In Chinese certain numbers “mean” certain things. This makes phone numbers a bit of fun in China. Companies often try to play on numbers to make something memorable. Sichuan Airlines famously spent $300,000 on a phone number. The number string 5201314 means “I will love you forever”.
Today is Chinese new year’s eve! It’s such a fun time of year to be in China and it’s strange not to be there – a reminder that I really have started a new season of my life. This is actually the first time in ten years that I am outside China for Chinese new year! Here is a collection of those stories I’ve written about Chinese new year and its various traditions.
Qing ming jie was instituted in 732 by Emperor Xuanzong as the only day on which citizens could pay formal respects to the dead at gravesites. Since then, it has been a day for families to get together and clean/decorate the graves of their ancestors.
China’s system of terms of address is complex and much more utilised in common speech than in English. While in English most people are addressed by their given name, very few people will address you by your given name in Chinese.
In English, there are recognised names – words that have no meaning on their own, but are simply names. Chinese does not have a set of names like this. There is a set inventory of Chinese surnames, but given names are chosen from existing words.
Chinese new year festivities last two weeks. There are a LOT of new year traditions in China, many of which I’ve participated in one year or another. Fireworks, new year dinner, decorations, fireworks, temple fairs, dumplings, and fireworks.