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Chinese wisdom

Some Chinese wisdom for Chinese New Year

10 February is an important date this year because it is the first day of the new lunar year, marking the first day in the Chinese New Year. The Chinese calendar names each of the years (in a twelve year cycle) after an animal, and 2013 is the Year of the Snake.

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, always falls between the end of January and the end of February in the Gregorian calendar. Chinese people return home to be with their families, and take part in traditions which range from cleaning the home and wearing new clothes to presenting gifts; children receive small amounts of money in red envelopes. In Northern China, dumplings, which symbolize wealth, are often made and eaten. A family’s involvement can be seen outside the home too, with auspicious couplets pasted either side of the front door; firecrackers and fireworks are hardly likely to go unnoticed either. More prosaically, in business all debts should be cleared at New Year. Celebrations can start late in the preceding month, and go on till the following Lantern Festival (the 15th of the first lunar month). The official holiday, however, is just three days long.

In the spirit of this special occasion, here are some thought-provoking quotations from influential Chinese thinkers, taken from the Oxford Essential Quotations, as part of Oxford Reference.

Also to celebrate Chinese New Year, we are offering the Oxford Chinese Dictionary at a discounted price of £25 – saving £20 from the listed price of £45! To claim the offer, simply quote the discount code found at the bottom of this post.

The Oxford Chinese Dictionary is the largest and most authoritative Mandarin Chinese bilingual dictionary available, with over 300,000 words and phrases and 370,000 translations. It includes extensive practical support for students and those working in Chinese or English, including example letters and emails, and guides to telephoning and text messaging. It also comes with 12 months’ access to Oxford’s online Chinese dictionary.

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