Oct 25, 2019

Must-know Chinese words about Halloween

By Kelly Chen | A Super Chineasian

Halloween is coming! Have you decided what character you’d like to dress up as this year? Wouldn’t it be so cool to know how to say your chosen character in Chinese? Let’s learn them now! What other Chinese words would you like to learn related to this spooky holiday ? Share with us @Hello_Chineasy! 

Let’s kick off with the scariest character – ghost “鬼”! 

鬼 guǐ

Initially, the Chinese character for “ghost” was a kneeling figure with a square-shaped head. Can you spot the square at the top of the character 鬼? We also like to think that the curved stroke at the bottom of the character is the ghost’s tail.

女巫 nǚ wū

The Chinese word for “witch” is straightforward. 

女 (woman/female) + 巫 (shaman/witch) = 女巫 (witch)

During the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), 女巫 were considered as a profession who resolved other people’s matters from illness to unexplained mysteries. Today, in some rural communities in China, the role of 女巫 still exists.   

男巫 nán wū

男巫 (man/male + witch) means “wizard.” Throughout the history of ancient China, 男巫 were regarded as messengers connecting heaven and earth. Their main job was to find the balance of nature and human impact. 

Interestingly, in classic Chinese, the character 覡/觋 (xí) is used instead of the two-characters word 男巫. 覡/觋 is composed of 巫 (shaman/witch) and 見/见 (to see) – imagine those wizards can “see” something from the invisible world. 

南瓜 nán guā

How to get into the Halloween spirit this year? We’d like to check out the pumpkin patch before Halloween. 

Do you usually pick up a big pumpkin (大南瓜) or small pumpkin (小南瓜)? Pumpkin carving has become a favorite with kids in China during the festival. 

  • 南瓜 pinyin: nán guā; pumpkin
  • 大南瓜 pinyin: dà nánguā; big pumpkin
  • 小南瓜 pinyin: xiǎo nánguā; small pumpkin

And, here are some more creepy creatures……..

  • Zombie 殭屍/僵尸 (jiāng shī).  
  • Vampire 吸血鬼 (xī xuè guǐ)
  • Mummy 木乃伊 (mù nǎi yī)
  • Frankenstein 科學怪人/科学怪人 (kē xué guài rén)
  • Monster 怪獸/怪兽 (guài shòu) 
  • Haunted house 鬼屋 (guǐ wū) 
  • Ghost Story 鬼故事 (guǐ gù shi)

Have you now made your mind up about which character you are going to choose as your Halloween outfit? Don’t forget to practice the Chinese word for it! Happy Halloween!

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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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