Happy Chinese New Year! This January will be the start Chinese New Year
of the Year of the Dragon, as the world welcomes the Chinese New Year. The New Year falls in January due to the track of the new moon, as the Chinese calendar is a mixture of the Gregorian and lunar-solar calendars. Did you know that it’s such an auspicious year that many couples are hoping to have a child born during the Year of the Dragon? Read this full article to get to know many other aspects of the Chinese New Year and see some super pictures.

When you are out and about over the next fifteen days, if you meet
up with a Chinese friend, remember to wish them a Happy New Year. The most common auspicious greetings and sayings consist of four Chinese characters, such as the following:

  • Jinyu mangtang – “May your wealth [gold and jade] come to fill a hall”
  • Dazhan hongtu – “May you realize your ambitions”
  • Yingchun jiefu – “Greet the New Year and encounter happiness”
  • Wanshi ruyi – “May all your wishes be fulfilled”
  • Jiqing youyu – “May your happiness be without limit”
  • Zhubao pingan – “May you hear [in a letter] that all is well”
  • Yiban wanli = “May a small investment bring ten-thousandfold profits”
  • Fushou shuangquan – “May your happiness and longevity be complete”
  • Zhaocai jinbao – “When wealth is acquired, precious objects follow”

See related articles:

The Chinese New Year Explained

The Fifteen Days of the Chinese New Year

Remember these Chinese New Year Sayings to greet your friends with!

Today is Chinese New Year; but unlike many people who celebrate the occasion just over one night the Chinese honour the New Year by welcoming it over fifteen days.

First day–  This is the day for welcoming the deities of heaven and earth. Cleaning is considered bad luck today and meat is not consumed for health reasons. It is also the day when people honour the elders in their family. Money is given in red envelopes from married relatives to single ones, from business managers to their employees and from parents to children.

Hello” has got to be one of the most important words we use andhello
learning a few “hello“s in a different language will helps us build trust in our relationships with those from other cultural backgrounds. Nowadays, more than ever, our everyday encounters find us engaging with people who are different from ourselves; whether speaking from your desk to someone on the other side of the world,  whether in the local supermarket or whether  travelling abroad – do take a moment to learn that precious word in a new way. Our picture shows The Prince of Orange of the Netherlands receiving a hong (Maori greeting) from a Maori warrior in Wellington, New Zealand. Listen and see how many languages you can recognise out of these twenty languages:  final composite hello.

Here’s help: listen & learn in 30 different ways to say hello…

The Celebration of the Birthday of Guru Nanek is a Sikh Tradition Guru Nanak

On 11th November this year, Sikhs will be celebrating the birth of Guru Nanak. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak, and present day Sikhism is still based on his teachings and those of the nine Sikh Gurus who followed him.  Gurus Nanak is never worshipped as a God, but as a human being held in great respect. Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in what is now Pakistan. At the age of 30 he mysteriously disappeared for 3 days. When he reappeared, he began to preach the Sikh faith and spent the rest of his life teaching, writing and travelling around the world to discuss religion with Muslims and Hindus.

Confucius is the person accredited most with shaping the deep
elements of Chinese culture that we can still see today. When looking at cross-cultural differences between East and West, Confucianism (long-term orientation and knowing your place in society) stands out as being the major difference from the short-term, individualistic orientations of the West. Thus, Confucius has influenced Chinese thought for over 2,500 years. Confucius’s Birthday, otherwise known as ‘National Teachers Day’ takes place in China and Taiwan each year on 28th September. Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC – 479 BC).

Cross-cultural differences abound in all walks of life. This summer I
was invited by one of my French friends to her wedding in France. She was getting married to a mutual friend who was German. The city hall and church wedding ceremonies were held in both languages so that all guests could enjoy the wedding. After that the real differences began to show…

The festival of Paryushana Parva is celebrated by Jains (a Hindu sect)
across the world, mainly in India, in the Hindu month of Bhadrapad. It ordains them to observe the ten universal supreme virtues in daily practical life, which bring bliss into this and the next world. The main aim is the attainment of salvation, the ‘supreme ideal for a mundane soul’. The festival is for self purification and uplift, leading one on the right path away from materialism. It is for introspection and enlightenment.

This month there are over twenty independence days stretching from
countries as far apart as Costa Rica and Vietnam, from Mali to North Korea. We wish all of these countries, a very happy independence day!

Libya – September 1, Vietnam – September 2,Qatar – September 3 , San Marino – September 3, Swaziland – September 6, Brazil – September 7, Andorra – September 8, North Korea – September 9, Bulgaria – September 9, Costa Rica – September 15, El Salvador – September 15, Guatemala – September 15, Honduras – September 15, Nicaragua – September 15, Mexico – September 16, Papua New Guinea – September 16, Chile – September 18 , Belize – September 21 , Malta – September 21, Mali – September 22, Saudi Arabia – September 23, Yemen – September 26, Botswana – September 30.

The 3oth August each year offers the world community the
opportunity to remember the victims of enforced disappearance. The day aims to draw our attention to the plight of those who have been imprisoned without their friends or relatives knowing where or why; the agonising of their families; and also to highlight the work of those organisations who campaign against secret imprisonment and work to support the ‘disappeared’ and their families. The International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances has instigated this date as a commemorative day in a bid to bring about the effective implementation of an international convention to protect the ‘disappeared’. Watch the movingly illustrative video…