Happy Chinese New Year!
Thailand, and particularly places like Phuket where I live, has a very large Thai-Chinese population stemming from migrations in the late 19th century who arrived to work in the tin mines. My tiny lane just to the north of the historical district of the provincial capital has several Chinese clan shrines which have been setting off fireworks every hour since yesterday morning. All of the schools were closed yesterday and remain shut today. There will be parades through town in the afternoon.
Thus, I am taking a day’s break from blogging so I can go out and enjoy the festivities. If you would like to know more about the Spring Festival, please see the 2017 ASAD article on this topic.
In the meantime, let me offer a few useful phrases (although I cannot pronounce them properly as I am essentially tone-deaf and getting the tones correct is essential in Chinese):
- 恭喜发财 / ขอให้ ร่ำรวย (Gōngxǐ fācái): “Happiness and prosperity” (use this when receiving gifts or lucky money)
- 新年好 (Xīnnián hǎo), 过年好 (Guònián hǎo), or 新年快乐 (Xīnnián kuàilè), all of which mean”Happy New Year”
- 春节快乐 (Chūnjié kuàilè): “Happy Spring Festival”
- 吉星高照 (Jíxīng gāozhào): “Fortune will smile on you”
心想事成 (Xīnxiǎng shì chéng): “May all your wishes come true”
In Thai, we usually say, สุขสันต์วันปีใหม่จีน (Suksan wạn pī-mai chīn) which means “Happy Chinese New Year.”
During the first few days of Chinese New Year, it is important to follow a few simple tips to ensure a good year:
Don’t say rude words or talk about bad things in the past, One should talk only about good things that will happen in the future.
Don’t cry on New Year’s Day because you will have sadness all year.
- Wear the color red for good luck!
Don’t use a knife or scissors because they will cut off your good luck.
A Stamp A Day will return tomorrow with a full-length article. Possible featured topics include Massachusetts ratifying the United States Constitution in 1788, the Treaty of Waitangi establishing New Zealand as a British colony in 1840, and the birth of Babe Ruth in 1895.
May all of you have good health and prosperity in the Year of the Pig.