Your sample Chinese New Year 2014 horsey text message [Updates!]

CNYhorseundies Your sample Chinese New Year 2014 horsey text message [Updates!]Chinese will send billions (literally!) of New Year’s greeting text messages today and tomorrow. And since the Year of the Horse begins tonight at midnight, this year there are lots of horsey word-plays (in addition to a proliferation of auspicious horse panties), just like the rabbit word-plays in 2011.

Here’s a real life example that we receivedearlier today, because these kinds of things are great for language learners, and you gotta have something with which to spam your address book.

“At once / right away / immediately” in Chinese is literally, “on a horse” (as in, you know, faster than walking). If you’re a first-year language student and your teacher sends you a text asking if you’ve arrived yet, you can reply in English “on a horse!” and they’ll think you’re really clever (if they’re clever enough to figure it out). Or roll their eyes.

Anyway, in this text “” does double-duty meaning “immediately” and “on the (year of the) horse.” So without further ado, mouseover the text for pronunciation and translation:

,[your name(s) here]家人祝福
家人马上马上马上
马上福气马上运气马上假期
总之好运应有尽有马到成功从头年尾

[Update 1] So lazy of me not to write out the English. Here it is:

The Horse Year has arrived. [so-and-so’s]family sends blessings!
Wishing you and your family right away have money, right away have a house, right away have a car.*
Right away have good fortune, right away have good luck, right away have a vacation!
In short, good luck and everything as it should be in the horse year, immediate success! From the start prospering to the year’s end.

[*Remember: “right away” is a word-play on “on the horse”.]

[Update 2] That Despicable Me minions Year of the Horse song video that’s been floating around? You can watch it and read a translation and explanation right here: On the Horse

More Chinese New Year text message fun:

More Chinese New Year 2014 fun:

[Photo Gallery:] It’s Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!

fu5 [Photo Gallery:] Its Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!

Qingdao’s canal bed Licun Daji traditional market is epic on a normal day (see photos here). But on the last market day before Chinese New Year, it’s “here a , there a , everywhere a -” — like a ginormous red, yellow and black ant colony that some kid has just poked with a stick, all charged up and buzzing with Chinese New Year colour, food and traditions.

fu1 [Photo Gallery:] Its Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!
Have a fu.

On locals’ advice, a coworker and I squeezed around back and forth through it during xiūxi time (aka after lunch siesta), when the crowds weren’t as lethal as in the morning. We weren’t aiming to document the whole thing, just look around and chat and take pictures of whatever caught our eye, and ended up with a lots of red and religious stuff (in which Chairman Mao makes an expected strong appearance), along with the usual things that make foreigners stop and take pictures.

gods1 [Photo Gallery:] Its Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!
财神,the money god, for sale.

(Aside from one pile of pig heads, there aren’t any other photos of piles of animal parts, though it was interesting to see shoppers inspect piles of cold, shiny intestines the same way you would check over tomatoes — i.e. with your bare hands.)

apples [Photo Gallery:] Its Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!
Apples grown with stickers to make the sun shine “riches” , “respect” , and “advance” into the peels.

Anyway, here you go!

More photos from this market: Licunji – Qingdao’s most epic market

Chinese New Year photo galleries:

Chinese New Year songs to learn:

Lucky Panties & Fu:

[Photo Gallery:] Qingdao’s Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫, Spring Festival 2013

20130216 052flags [Photo Gallery:] Qingdaos Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫, Spring Festival 2013

Went looking online for something in Qingdao similar to Beijing’s Spring Festival temple fairs. Yesterday we ended up at the Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后 on 太平。 It’s not the same kind of thing as the temple fair we experienced in Beijing’s Ditan Park, but it was interesting.

20130216 071instruction [Photo Gallery:] Qingdaos Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫, Spring Festival 2013

If I’d had the time (we had two little ones with us and their clocks were ticking), I would have loved to talk with some of the red-coated employees who were instructing people how to offer their incense. I thought it was interesting that the majority of people we observed who were offering incense didn’t actually know how to do it and needed directions. I’d love to find out more about what kind of beliefs they have and why, and how similar it is to what we occasionally find in taxis. How people decide their opinions interests me in general.

Anyway, click a thumbnail to begin.

According to taxi drivers the real action is at the Haiyun nunnery on the Lantern Festival 元宵。 They apparently have a candy festival (Google image search this: 海云庵 糖球会) — hopefully we can hit it. One guy compared the scene to a pilgrimage to Mecca. Not looking forward to huge crowds, but something festive would be fun with friends.

Related Photo Galleries:

The Peace of Spring Festival (is over)

20130212 047fireworksbushluncher The Peace of Spring Festival (is over)Peace is not an association anyone has with Chinese New Year in China. Insane amounts of fireworks for days and nights on end is what people associate with Spring Festival in China. And forget that stereotype of the quiet, mild-mannered Chinaman. China is loud. Chinese are loud. But let me explain.

Fireworks aside (I know, it’s a big ‘aside’), our neighbourhood was silent until today. Because so many people were gone back to their hometowns. They say 9.5 million people left Beijing for the holidays. Our neighbourhood was like a miniature version of that. The place felt virtually empty. All week there’ve been no cars honking. No people yelling outside our windows. Almost like Canada.

But our napping daughters were just woken up by both honking and people yelling. And then I remembered: today is the day most people go back to work. The neighbours have returned. All the extra fireworks this morning were businesses opening. Spring Festival continues but the holiday is over. And so is naptime, at least for today.

Brace yourselves… 初五 is coming!

chuwu2 Brace yourselves... 初五 is coming!

初五, the fifth day of Spring Festival, has all kinds of traditions. For foreigners in China it mostly means one thing: another incredible barrage of fireworks. After the Chinese New Year’s Eve Armageddon (除夕), the fireworks gradually slow down over the next four days. It’s all a plot to lull you into relaxing and create false hope involving sleep. Don’t try to watch a movie after dinner on the fifth day because you won’t be able to hear it. Chū wǔ is here!

For more about 初五 traditions, see:

DSCN6541boom Brace yourselves... 初五 is coming!For more about Chinese fireworks, see:

foreignerspringfestivalbig Brace yourselves... 初五 is coming!

[Photo Gallery:] Chinese New Year’s 2013 Dragon Dance, Chinatown, Chiang Mai, Thailand

CNYdragon [Photo Gallery:] Chinese New Years 2013 Dragon Dance, Chinatown, Chiang Mai, Thailand

We were in Chiang Mai, Thailand for Chinese New Year and hit Chinatown on New Year’s Day. So here are some dragon photos and a video! Click a thumbnail to begin.

Over four years in China (five if you count Taiwan), but we’ve only ever seen lion or dragon dances in Canada, Thailand and old Jackie Chan movies.

And of course there’s lots more Chinese New Year/Spring Festival stuff to see!

《恭喜恭喜恭喜你》 – a translated song for Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! Here’s another translated Spring Festival song! Our three-year-old loves to sing and dance to this one, too.

恭喜恭喜恭喜你


(Also here and here.)

咚咚咚锵 咚咚咚锵 / dōng dōng dōng qiāng dōng dōng dōng qiāng
[drumming sounds]
恭喜恭喜恭喜你 / gōngxǐ gōngxǐ gōngxǐ nǐ
Congratulations congratulations congratulations to you
咚咚咚锵 咚咚咚锵 / dōng dōng dōng qiāng dōng dōng dōng qiāng
[drumming sounds]
恭喜恭喜新年快乐 万事如意 / gōngxǐ gōngxǐ xīnnián kuàilè, wànshì rúyì
Congratulations, congratulations, Happy New Year!
May everything go according to your wishes.

一元复始呀春风得意 / yī yuán fù shǐ ya, chūn fēng déyì
A year begins again, the spring wind is happy
万象更新呀大吉大利 / wànxiàng gèng xīn ya, dà jí dà lì
All of nature is renewed, very auspicious and prosperous

[Chorus 2x]

招财进宝呀金银满堂 / zhāo cái jìn bǎo ya, jīn yǐn mǎn táng
Inviting weath and riches, gold and silver fill the hall
风调雨顺呀年年有余 / fēng tiáo yǔ shùn ya, niánnián yǒu yú
The weather is favourable, year and year has abundance

[Chorus 2x]

More Chinese New Year/Spring Festival stuff:

More Chinese songs to learn: