In this episode, we’ve talked about some of the Lunar New Year’s Eve traditions in Taiwan.
(These show notes use tables and rich formatting. Please visit the episode webpage for an optimal viewing experience.)
|Sin-nî khuài-lo̍k!||Happy New Year!|
|sin-li̍k||Western Gregorian calendar, literally the “new calendar”|
|kū-li̍k||the Traditional or lunar calendar, literally the “old calendar”. Also known as “lông-li̍k”, the “farming calendar”.|
|kuè-nî||the lunar new year, the turn of the year|
|kuè||to cross, to go over, to pass|
|sin-tsiann / sin-tshun||the lunar new year|
|khuà-nî||celebrating the New Year when going from Dec 31st to Jan 1st according to the Western calendar
Usage note: a new term borrowed from Mandarin “kuànián” (in Mandarin Pinyin), used by some speakers.
|sin-nî ê guān-bōng||New Year’s resolution|
|jī-káu-mê||New Year’s Eve (literally: “the 29th’s night”). Also referred to as “kuè-nî-àm”.|
|tsiann-gue̍h tshe-it||New Year’s Day|
|tshe + number 1-10||the 1st to 10th day of the New Year’s holiday or of any month in general; “tshe” means “beginning”.
Pronunciation note: “tshe” is used with the colloquial reading of the numbers.
|sàng-sîn||to make offerings to the Kitchen God on the 23rd or 24th of the 12th month|
|uî-lôo||to gather around with family and have a holiday feast during New Year’s Eve|
|nî-tshài||a dish served especially during the New Year’s eve dinner|
|tn̂g-nî-tshài||a dish symbolizing “longevity”, eaten on New Year’s Eve
Culture note: In Northern Taiwan, this tends to be “kuà-tshài” (mustard greens). In the south, it tends to “pue-lîng-á” (spinach), cooked as a whole bunch with the stalks and the roots.
|kú-kú-tn̂g-tn̂g||an expression meaning “for a long, long time”|
|Tsia̍h thôo-tāu, tsia̍h kah la̋u-lāu-lāu.||a saying to wish someone a long life: “eat peanuts, live until you’re old.”
Pronunciation note: The first “lāu” changes to a mid-rising tone “la̋u”, or a ninth tone. If you want to know more about triplicated adjectives and this special tone change, check out our episode on the Ninth Tone from our Pronounce it Like a Pro podcast series.
|huat-kué||Prosperity cake, a traditional steamed cake with a distinctive top split into 4 sections.
Check out our Instagram for an image of huat-kué! Don't forget to follow us if you haven't already!
|tshài-thâu-kué||turnip or radish cake|
|tshài-thâu||long white radish, also known as daikon|
|hó-tshái-thâu||a saying to wish someone prosperity|
|tsuân ke||whole chicken|
|Tsia̍h ke, khí-ke.||a saying that goes “eat chicken, and your home, family, or business will prosper”|
|khí-ke||to establish one’s home, family, or business|
|sing-lé||sacrificed animals or meat dishes made as offerings to gods or spirits|
|thuân-înn||getting together or having a reunion|
|Tsio lí lâi tsia̍h ōng.||a saying comprised of the fruits commonly used as offerings: “kin-tsio” (banana), “lí-á”(plum), “lâi-á” (pear), “kam-tsià” (sugar cane), and “ông-lâi” (pineapple), which is a homophone to “may prosperity and good fortune come to you”.|
|Tāi-kiat tāi-lī.||an expression meaning “great luck, great profit”|
|pài-pài||worship; religious rituals which often include making offerings to ancestors and Gods and burning incense|
|tē-ki-tsú||the House God|
|teh-nî ê âng-pau||the New Year’s red envelope
Culture note: the practice of older generations giving out red envelopes with money to younger generations on New Year’s Eve or during the New Year’s holidays. Often simply called “âng-pau”.
|pau âng-pau||to wrap and give out red envelopes|
|pau||to wrap (up)|
|pàng phàu-á||to set off firecrackers|
*Syllables that have been greyed out require tone changes.
We wish everyone a prosperous New Year and endless good luck:
“Kiong-hí huat-tsâi, tsiok ta̍k-ke hó-ūn it-ti̍t lâi!”
For more about the lunar New Year, go check out our downloadable workbook! You’ll also find additional vocabulary with characters, pronunciation notes, grammar explanations, culture tips, and fun exercises to help your practice.
Music Credit: TeknoAXE