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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Date: Feb 23 2007

Themes: Holidays, Party, Travel


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

It’s Chinese New Year! The loose translation of the greeting that the Chinese say on this holiday is “Congratulations and be prosperous!”

Last Sunday, February 18, the world celebrated Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Pig. The fifteenth day of the New Year is the last day of the traditional celebrations. Today is the sixth day.

The US is home to some 3.5 million Chinese. There are more Chinese in the States than any other ethnic group from Asia. Thousands of these Chinese travel back to China every year to celebrate Chinese New Year with their families.

The holiday includes many customs and traditional foods. In China, these customs differ depending on the region of the country.

Many of the world’s larger cities have “Chinatowns” where Chinese populations live and do business. Chinatown in New York City is a bustling business district with great food, affordable medicine and the feel of Asia.

Marni was recently in San Francisco, another city with a thriving Chinatown. Listen to her talk to Mason about Chinese New Year.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  So I was just in San Francisco and…

Mason:  Nice.

Marni:  I know. I love that town. And we went into Chinatown, which I love Chinatown in San Francisco.

Mason:  Theirs is the best, you know.

Marni:  Absolutely.

Mason:  Ours is like two blocks here.

Marni:  It’s kind of sad… it’s not…

Mason:  It’s a joke.

Marni:  Yeah. Anyhow... Uh, Chinese New Year. It changes every year because it’s not a set holiday.

Mason:  Is that right?

Marni:  It’s because every year, it’s actually... it’s based on the different calendars. And I, I can’t speak very specifically on that… but they have an extra month.

Mason:  The Jewish calendar’s kinda like that too. I mean, everything, everything rotates. I think, you know, the English standard calendar or whatever is one of the few ones that doesn’t… anyway.

Marni:  Anyhow, back to Chinese New Year. So, do you know what the year is this year? Do you… it’s the Year of the Pig.

Mason:  Pig?

Marni:  The Year of the Pig, yeah.

Mason:  How many different animals do they have? They have, like, twelve.

Marni:  Twelve. Twelve different animals, and it’s…

Mason:  It’s like a zodiac sort of thing?

Marni:  Well, yeah, it’s on a cycle so every twelve years it’s, it’s a new animal. And, and actually, this is, like, in the Chinese year, if you follow their Calendar, it’s actually, like, Year four thousand seven hundred something.

Mason:  Oh yeah?

Marni:  Yeah. It’s really interesting.

Mason:  That’s not what Jesus says.

Marni:  Well, you know, we’ll leave him out of this. But do you know what year, what animal you are?

Mason:  Uh, yeah, it’s funny, it’s one of those… I don’t know why I know, but I, I was born in the Year of the Rooster.

Marni:  Oh yeah? I’m an Ox.

Mason:  Ox?

Marni:  Year of the Ox.



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Marni tells Mason that Chinese New Year is on a different date each year. This is true. Chinese New Year is always on the first new moon of the new year.

The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, which incorporates the lunar phases and the times of the solar year. Every seven years, an extra month is added to keep the two calendars corresponding.

Marni says that it was obvious that it was Chinese New Year in Chinatown in San Francisco.

When Marni says that every twelve years there is a new animal, she misspoke. What she means is that every year there is a new animal and every twelve years, the cycle starts over.

She and Mason don’t seem to know much about the holiday. This is pretty typical of most Americans.

What do you do to celebrate Chinese New Year?



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Viet Nam

I love it. I really really love Lunar New year’s day. In my mind, it is the most special holiday. I always wait for it and be happy all this holiday :)

06:25 AM Aug 11 2011 |

1 person likes this

I am happy

I am happy


I like NEW YEAR!!!!

we all like NEW YEAR.

10:35 AM Mar 18 2008 |

1 person likes this



Saudi Arabia

yes, chinese newyear is really interesting.
but i don't think it is …....................................

09:38 PM Mar 16 2008 |



welcome there i don like those people

04:46 AM Feb 10 2008 |




Spring Festival is very important to chinese.If you come to China at that time,you’ll get a surpise

02:19 PM Feb 09 2008 |




I am a pig,haha

05:42 PM Jan 12 2008 |

1 person likes this



i heard it,but didn’t have been

10:15 AM Jan 11 2008 |




happy new year everyone.

02:16 AM Jan 11 2008 |




yes, chinese newyear is really interesting, this year is the year of mouse, I was born in 1984 that is also the year of mouse,so I am lucky, isn't it?

02:15 AM Jan 11 2008 |

1 person likes this




on the eve of a new year, the entire family usually gather together eating great foods wearing new clothes, now matter how far you are from home, you’ll come back to join with your family cuz this is the most important holiday in China

10:39 AM Nov 20 2007 |




Chinese zodiac
Rat charm 鼠
Ox patient 牛
Tiger sensitive 虎
Rabbit articulate 兔
Dragon healthy 龙
Snake deep 蛇
Horse popular 马
Goat elegant 羊
Monkey clever 猴
Rooster deep thinkers 鸡
Dog loyalty 狗
Pig chivalrous 猪

09:27 AM Apr 08 2007 |




Happy New Year!

08:20 AM Feb 23 2007 |



i’m sorrry,i didn’t know how to use the reviews.in fact, i want to say it’s rather fine.

01:39 AM Feb 23 2007 |

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