Monday, January 26, 2009
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR -
新年快乐 - (Happy New Year!)
恭喜發財 (Congratulations and be prosperous)
Gong Xi Fa Cai! niú nián!!
another useful phrase : "CAUTION: extremely flammable, do not hold firecracker in hand, light fuse and get away"
some kids say "Congratulations and be prosperous, now give me a red envelope!" when they're being cheeky.... (the red envelope usually contains some amount of money. )
YEARS of The Ox - 2009, 2021, 2033
pronounced "Niu" in Chinese -- Ushi or Oushi in japanese -- in Vietnam, the water buffalo replaces the ox on the calendar...
i found a great description someone (hongjing) posted on Friendster (thanks!) :
"Chinese new year 2009 falls on January 26, 2009 when Chinese twelve-year circle will roll into the year of ox. In Chinese language, ox is pronounced as Niu. Niu, as an animal in general, was playing the role of dragging a plough in field before the invention of modern industrialized farm tools in Chinese history. The image of Niu in Chinese culture is hard-working and down-to-earth so that it is highly respected by Chinese.
When there are different terms, such as ox, bull, cattle, etc., to refer to different species of one kind, there is only one, Niu, for all those terms. And in Chinese there is no special term for beef but just the addition of a word, Rou which means meat in general, to Niu that forms a phrase of Niu Rou. Bull market in Chinese is called Niu Shi with shi standing for market. Niu is also a family name in China and a commonly used one.
Thanks to the shape of Niu, being strong and muscular, and its powerful moos, Niu has become a new slang frequently used by Chinese young and more and more Chinese of all ages. It, functioning as an adjective, is used to praise a capable person. And in most cases it is used humorously. Particularly, when the year of ox is coming around, Chinese are saying greetings mixing Niu the symbolic animal of the year and Niu the popularly used slang, such as wish you be Niu in the year of Niu, which means wish you a success in the year of ox."
here are some nice e-cards
for some great crafts and games for your kids - click here and here