Dec 17, 2019

5 Must-know Chinese words about Christmas

By Kelly Chen | A Super Chineasian

 *** Christmas Checklist ***

Put up a Christmas tree / Send Christmas cards / Buy and wrap presents / Plan Christmas dinner menu / Make Christmas songs and carols playlist 

Did you tick them all? 

Hang on, one more thing to do to complete your Christmas checklist. Time for learning some Christmassy Chinese words! Here you go!

老人 lǎo rén

When you hear Ho-ho-ho, you know who is coming. Santa Claus, Of course! 🤶🏼🎅🏽 To say “Santa Claus” in Chinese, it is 聖誕老人/圣诞老人 (shèng dàn lǎo rén), literally, Christmas + old person. In China, especially in major cities, some Chinese postmen would dress up as 聖誕老人/圣诞老人 when delivering letters before Christmas.

鹿 lù 

Do you know how many reindeers Santa Claus (聖誕老人/圣诞老人) has and can you name them all? 

In Chinese, “reindeer” is 馴鹿/驯鹿 (xùn lù). 馴/驯 means “tame,” and 鹿 means “deer.” In its ancient form, the character 鹿 depicted deer’s antlers with its four legs below.

With a bit of imagination, in the character 鹿, you can imagine that 广 is deer’s antlers and its curving back, its head and face have transformed to the middle part of the character, and its front and rear legs are bent like the bottom part: 比. Got it?!

冬 dōng

What do you love about winter?

Originally, the Chinese character for “winter” depicted the knot at the end of a string, meaning the “end.” Winter is, after all, the last season of the year.

下雪 xià xuě

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Did the weather forecast say that it’s going to snow (下雪) where you live on Christmas Day?

下 (to descend/fall down) + 雪 (snow) = 下雪 (to snow)

When placing 下 next to the character “雪,” 下 describes the snow falling “down,” and the two characters together mean “to snow.” 

Tune in to our Talk Chinesy lessons to learn more useful Chinese words related to Christmas. 

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By Kelly Chen | A Super Chineasian

Kelly is a dreamer and a traveler, who loves to study of individuals, groups, or organisations and all the activities associated with the purchase behaviour, including the consumer's emotional, mental and behavioural responses.

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