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Why Do Chinese People Give Apples as Presents on Christmas Eve?

Dec. 21, 2018

A Unique Christmas Gift – 24 Magical Chinese Coins

PartⅠ: 平安夜送苹果 (Píng’ān yè sòng píngguǒ) Give Apples on Christmas Eve

HSK 3 quiz

A common Christmas present in China is apples wrapped in beautiful gift wrapping—Christmas with a Chinese flavor. Giving apples on Christmas Eve is an interesting custom that can be seen in China. So why apples? Chinese people care a lot about harmony. The “苹 (píng)“ in “苹果 (píngguǒ) apple” and the “平 (píng)” in “平安 (píng’ān) safe” have the same sound, and so to Chinese people giving an apple has the metaphorical meaning of wishing someone “平安 (píng’ān).”

New Words:

1. 平安夜 (Pínɡ’ān yè): Christmas Eve

(Take Examples to Know More About “平安夜 (Píng’ān yè) Christmas Eve”)

2. 平安 (Píng’ān): Safe and sound; without mishap; well

Examples:
    Wǒ yào zài pínɡ’ān yè sòng yígè píngguǒ gěi nǐ.
1. 我要在平安夜送一个苹果给你。
    I want to give you an apple on Christmas Eve.

    Tāmen yǐjīng píng’ān dào jiā.
2. 他们已经平安到家。
    They already arrived home safe and sound.

HSK 3 quiz

1. What is the meaning of 平安夜 (píng’ānyè)?

A. Safe night
B. Christmas Eve
C. Christmas day
D. Night of apples

2. Why Chinese people give apples on Christmas Eve?

A. Because they like eating apples.
B. Because apples are red, Chinese people love red fruits.
C. Because giving apples means giving safety.
D. Because apples are cheap during Christmas.

See Answer Analysis

Part Ⅱ: 24 Magical Chinese Coins

HSK 3 quiz

Find 24 dimes from 24 different people, if you buy an apple with those 24 dimes and give it to the person you like, you will get true love! And if you buy yourself an apple with those 24 dimes, make a wish at midnight on Christmas eve and then eat the apple, the wish will come true.

Note:
You can only buy one apple with those 24 dimes, even though it only costs you 12 dimes, you have to give 24 dimes to the seller.

New Word:

硬币 (Yìngbì): Coin

Example:
Nǐ nénɡ ɡěi wǒ yíɡè yì máo (jiǎo) qián de yìnɡbì mɑ?
你能给我一个一毛(角)钱的硬币吗?
Can you give me one dime?

HSK 3 quiz

    Èr shí sì máo (jiǎo) qián shì duōshǎo qián?
1. 二十四毛(角)钱是多少钱?

From the sentence above you know which of the following answers is correct?

    Liǎnɡ kuài sì máo qián
A. 两块四毛钱

    Liǎnɡ bǎi sì shí kuài qián
B. 两百四十块钱

    Èr shí sì kuài qián
C. 二十四块钱

See Answer Analysis

Learn More About Christmas expression in Chinese:
Four Words for Every Child’s Merry Christmas
狂欢的日子来了(Kuánghuān de rìzi lái le) Christmas Party
Nursery Rhyme -祝你圣诞快乐(Zhù nǐ shènɡdàn kuàilè) Happy Christmas to You

HSK Test

General Chinese (Beginner Level) 

General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

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