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Chinese Culture: The Legend of the Kitchen God (Intermediate)

Jan. 25, 2011

Key Learning Points (Preview):

送行 (sòngxíng): to see sb. off


说……的好话 (shuō…de hǎohuà): to speak well of…


On the Chinese lunar calendar, "小年 (xiǎo nián)," or The Minor New Year, is on Dec. 23rd, which is when Chinese people make sacrificial offerings to "灶神 (zàoshénthe Kitchen God."

It is said that the Kitchen God was sent by the Jade Emperor to take charge of kitchens in the terrestrial world. Therefore, the Kitchen God knows about what is happening in every family. Every year, when the Minor New Year is coming, the God and the Goddess of the Kitchen will return to heaven and tell the Jade Emperor about the behavior of every family. If they have done something evil, they will be punished by the Jade Emperor in the coming year. On the other hand, the Jade Emperor will reward the family with good luck and fortune in the New Year if they have been good.

Consequently, every year, on Dec.23rd on the Chinese lunar calendar, each family offers sacrifice to "送行 (sòngxíng) see the Kitchen God off." Obviously, people hope that the God will "说好话 (shuō hǎohuà) say good things about them" in the heaven so that the Jade Emperor will send them fortune and blessings in the next year.

Key Learning Points:

送行 (sòngxíng): to see sb. off



Tā lái jīchǎng gěi wǒ sòngxíng.
他 来   机场     给   我    送行。


He came to the airport to see me off.

……的好话 (shuō…de hǎohuà): to speak well of…



Tā jīngcháng zài wǒ miànqián shuō nǐ de hǎohuà.
他 经常         在  我    面前        说   你   的 好话。


 He often speaks well of you in front of me.

小年 (xiǎo nián): n. the Minor New Year


灶神 (zàoshén): n. the Kitchen God 


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