[Photo Gallery:] Happy Chinese New Year 2016 from Bangkok!

On Chinese New Year’s eve, I followed some lion and dragon dance troupes around our area of Bangkok.

Chinese New Year has appeared in our local markets

Chinese New Year decorations have appeared at our local traditional market:CNY_decorations_market
For more photos from this market during the build-up to Chinese New Year, see:

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

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

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
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
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
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:

《恭喜发财》 by 刘德华 – a translated Chinese New Year song to get you in the Spring Festival mood!

There are a handful of songs we hear around as Chinese New Year approaches. This Andy Lau (刘德华) song is the one we notice the most. And it’s fun. Especially if you jump around and sing along with your three-year-old. Overly literal translation below (also fun).

The main Chinese New Year’s greeting is literally, “Congratulations! Get rich!” (恭喜发财), meaning: “May you have a prosperous New Year!” The ‘congratulations’ apparently comes from the ancient New Year’s story, where a monster comes on New Year’s Eve to devour people, so everyone who survives to the next year congratulates one another on their survival. For more about that see:

Homeboy’s from Hong Kong, so even though he’s singing in Mandarin his pronunciation is noticeably different on some words.

恭喜发财 / gōngxǐ fācái / Prosperous New Year!


(If you can’t access YouTube, hear it on Youku.)

耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o
耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o

我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome

我祝满天下的女孩 / wǒ zhù mǎn tiānxiàde nǚhái
I wish every girl under heaven
嫁一个好男孩 / jià yīgè hǎo nánhái
will marry a good boy
两小口永远在一块 / liǎng xiǎo kǒu yǒngyuǎn zài yīqǐ
The two will forever be together
我祝满天下的小孩 / wǒ zhù mǎn tiānxiàde xiǎohái
I wish all the children under heaven
聪明胜过秀才 / cōngming shèngguò xiùcai
intelligence to pass the exam to become a scholar
智商充满你脑袋 / zhìshāng chōngmǎn nǐ nǎodài
Your heads filled with IQ

我祝尊敬的姑奶奶 / wǒ zhù zūnjìng de gūnǎinai
I wish revered Great Aunt
三十六圈的比赛 / sānshíliù quān de bǐsài
in a 36-lap race
气不喘面容不改 / qì bù chuǎn miànróng bù gǎi
won’t be out of breath and face won’t flush
我祝三叔公的买卖 / wǒ zhù sān shūgōngde mǎimài
I wish 3rd Great Uncle’s business
生意扬名四海 / shēngyì yángmíngsìhǎi
will become world-famous
财运亨通住豪宅 / cáiyùn hēngtōng zhù háozhái
Your money-making luck will go smoothly and you’ll live in a mansion

大摇大摆 老天替你消灾 / dà yáo dà bǎi, lǎotiān tì nǐ xiāozāi
Swagger about, heaven will help you avoid calamities
恭喜 发财 要喊得够豪迈 / gōngxī fācái, yào hǎnde gòu háomài
Congratulations! Get Rich! (We) will shout it boldly!

恭喜发财! / gōngxǐ fācái
Congratulations! Get rich!
我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome

耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o
耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o

我祝大家笑口常开 / wǒ zhù dàjiā xiào kǒu cháng kāi
I wish everyone always has a smiling mouth
用心把爱去灌溉 / yòng xīn bǎ ài qù guàngài
use our hearts to irrigate with love
明天拿我们更厉害 / míngtiān ná wǒmen gèng lìhai
Tomorrow will take us even greater
我祝全世界的无奈 / wǒ zhù quán shìjiède wúnài
I wish all the hopeless matters in the world
跑得比那黑人更快 / pǎode bǐ nà hēi rén gèng kuài
(will) run away faster than a black man
岁岁年年出人才 / suìsuìniánnián chū réncái
Each and every year will produce talented people

大摇大摆 老天替你消灾 / dà yáo dà bǎi, lǎotiān tì nǐ
Swagger about, heaven will help you avoid calamities
恭喜 发财 要喊得够豪迈 / gōngxī fācái, yào hǎnde gòu háomài
Congratulations! Get rich! (We) will shout it boldly!
我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome

啊再来 / ā zài lái
Again!
我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome
恭喜发财 / gōngxǐ fācái
Congratulations! Get rich!

More Chinese New Year/Spring Festival stuff:

More Chinese songs to learn: