Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy New Year

...4706 in China but 2551 in Thailand*

I could have told you 新年快乐 Xin Nian Kuai Le (like last year) but my Chinese is so much better this year (cough, cough) that I prefer to use the very local 您吉祥 Nin2 Ji2 Xiang4, which apparently roughly translates as “wishing you luck and health in the new year”.

Because there is nothing better to wish a Happy Chinese New Year than with the cover of the free English magazine “That’s Beijing” (that every Expat looks for frenetically at the beginning of each month) so here it is just like last year. By the look at it, it seems like it’s the year of the rat… so if you were born 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 or even 96 years ago this is your 本命年 “BenMingNian” (“special year”, you are supposed to wear something red, be your underwear or just a string, for protection and good luck). More about Chinese zodiac here.

That’s Beijing Magazine

* Thai New Year, called Songkran is the ancient New Year's Day and it's celebrated between the 13th and 15th of April. The reference point is Lord Buddha's birth 543 before Jesus Christ.