèi)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们家的宝贝质量都很好。 

Pinyin: Wǒ men jiā de bǎo bèi zhì liàng dōu hěn hǎo. 

In English: All the products in our store have great quality.

4. Conclusion

Now that you have a good understanding of China’s Singles’ Day, whether you’re single or not, remember to take advantage of it to get a good deal on this special shopping day! Are there any products or items you’ve been wanting to buy? Now’s the time! 

We also have free Chinese lessons released every week so that you can have a free try! What are you waiting for? Study now on ChineseClass101.com with the most updated and culturally relevant lessons, and the most knowledgeable and energetic hosts, to have the experience of a lifetime!

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儿童节: Celebrating International Children’s Day in China

Do you remember being a kid? Growing up, I always looked forward to a day off from school (and dreaded most days not off school…).

Well, Children’s Day in China is a day off from school that children can look forward to all year long; it’s a holiday filled with fun and excitement for the little ones! In this article, you’ll explore how children and parents celebrate International Children’s Day, pick up some vocab, and learn the Chinese phrase for someone who’s still a child at heart.

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Children’s Day?

International Children’s Day, celebrated in many countries around the world, is a holiday dedicated to honoring and protecting children; it’s also a day for the little ones to have fun and 逃学 (táoxué), or “be off school.”

Let’s briefly look at some Children’s Day history. The holiday is thought to have started as early as 1857, when a pastor living in Massachusetts gave a special sermon for and about children. It wasn’t until 1920, however, that Children’s Day was officially declared a holiday; Turkey was the first country to make this declaration, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made it official in 1929. In 1950, the holiday spread rapidly to a number of other countries.

Children’s Day, as we know it today, started as a means of promoting children’s rights and protesting the killing and harming of children. The United Nations declared this holiday a way to mourn the loss of all the children who died as a result of poisoning from the Nazis during WWII.

Chinese Children’s Day started in 1932, initiated by the Shanghai China Salesian Society.

    → Learn the most important facts about Chinese Society with us, and be prepared for your visit or further studies!

2. When is Children’s Day in China?

A Group of Children Raising Up Their Hands

Each year, International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1. This is when the majority of countries celebrate this holiday, though many countries have their own Children’s Day celebrations on other dates. For example, the United Nations celebrates World Children Day on November 20.

3. Chinese Children’s Day Celebrations

A Bunch of Different-Colored Balloons

Today, Children’s Day in China is a time for children to feel 欢乐 (huānlè), or “happy,” and loved. Most children get the day off school, though schools do put on fun performances or take children on field trips, where they can see a movie or engage in other exciting activities. Only children under the age of fourteen partake in Children’s Day activities.

Some of the most popular Children’s Day traditions in China include taking one’s child to the 公园 (gōngyuán), or “park,” making their favorite snack or dinner, and giving them a 礼物 (lǐwù), or “gift.” Some common gifts include candy, balloons, and toys.

The most important thing, though, is the opportunity for parents to show their children how much they love and care about them. Being loved really is the best feeling, isn’t it?

4. The Children at Heart

Did you know there’s a Chinese phrase for adults who are really children at heart? It’s 童心未泯 (tóngxīn wèi mǐn), which means “to be a child at heart.”

It’s no question that life in today’s world is hectic, crazy, and even full of sorrow at times. Children and adults alike are experiencing lots of stress and anxiety on a day-to-day basis. This makes the significance of being able to maintain a childlike outlook really shine through!

So next time you want to indulge in a favorite childhood dessert, run around outside in the grass, or act silly with your bestie, why not go for it? 😉

Do you consider yourself a child at heart? Or maybe an old soul? Both?

5. Essential Vocabulary for Children’s Day

Pretzels, Popcorn, and Potato Chips

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here are the essential words and phrases to remember for Children’s Day in China!

  • 零食 (língshí) — “snack”
  • 公园 (gōngyuán) — “park”
  • 糖果 (tángguǒ) — “candy”
  • 礼物 (lǐwù) — “gift”
  • 儿童 (értóng) — “children”
  • 气球 (qìqiú) — “balloon”
  • 家长 (jiāzhǎng) — “parent”
  • 天真 (tiānzhēn) — “innocent”
  • 逃学 (táoxué) — “be off school”
  • 欢乐 (huānlè) — “happy”

If you want to hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase listed above, visit our Chinese vocabulary list for Children’s Day.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Children’s Day in China with us, and that you took away some valuable information on Chinese culture.

Do you celebrate Children’s Day in your country? If you have kids, what activities do you do together on this holiday? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re itching to continue learning about Chinese culture and the language, check out the following articles on ChineseClass101.com:

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Good luck, stay safe, and Happy Children’s Day!

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International Labor Day: China’s Travel Holiday

On International Labor Day, China is known for its large number of travelers and tourists, massive sales, and other fun events. In this article, you’ll learn more about the Labor Day holiday, what to expect in China during this time, and some useful vocabulary!

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Labor Day?

You’re most likely familiar with International Labor Day. This is a special 假日 (jiàrì), or “holiday,” weekend during which workers and employees are allowed to take a 假期 (jiàqī), or “vacation,” from work. But how did it get started?

Labor Day History

Labor Day got its start in the United States in 1882. There’s some debate as to who came up with the idea, but in 1894, then-President of the U.S., Grover Cleveland, made it a national holiday.

It wasn’t until 1919 that people in China started celebrating Labor Day, and it didn’t become a national holiday here until 1949. When this holiday began in China, it was simply a day to honor and show appreciation for workers; over time, Labor Day has become more associated with time off work and fun activities.

5-1 Golden Week

For a while, the Labor Day celebration in China lasted for an entire week. The Chinese labeled it “5-1 Golden Week,” and this long holiday became a time of mass 旅游 (lǚyóu), or “travel.”

Unfortunately, in 2008, the Chinese government decided to transform this holiday into only a one-day celebration. This is because they added a few more holidays to the Chinese calendar:

Of course, depending on what day of the week Labor Day actually takes place, people may be able to take a full weekend off.

2. When is Labor Day in China?

A Man Riding His Bike in a Field with His Dog

Each year, Labor Day takes place on May 1. This is when most countries celebrate the holiday, with the exception of the United States, which celebrates on the first Monday of September for a full Labor Day weekend.

3. Labor Day Traditions & Celebrations

On Labor Day, Chinese workers and employees have the day off as the majority of businesses are closed. As mentioned earlier, during the Labor Day holiday, China is abuzz with travel as people enjoy a rest from their 劳动者 (láodòngzhě), or “labor.” This is one of the heaviest traveling times in the country, with hundreds of millions of tourists across the country!

Other Labor Day events include shopping and going out with family or friends. This is a great time to take advantage of a massive 打折 (dǎzhé), or “sale,” because many shops and restaurants see this as an opportunity to boost sales.

Those exploring the streets of China during Labor Day are likely to hear people playing music and see an array of lovely flower decorations. Also be prepared for crowds and the hustle-and-bustle that comes with them. Many people choose to stay at home (or close to home) in order to avoid the craziness of holiday travel!

4. Japanese Golden Week

Did you know that Japan was the only other Asian country with a 5-1 Golden Week?

Unlike China, the 5-1 Golden Week still exists in Japan. This is a period of time from late April to early March when a number of holidays take place, including Labor Day.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Labor Day in China

A Couple Going on Vacation Together

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Labor Day!

  • 员工 (yuángōng) — “employee” [n.]
  • 打折 (dǎzhé) — “sale” [n.]
  • 周末 (zhōumò) — “weekend” [n.]
  • 假期 (jiàqī) — “vacation” [n.]
  • 旅游 (lǚyóu) — “travel” [n.]
  • 工人 (gōng rén) — “worker” [n.]
  • 工作 (gōngzuò) — “job” [n.]
  • 劳动节 (Láodòng jié) — “Labor Day” [n.]
  • 职业 (zhíyè) — “career” [n.]
  • 劳动者 (láodòngzhě) — “labor” [n.]
  • 工会 (gōnghuì) — “union” [n.]
  • 工作 (gōngzuò) — “work” [n.]
  • 权利 (quánlì) — “right” [n.]
  • 假日 (jiàrì) — “holiday” [n.]
  • 野餐 (yěcān) — “picnic” [n.]

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Chinese Labor Day vocabulary list!

6. Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Labor Day in China with us, and that you took away some valuable information.

Do you celebrate Labor Day in your country? If so, how? We look forward to hearing from you!

If you’re curious about Chinese culture or the language, ChineseClass101.com has tons of fun and informative lessons on a variety of topics. Free vocabulary lists, grammar lessons, and insightful blog posts like this one are just the beginning of what we have to offer the aspiring (or returning) Chinese learner. Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning with us.

Happy Labor Day! 🙂

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Celebrating National Tree Planting Day in China

On 国际植树节 (guójì zhíshù jié), or International Arbor Day, China puts a special emphasis on the importance of caring for the environment. Volunteers from all over the country spend the day planting trees, and many people enjoy doing outdoor activities.

In this article, you’ll learn all about China’s National Tree Planting Day, from its origins to modern-day observations.

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1. What is Arbor Day?

Arbor Day is formally established as a national tree-planting campaign. As people become more aware of how important it is to protect the environment, they also realize the significance of National Tree Planting Day.

Since the 1980s, the Chinese people have voluntarily planted more than 35 billion trees. China is currently conducting six strategic forestry projects, including:

  • Windbreak construction in the “Three Norths” (northwest China, north China, and northeast China) and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River
  • Restoration of farmland to forests
  • Construction of wildlife reserves
  • Protection of natural forests

The forest coverage rate in China rose from 8.6% in the early periods of the PRC to 16.5% at the end of 2000. For more recent estimates, check out this page on China’s forest coverage on Statista.com.

2. When is National Tree Planting Day?

Chinese Arbor Day Takes Place in March

The date of Arbor Day in modern China has changed three times over the years.

Because of the tradition of planting willows on Tomb Sweeping Day, during the early periods of the Republic of China, Tomb Sweeping Day served as Arbor Day. In order to commemorate Sun Yat-sen, who passed away on March 12, 1925, the Nationalist Government changed Arbor Day to March 12. After the People’s Republic of China was established, March 12 was recognized as Arbor Day at the suggestion of Deng Xiaoping.

Today, Arbor Day still takes place on this date in 三月 (sān yuè), or “March.”

3. Chinese Tree Planting Day Observations

A Group of People Working Together to Plant Trees

On Tree Planting Day, China hosts a range of widely organized tree-planting activities. Usually, universities, middle schools, elementary schools, and state-owned enterprises organize students or employees to plant trees in the suburbs. By planting seedlings, fertilizing, and watering, people learn to appreciate reforestation and further become aware of the environment in the process.

In China, Tree Planting Day has become such an important holiday that, in recent years, the “Internet Trees Planting” system has become popular. This system was initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme, China Population Welfare Foundation, and China Green Foundation. By simply logging onto the official website and clicking, people can donate one tree.

远足爬山 (yuǎnzú páshān), or “hiking and climbing,” is another popular way to observe International Arbor Day in China. Getting outside in the fresh air is a great way to internalize the importance of caring for the 环境 (huánjìng), or “environment.”

4. Sun Yat-sen

Do you know which politician in modern China first advocated reforestation and promoted the establishment of Arbor Day in China?

In China’s modern history, Sun Yat-sen was the first to realize the importance of forests and to advocate planting trees. The Nationalist Government set the day of his death to be Arbor Day.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Tree Planting Day in China

A Group of People Hiking in the Mountains

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Arbor Day in China!

  • 志愿者 (zhìyuànzhě) — “volunteer”
  • 森林 (sēnlín) — “forest”
  • 树 (shù) — “tree”
  • 种植 (zhòng zhí) — “plant”
  • 三月 (sān yuè) — “March”
  • 环境 (huánjìng) — “environment”
  • 国际植树节 (guójì zhíshù jié) — “International Arbor Day”
  • 绿化 (lǜ huà) — “afforest”
  • 远足爬山 (yuǎnzú páshān) — “hiking and climbing”
  • 树苗 (shù miáo) — “sapling”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Chinese Arbor Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Arbor Day in China with us. Do you celebrate Arbor Day in your country? Have you ever planted trees with your community? We look forward to hearing from you!

If you would like to learn more about Chinese culture and holidays, you may find the following pages on ChineseClass101.com useful:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Chinese culture or the language, know that ChineseClass101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun lessons for learners at every level, there’s something for everyone!

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Celebrating the Magical Chinese Lantern Festival

The Chinese Lantern Festival celebration is one of China’s most exciting and traditional holidays, and it’s certainly an experience you don’t want to miss out on! Often labeled “Chinese Valentine’s Day,” the Lantern Festival is a time of getting together with family and loved ones and enjoying the beautiful lantern displays.

In this article, you’ll learn all about this almost magical Chinese Lantern Festival, from its traditional meaning to modern-day celebrations.

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1. What is the Lantern Festival?

It’s said that in ancient times, the Lantern Festival, or 元宵节 (Yuánxiāo Jié), played a similar role to Valentine’s Day. This is because, in ancient times, young girls in China were usually not allowed to go outdoors, but the Lantern Festival was an exception. It was a great opportunity for single young people to meet each other, and it wasn’t uncommon for lovers to reunite with each other.

While this romantic connotation has lessened over time, the Lantern Festival is still a major holiday in China and is lots of fun for everyone involved!

2. Chinese Lantern Festival Dates

Red Paper Lanterns for Chinese Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is celebrated each year on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar, or 正月十五 (Zhēngyuè Shíwǔ) in Chinese. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2020: February 8
  • 2021: February 26
  • 2022: February 15
  • 2023: February 5
  • 2024: February 24
  • 2025: February 12
  • 2026: March 3
  • 2027: February 20
  • 2028: February 9
  • 2029: February 27

3. Most Common Chinese Lantern Festival Traditions

There’s an old saying that “food is the paramount necessity of the people.” During the Chinese Lantern Festival, food is a huge deal. When we talk about the Lantern Festival, we can’t forget to mention the tradition of eating 汤圆 (tāngyuán), or Yuanxiao (which, as you may recall, is also eaten during the Winter Solstice).

Yuanxiao is a type of dessert made of glutinous rice with or without filling. Some common fillings include black sesame, bean paste, sugar, and hawthorn. There are various ways to make Yuanxiao, including boiling, sautéing, deep-frying, and steaming.

Glutinous rice balls are called Yuanxiao in the North, while in the South, they’re called Tangyuan. There are slight differences in making Yuanxiao and Tangyuan.

In Beijing, Yuanxiao is best characterized by its filling. People first prepare the dough with the filling and then put it in a machine. The machine gradually shapes the dough into a ball, and it’s a little bit like making a snowball. However, in the South, making Tangyuan is quite similar to making dumplings; they’re both molded and shaped by hand. Making good Tangyuan requires glutinous rice flour that is of high quality because it’s not easy to keep them fresh.

Besides eating, of course, there’s also playing. Popular traditional activities for the Lantern Festival include going to the fair, lighting lanterns, and guessing riddles. The fair is an open market held near a temple or in a park. You can taste traditional snacks from different areas of China and enjoy various folk performances.

As its name suggests, lighting lanterns involves lighting and hanging various types of beautiful lanterns. Guessing riddles also originated from lighting lanterns. People write riddles on the lanterns, and visitors can guess the answer when they pass by. At the fair, the first person who successfully solves the riddle may receive a prize.

During this holiday, you can not only eat delicious Yuanxiao, but you can also enjoy the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival lion dances, called 舞狮 (wǔshī). Dancers hide themselves in a lion costume, then roll up and down and move left and right to imitate a lion, which is very interesting to see. There are also Chinese Lantern Festival dragon dances, though the lion dances tend to be more popular.

4. Chinese Love Stories

Chinese Man Hanging Lantern with Grandson

How many people through the ages have looked toward the sky at night, hungering for love, and imagining their own future? And how many writers through the ages have wanted to express the genuine feelings of being human?

Some people say that Chinese people aren’t very romantic by nature. However, some of the most beautiful love stories come from Chinese culture and folklore.

Two of the most popular Chinese love stories are those of the Butterfly Lovers and of the Cowherd and the Weaver. Why not read up on these yourself?

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for the Chinese Lantern Festival

Chinese Dragon Dance Being Performed

Are you ready to review some of the Chinese vocabulary words and phrases we saw in this article? Here’s a list of the most essential vocabulary for this holiday!

  • 舞狮 (wǔshī) — lion dance
  • 灯笼 (dēnglong) — paper lantern
  • 舞龙 (wǔlóng) — dragon dance
  • 花灯 (huādēng) — colorful lantern
  • 月圆之夜 (yuèyuán zhī yè) — full moon night
  • 汤圆 (tāngyuán) — glutinous rice ball
  • 挂灯笼 (guà dēnglong) — hang lantern
  • 元宵灯会 (yuánxiāo dēnghuì) — Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival
  • 猜灯谜 (cāi dēngmí) — solve riddles that are written on lanterns
  • 正月十五 (Zhēngyuè Shíwǔ) — the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar
  • 元宵节 (Yuánxiāo Jié) — Lantern Festival

To hear the pronunciation of each vocabulary word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Chinese Lantern Festival vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Lantern Festival is an essential component of Chinese culture, and it provides flavorful insight into the history of her people. We hope that you learned some new Chinese Lantern Festival facts with us, and gained valuable insight along the way.

Do you want to have a Chinese Lantern Festival experience for yourself? Is there a Valentine’s Day celebration in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Chinese holidays, you may find the following pages useful:

And for more information on Chinese culture in general, check out these pages:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Chinese culture or wanting to study the language, know that ChineseClass101.com is the best place to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of lessons for learners at every level, there’s something for everyone!

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Dōngzhì Festival: Celebrate Winter Solstice in China

The Dōngzhì Festival in China, also called the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival, is one of the most important and popular holidays in China. Some argue it’s actually more important than the Chinese New Year!

In this article, you’ll learn about Chinese Winter Solstice traditions and why this holiday was significant in the past.

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1. What is the Winter Solstice?

Essentially, the Chinese Winter Solstice is a time to prepare for the New Year and spend time with family and loved ones.

In Chinese tradition, there’s a saying that says Winter Solstice is more important than the Lunar New Year. That is because ancient China was an agricultural community, and cultivation had to be done according to the season.

Why do the Chinese celebrate the Winter Solstice?

Chinese people observed astronomy and the laws of nature, and found that the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. After that day, the daytime gradually becomes longer, and spring comes as winter fades away. Hence, the start of a new year actually starts on Winter Solstice instead of the Lunar New Year.

As a matter of fact, in the past, Winter Solstice was said to have been New Year’s Day. No wonder that in the south of the Yangtze River, there’s a saying: “You will be one year older after having the Winter Solstice dinner.”

2. When is the Dōngzhì Festival?

Frosty Winter Scene

Each year, the Winter Solstice occurs somewhere between December 21 and 23.

3. How the Chinese Celebrate Winter Solstice

Family Getting Together

1- Chinese Winter Solstice Traditional Food

Okay, so first things first: What do people eat on Winter Solstice?

People in the North eat dumplings during the Winter Solstice. Dumplings are a very popular folk food with a long history in China. There’s a saying that “there is no better food than dumplings.”

In many places, there’s a custom of eating lamb during the Winter Solstice Festival. Since China enters its coldest time after Winter Solstice, traditional Chinese doctors regard lamb as a food that can help people tonify Yang (an aphrodisiac effect) and make the body strong.

Eating Tangyuan is another traditional custom for Winter Solstice and is particularly popular in southern China. Tangyuan is also called Tangtuan (gnocchi) or Tuanzi (dumpling) and is a dessert made from glutinous rice flour. The character yuan (round) indicates reunion and that something is perfectly successful. There’s a saying among the people that “you will be one year older once you eat Tangyuan.”

2- Counting Nine

There’s also the custom of “counting nine.” In the lunar calendar, ancient Chinese people created a way to count days in winter: starting from the Winter Solstice day that begins with the “first nine,” to the “ninth nine.” There’s an old saying: “During the time of the first and second nine, you don’t put your hands out of your coat; on the third and fourth nine, you can skate on the ice…” Finally, after eighty-one days, the cold winter is gone.

4. Dumplings and Frostbite

During the Chinese Winter Solstice, dumplings are a longtime favorite food! Do you know why the custom of eating dumplings was handed down in northern China?

Eating dumplings during the Winter Solstice Festival is to commemorate an ancient doctor named Zhang Zhongjing, who is thought to have invented dumplings. Because the dumpling soup he made had successfully cured the frostbitten ears of many people, a saying was born: “If you don’t eat dumplings at Winter Solstice, your ear will be frostbitten.”

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for the Chinese Winter Solstice

Glutinous Rice Ball

Here’s the essential Chinese vocabulary you should know for the Chinese Winter Solstice!

  • 馄饨 (húntun) — Wonton dumpling
  • 冬天 (dōngtiān) — Winter
  • 合家团聚 (héjiā tuánjù) — Family reunion
  • 糯米团子 (nuòmǐ tuánzi) — Glutinous rice ball
  • 桂花酒酿圆子 (guìhuā jiǔniàng yuánzǐ) — Glutinous rice balls in sweet osmanthus and glutinous rice wine
  • 和家人吃冬至团圆饭 (hé jiārén chī dōngzhì tuányuánfàn) — Have dinner with family on Winter Solstice evening
  • 午夜阳光 (wǔyè yángguāng) — Midnight sun
  • 极夜 (jí yè) — Polar night
  • 冬至 (Dōng Zhì) — Winter Solstice Festival
  • 冬至大如年 (Dōng Zhì dà rú nián) — Winter Solstice is more important than Chinese New Year

To hear the pronunciation of each vocabulary word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Chinese Winter Solstice vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the Chinese Winter Solstice holiday? Are there any special winter-related holidays in your country? Let us know about them in the comments!

Chinese culture is so rich and full. If you’re interested in learning more about China and her people, or if you want more wintery Chinese words, you may find the following pages useful:

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Happy Chinese learning, and stay warm out there! 🙂

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How to Celebrate Single’s Day in China: You’re not alone!

Holidays are one of the most essential embodiments of a region’s culture. Some traditional holidays have brewed throughout history, while some modern holidays are indicating the new emerging facets of culture. If you’re a Chinese language learner, you must have heard of some traditional Chinese holidays such as the Chinese New Year. However, today we’re going to introduce an off-the-beaten-path holiday called Singles’ Day.

What? You’ve only heard of Valentine’s Day? Well, now you’re going to open your eyes. China’s Singles’ Day became a fad in recent years, originally in an attempt to celebrate single people. Now, it has evolved into a big shopping holiday.

Want to know more about it? No problem. We’ve got everything you need here about China’s Singles’ Day!

Tired of Being Jealous of People Who Can Celebrate Valentine’s Day? Now It’s You Single People’s Turn!

1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?

Singles’ Day in Chinese is 光棍节 (guāng gùn jié), which literally means “single stick day.” It’s a single-awareness day among young Chinese people. This non-official national Singles’ Day originated from college students at Nanjing University in 1993 in an attempt to celebrate their pride in singledom as opposed to being part of a couple on Valentine’s Day.

So when is Chinese Singles’ Day? Because the date 11/11 resembles four single sticks that indicate being solitary, November 11th was agreed to be the proper Singles’ Day.

Interestingly, it has become trendy for many young people to confess their feelings for people they like on Singles’ Day! Guess why? Because if it ever works out, then they can finally end their journey of being single exactly on Singles’ Day and start a romantic date right after!

Binge-shopping on Singles’ Day!

2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?

Singles’ Day has now been transformed from an “anti-Valentine’s Day” into the biggest online shopping day worldwide. This idea was triggered by Alibaba back in 2009 and people have embraced it ever since. The Chinese Singles’ Day Alibaba paved the way for also encourages single people’s inner pride by providing them with such perks.

A version of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, also known as the Double Eleven Shopping Day, was created by offering prodigious discounts for twenty-four hours mainly through Alibaba-operated platforms such as Taobao, as well as some other big competitors that integrated Alibaba’s idea. It’s much like American’s Black Friday, but the Singles’ Day shopping festival is more E-commerce-focused and has a larger scale due to the huge Chinese population.

Now you know why many people can’t wait for the exciting Double Eleven Shopping Day to clean their cart and buy all of their favorite products they’ve been waiting a long time for! If you ever want to get these good deals on China’s Singles’ Day, remember to have some good Wi-Fi service and try to get your desired items exactly at the time the sale starts. Otherwise, your website may crash due to the large demand and you’ll end up getting nothing!

3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary

1- Words about Relationships

Single dog – 单身狗 (dān shēn gǒu)

Meaning: Someone who is single and sad
Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我今年还是一只单身狗。
Pinyin: Wǒ jīn nián hái shì yī zhī dān shēn gǒu.
In English: I am still a single dog this year.

A single noble – 单身贵族 (dān shēn guì zú)

Meaning: Someone who is single and proud
Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我想一直做个单身贵族,无拘无束。
Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng yī zhí zuò gè dān shēn guì zú, wú jū wú shù.
In English: I just wanted to be a single noble all the time and keep myself free.

Single stick – 光棍 (guāng gùn)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我已经做了快二十年的光棍,真希望可以快点找到自己的另一半。
Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng zuò le kuài èr shí nián de guāng gùn, zhēn xī wàng kě yǐ kuài diǎn zhǎo dào zì jǐ de lìng yī bàn.
In English: I have been a single stick for almost twenty years; I really hope to find my other half as soon as possible.

Not single anymore – 脱单 (tuō dān)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 今年的我终于不用再过光棍节了,因为我已经脱单啦!
Pinyin: Jīn nián de wǒ zhōng yú bú yòng zài guò guāng gùn jié le, yīn wèi wǒ yǐ jīng tuō dān la!
In English: Finally, I won’t have to go through Singles’ Day this year, because I am not single anymore!

Wine Toast

Public display of affection (PDA) – 秀恩爱 (xiù ēn ài)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我朋友总是在公共场合秀恩爱。
Pinyin: Wǒ péng yǒu zǒng shì zài gōng gòng chǎng hé xiù ēn ài.
In English: My friend always likes to show public displays of affection.

Eat dog food – 吃狗粮 (chī gǒu liáng)

Meaning: A single person who suffers from other people’s public displays of affection.
Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 看来我今年情人节又要吃狗粮了。
Pinyin: Kàn lái wǒ jīn nián qíng rén jié yòu yào chī gǒu liáng le.
In English: It seems like I will have to eat dog food again on this year’s Valentine’s Day.

2- Chinese Singles’ Day Shopping Vocabulary

Sign up – 注册 (zhù cè)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我刚刚注册了一个淘宝的账号。
Pinyin: Wǒ gāng gāng zhù cè le yī gè táo bǎo de zhàng hào.
In English: I just signed up for an account on Taobao.

Coupon – 优惠券 (yōu huì quàn)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我终于领到了优惠券,可以用来买我购物车里的东西。
Pinyin: Wǒ zhōng yú lǐng dào le yōu huì quàn, kě yǐ yòng lái mǎi wǒ gòu wù chē lǐ de dōng xi.
In English: I finally got coupons, which I can use to buy the products in my shopping cart.

Aren’t Sales the Best Things Ever?

Sale – 促销 (cù xiāo)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 每次我都会等到商场大促销再去购物。
Pinyin: Měi cì wǒ dōu huì děng dào shāng chǎng dà cù xiāo zài qù gòu wù.
In English: I always wait to shop until there is a big sale in the mall.

Online shopping – 网上购物 (wǎng shàng gòu wù)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 网上购物真方便。
Pinyin: Wǎng shàng gòu wù zhēn fāng biàn.
In English: Online shopping is so convenient.

Double Eleven Shopping Day (11/11 Shopping Day) – 双十一购物节 (shuāng shí yī gòu wù jié)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我打算等到了双十一购物节再买购物车里的这些东西。
Pinyin: Wǒ dǎ suàn děng dào le shuāng shí yī gòu wù jiē zài mǎi gòu wù chē lǐ de zhè xiē dōng xi.
In English: I am going to wait to clear my cart until Double Eleven Shopping Day.

The same style as internet celebrities’ – 网红同款 (wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我们店有很多网红同款的宝贝。
Pinyin: Wǒ men diàn yǒu hěn duō wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn de bǎo bèi.
In English: Lots of products in our store are in the same style as internet celebrities’.

Shipping fees included – 包邮 (bāo yóu)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 每个人都很享受买东西包邮这项服务。
Pinyin: Měi gè rén dōu hěn xiǎng shòu mǎi dōng xi bāo yóu zhè xiàng fú wù.
In English: Everyone enjoys free shipping when they buy something.

Remember to Give Your Seller a Thumbs-Up If You Are Happy with Your Purchase.

Positive feedback – 好评 (hǎo píng)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 如果您对我们的服务满意的话,请给我们一个好评吧。
Pinyin: Rú guǒ nín duì wǒ men de fú wù mǎn yì de huà, qǐng gěi wǒ men yī gè hǎo píng ba.
In English: If you are happy with our service, please give us positive feedback.

Negative feedback – 差评 (chà píng)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我刚从这家店买的东西,几天就坏了,于是我毫不犹豫地给了他们一个差评。
Pinyin: Wǒ gāng cóng zhè jiā diàn mǎi de dōng xi, jǐ tiān jiù huài le, yú shì wǒ háo bù yóu yù de gěi le tā men yī gè chà píng.
In English: I just bought a product from this store, and it broke within just a couple of days. Thus I gave them negative feedback without any hesitance.

Store – 店铺 (diàn pù)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 这家护肤品店铺的宝贝又便宜又好用。
Pinyin: Zhè jiā hù fū pǐn diàn pù de bǎo bèi yòu pián yí yòu hǎo yòng.
In English: The skincare products from this store are inexpensive and of good quality.

Limited to one store only – 独家 (dú jiā)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 这件衣服是我们店独家设计的。
Pinyin: Zhè jiàn yī fú shì wǒ men diàn dú jiā shè jì de.
In English: The design of this piece of clothing is limited to our store only.

New arrival – 新品 (xīn pǐn)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 听说这家店会在今年双十一上很多新品呢。
Pinyin: Tīng shuō zhè jiā diàn huì zài jīn nián shuāng shí yī shàng hěn duō xīn pǐn ne.
In English: I heard that this store will have many new arrivals on 11/11 this year.

Products – 宝贝 (bǎo bèi)

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我们家的宝贝质量都很好。
Pinyin: Wǒ men jiā de bǎo bèi zhì liàng dōu hěn hǎo.
In English: All the products in our store have great quality.

Conclusion

Now that you have a good understanding of China’s Singles’ Day, whether you’re single or not, remember to take advantage of it to get a good deal on this special shopping day! Are there any products or items you’ve been wanting to buy? Now’s the time!

We also have free Chinese lessons released every week so that you can have a free try! What are you waiting for? Study now on ChineseClass101.com with the most updated and culturally relevant lessons, and the most knowledgeable and energetic hosts, to have the experience of a lifetime!

The Chinese Double Ninth Festival

Each year, the Chinese celebrate the age-old Double Ninth Festival, which is sometimes referred to as the Chongyang Festival or Senior Day. Few Chinese holidays reach as far back into history as this one does, with origins in the Han Dynasty. Further, the Double Ninth Festival reflects many of the values and beliefs most dear to the Chinese people, such as respect for ancestors and the elderly.

In this article, you’ll learn all about the Double Ninth Festival in Chinese culture, including its most notable traditions. As any successful language-learner can tell you, understanding a country’s culture is a vital step in mastering the language. And at ChineseClass101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative, including this one!

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1. What is the Double Ninth Festival?

The Double Ninth Festival (Chongyang) originated from ancient times, as early as the Han Dynasty, when people celebrated the autumn harvest for the year. Essentially, the Double Ninth Festival is a day for Chinese people to avoid bad luck (we’ll explain how later) and to show respect and honor toward one’s ancestors.

According to the Double Ninth Festival story, there was once a man who was warned about danger to his village. He listened to the warning, escaped into the mountains, and thus survived the village catastrophe. This explains the focus on ascending heights to avoid ill fortune.

2. When is the Double Ninth Festival?

Ninth Day of Ninth Lunar Month

The date of Double Ninth Day is on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, hence its name. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: October 7
  • 2020: October 25
  • 2021: October 14
  • 2022: October 4
  • 2023: October 23
  • 2024: October 11
  • 2025: October 29
  • 2026: October 18
  • 2027: October 8
  • 2028: October 26

3. Double Ninth Festival Celebrations & Traditions

During the crisp autumn days, what interesting celebrations do people hold? Well, Double Ninth Festival traditions are many.

Traditionally, the customs of the Double Ninth Festival include ascending heights, enjoying chrysanthemums, and drinking. “Ascending heights” is an elegant way to say hiking. In many northern areas, autumn is the best time to be outdoors, with clear skies and crisp air. Hence, many people choose to go out, hike, and enjoy the views.

At the Double Ninth Festival, people not only ascend heights, but also eat Chongyang cake. In Chinese, “cake” (gao) is a homonym of “height” (gao), which has an auspicious sense of rising step-by-step.

The chrysanthemum symbolizes longevity and is one of the most popular flowers in China. There has long been a tradition of enjoying chrysanthemums at the Double Ninth Festival. Hence, the Double Ninth Festival is also called the Chrysanthemum Festival. In fact, the whole ninth lunar month is the month of chrysanthemums. Many flower markets and botanical gardens hold chrysanthemum exhibitions one after another, attracting tourists to enjoy and take photos.

At the Double Ninth Festival, people drink chrysanthemum wine, which is made from chrysanthemums and glutinous rice. It’s said that chrysanthemum wine can protect eyesight and prevent aging. If you like drinking, you may want to try it.

In recent years, the Double Ninth Festival has also been called the Elderly Festival since, in Chinese, “nine” is a homonym of “long,” which represents long life. Thus, people usually commemorate their ancestors or organize activities to show respect to the elderly on this day. For example, many primary schools and middle schools take students to work as volunteers in nursing homes, and some medical centers also offer free health consultations to the elderly.

4. Why is it Called Chongyang?

Paying

Why do we call Double Ninth Day Chongyang in Chinese?

In ancient China, numbers were subdivided into two opposing types: Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine). Since nine is a Yang number and the ninth day of the ninth lunar month has two Yang numbers, it is called Chong (double) Yang.

5. Essential Vocabulary for the Double Ninth Festival

Chrysanthemum Flower

Here’s the essential vocabulary you need to know for the Chinese Double Ninth Festival!

  • 菊花 (júhuā) — chrysanthemum
  • 登高 (dēnggāo) — climb a mountain
  • 郊游 (jiāoyóu) — picnic
  • 风筝 (fēngzhēng) — kite
  • 香 (xiāng) — incense
  • 菊花酒 (júhuā jiǔ) — chrysanthemum wine
  • 重阳糕 (Chóngyáng gāo) — Chung Yeung rice cake
  • 久 (jiǔ) — long time
  • 祭祖 (jìzǔ) — pay respect at ancestors’ grave
  • 九月九 (jiǔyuè jiǔ) — the ninth day of the ninth lunar month
  • 重阳节 (Chóngyáng jié) — Double Ninth Festival

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and accompanied by relevant images, check out our Double Ninth Festival vocabulary list!

How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Master Chinese

What are your thoughts on the Double Ninth Festival in China? Is there any similar holiday in your country? Let us know in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you.

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Mao Zedong & The Communist Party of China: CPC Founding Day

With two important festivals celebrated on the same day, no wonder this day bustles with colored flags fluttering and is full of excitement! What are the activities involved in this celebration, and who was Mao Zedong?

Let’s take a look at these two festivals to help you better understand the Chinese culture as a whole. After all, sound cultural knowledge is one of the most important steps in mastering a language. And at ChineseClass101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What are CPC Founding Day & Hong Kong’s Return Anniversary?

July 1 is the anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.

In July, 1921, communist organizations from different areas of China sent their representatives to Shanghai to hold the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and declared the establishment of the CCP. Mao Zedong, the founder of Communist Party of China, suggested setting July 1 as the anniversary of the CCP’s “birthday,” which is usually called the “Party’s Birthday.”

Also, July 1 is the anniversary of the Return of Hong Kong, commonly known as the “Ninety Seven Return,” (or “the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong,” or “Hong Kong handover“), and mainland China refers to this day as Hong Kong returning to its motherland.

These all refer to the historical event when the United Kingdom handed the sovereignty of Hong Kong back to the People’s Republic of China. This Hong Kong return to China is one of the most significant aspects of China’s history.

What was the Cultural Revolution in China?

The Cultural Revolution in China largely had to do with promoting Maoism and finding ways to preserve Chinese communism. So, when was the Cultural Revolution in China?

Beginning in 1966, the end of the Cultural Revolution in China was in 1976. In 1976, Deng Xiaoping worked with reformers to undue much of the Maoist policies within the Party.

2. CPC Founding Day & Hong Kong Return Anniversary Date

Man Speaking in Front of People

Each year, the Chinese observe CPC Founding Day and Anniversary of the Return of Hong Kong on July 1.

3. Reading Practice: How is CPC Day Celebrated?

How does China celebrate these two events? Read the Simplified Chinese text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

这一节日虽然政治气氛浓厚,由于举国上下共同庆祝的气氛的烘托,也成为中国节日文化的一部分。这一天,电视台会播放大型庆祝晚会。也会有许多回顾建党历史的纪录片、电视剧等影视作品接连上映,带领人们重温历史,展望未来。

“一国两制”是一个在中国的电视新闻上出现频率颇高的词汇,即”一个国家,两种制度”。意思是在一个中国的前提下,香港、澳门作为特别行政区保持原有的制度和生活方式长期不变。”一国两制”是前中国领导人邓小平为了实现中国统一的目标而创造、提出的方针。

Although July 1 originated from political events, the celebrations across the whole country have made it part of China’s holiday culture. On July 1, a celebratory evening party is broadcast on TV. Documentaries, films, and TV series regarding the CCP will also be on show to tell people about the past and to draw pictures of the future.

Yi Guo Liang Zhi is a phrase that frequently appears in TV news, and it means “one country, two political systems.” Hong Kong and Macao are special administrative regions where their established system can be retained under a high degree of autonomy for a certain period. It is a principle originally proposed by China’s former leader Deng Xiaoping for the unification of China.

4. How Long is the Holiday?

Flowers and Wreaths on Graves

How long is the holiday for these two events?

Despite being of great significance, July 1 is not a public holiday with days off. CCP members even need to attend meetings on July 1 and report their ideological work.

5. Useful Vocabulary for these Two Chinese Holidays

Communist Flag

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for CPC Founding Day in China!

  • 政党 (zhèngdǎng) — political party
  • 毛泽东 (Máo Zédōng) — Mao Zedong
  • 邓小平 (Dèng Xiǎopíng) — Deng Xiaoping
  • 文化大革命 (Wénhuà Dà Gémìng) — Cultural Revolution
  • 纪念 (jìniàn) — commemoration
  • 共产主义 (gòngchǎn zhǔyì) — communism
  • 共产党 (Gòngchǎn Dǎng) — Communist Party of China
  • 马列主义 (Mǎ Liè Zhǔyì) — Marxism-Leninism
  • 社会主义 (Shèhuì Zhǔyì) — Socialism
  • 解放 (jiěfàng) — liberate
  • 建党节 (jiàndǎng jié) — CPC Founding Day

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our CPC Founding Day vocabulary list.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about CPC Founding Day and the Anniversary of the Return of Hong Kong with us! Did you learn anything new? Let us know in the comments!

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