Dec 20, 2018

Christmas in Chinese: Chinese Christmas Vocabulary

Christmas is in the air and if you can’t wait to celebrate this wonderful occasion with all your loved ones, what about impressing your family and friends, by showing your Chinese Christmas vocabulary and help your Chinese friends to understand and learn more about Christmas traditions?

Let’s get started!

As Christmas celebrates the holy birth of Jesus Christ, the first and most useful expression to learn is the following word composed of these two characters: 聖誕 / 圣诞 (shèng dàn) “Holy + birth” as they are often used in Christmas related expressions.

For example, “Christmas Day” 聖誕節 / 圣诞节 comes from the combination of 聖誕 / 圣诞 (shèng dàn)”Holy Birth”/Christmas  +節 / 节 (jié) “Festival”, moreover the most popular character of Christmas legends “Santa Claus” is called the “Christmas old man” 聖誕老人 / 圣诞老人 (shèng dàn lǎo rén.)

According to the legend…

Every year Santa Claus bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on “Christmas Eve” 聖誕前夕 / 圣诞前夕 (shèng dàn qián xī) or 聖誕夜 / 圣诞夜 (shèng dàn yè). Every year Santa Clause accomplishes this feat with the aid of his tireless little helpers “elves” 小精靈 / 小精灵 (xiǎo jīng líng), who make the toys 玩具 (wán jù) in his workshop 聖誕老人工廠 / 圣诞老人工厂(shèng dàn lǎo rén gōng chǎng) located in the North Pole 北極 / 北极 (běi jí). When finally all gifts are inside his magic gift sack 禮物袋 / 礼物袋 (lǐwù dài), the night of the 24th December, he gets on his sleigh 雪橇 (xuěqiāo) pulled by his flying reindeers 馴鹿 / 驯鹿 (xùn lù) and delivers presents to all children in the world. He comes down the chimney 壁爐 / 壁炉 (bì lú) and puts his presents underneath the Christmas tree 聖誕樹 / 圣诞树 (shèng dàn shù).

At Christmas time, houses, shops, and streets in many nations create the Christmas atmosphere 氣氛 / 气氛 (qì fēn) with the most typical Christmas decorations 聖誕節裝飾 / 圣诞节装饰 (shèng dàn jié zhuāng shì) which include Christmas lights 聖誕彩燈 / 圣诞彩灯 (shèng dàn cǎi dēng), wreaths 聖誕花環 / 圣诞花环, Christmas stockings 聖誕襪 / 圣诞袜 (shèng dàn wà) and Christmas ball 聖誕球 / 圣诞球 (shèng dàn qiú). Christmas carols 聖誕頌歌 / 圣诞颂歌 (shèng dàn sòng gē) may be sung.

Christmas culinary feast 聖誕大餐 / 圣诞大餐 (shèng dàn dà cān) either takes place at supper on Christmas Eve or the 25th of December and so does the gifts exchange 交換禮物 /交换礼物 (jiāo huàn lǐ wù ).

Is there anything else you may need to know about Christmas in Chinese?

Maybe one last thing…

祝你聖誕快樂 / 祝你圣诞快乐! (zhù nǐ shèng dàn kuài lè) Wish you a Merry Christmas! (Don’t miss out this episode to learn how to say it in Chinese)

This week, LTL Mandarin Schoolhave provided us with a guide on knowing more about the Christmas holiday. This blog has been written by Marie from LTL.

By Mariantonietta Fornabaio | A Super Chineasian

Marie is an Italian national currently living in Spain. She has years of experience living in China and enjoys studying Chinese avidly.

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