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中国元宵节 The Chinese Lantern Festival (Intermediate)

Feb. 26, 2010

中国元宵节 (Zhōngguó yuánxiāojié)

The Chinese Lantern Festival


Key Learning Points (Preview):

农历 (nónglì): n/adj the lunar calendar/lunar  

愿望 (yuànwàng): n wish  

完美 (wánměi): adj perfect  

The Lantern Festival falls on the fifteenth day of the first "农历 (nónglì) lunar" month. In ancient China, people called the first lunar month "宵 (xiāo) night." Since the fifteenth day of this month has the first full-moon of a lunar year, people refer to this day as "元宵节 (yuánxiāojié) Lantern Festival." The literal meaning of "元宵节 (yuánxiāojié)" is the Sweet Dumpling Festival. There are many different types of delicious foods served on this day, but the most typical one is "元宵 (yuánxiāo) sweet dumpling," which the northerners always like to eat. In the south, people call it "汤圆 (tāngyuán) glutinous rice ball."

"元宵 (yuánxiāo) sweet dumplings" and "汤圆 (tāngyuán) glutinous rice balls" are almost the same, but differ in the ways they are made. The fillings of these dishes are made from a variety of ingredients, such as "豆沙 (dòushā) sweetened been paste," "核桃仁 (hétaorén) walnut-meat," and "芝麻 (zhīma) sesame." The shapes are also round to signify reunion and people’s nice "愿望 (yuànwàng) wishes" for the future life.

On this day, various activities will be held to celebrate the festival, such as "猜灯谜 (cāidēngmí) guessing the lantern riddles," "舞龙舞狮 (wǔlóng wǔshī) dragon and lion dance," etc. After the Lantern Festival, the entire celebration of Chinese New Year 2010 will come to a "完美 (wánměi) perfect" conclusion.


Key Learning Points: 农历 (nónglì): n/adj the lunar calendar/lunar  

"农 (nóng)" means agriculture and "历 ()" means calendar. In China, the lunar calendar is widely used in agriculture and guides the agriculture industry. So it is called "农历 (nónglì)."



Chūnjié jí nónglì xīnnián.

春节     即 农历   新年。  

The Spring Festival is the lunar New Year.


Dàbùfen Zhōngguó chuántǒng jiérì dōushì yīzhào nónglì lái guò de.

大部分       中国          传统       节日   都是   依照     农历 来 过   的。  

Most of the traditional Chinese festivals are celebrated in accordance to the  lunar calendar.

愿望 (yuànwàng): n wish  


"愿 (yuàn)" means willing and "望 (wàng)" literally means hope.


A: Nǐ èrlíngyīlíng nián de xīnnián yuànwàng shì shénme?     

你    2010       年   的    新年     愿望        是      什么?     

What is your Chinese New Year 2010 wish?


B: Jìrán shì hǔnián, nà jiù xīwàng wǒ néng hǔhǔ shēngwēi ba!     

既然 是 虎年,  那 就 希望    我  能     虎虎    生威       吧!     

Since it is the year of the tiger, I hope to be as vigorous as a tiger!

完美 (wánměi): adj perfect  

"完 (wán)" literally means to finish and "美 (měi)" means beautiful.



A: Nǐ de hànyǔ fāyīn zhēn shì wánměi ā! Yǒu shénme hǎo de xuéxí fāngfǎ ma?    

你 的 汉语   发音   真    是   完美   啊!有    什么      好  的 学习 方法    吗?

How perfect your Chinese pronunciation is! Do you have any good ways to     learn Mandarin?

B: Shúnéngshēngqiǎo jiùshì hǎo fāngfǎ!     熟    能     生     巧     就是   好  方法!

Practice makes perfect and is a good way to learn!


生词 (shēngcí) Vocabulary:  

宵 (yuánxiāo): n sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour

舞龙舞狮 (wǔlóng wǔshī): n/v dragon and lion dance

豆沙 (dòushā): n sweetened been paste

核桃仁 (hétaorén): n walnut-meat

芝麻 (zhīma): n sesame  


Chinese Culture

General Chinese (Beginner Level)

General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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