Chinese New Year (CNY) is this week, and it’s bound to cause confusion. This is because we’ve basically got three systems for numbering days overlapping, and quite close together:
1. The days of the week are referred to by numbers, starting with Monday (AKA “One-day”), then Tuesday (AKA “Two-day”), etc. In Chinese they’re 星期一、星期二、星期三、星期四、星期五、星期六、星期天.
2. For most of the year, dates are also referred to using the Western system. So starting Tuesday (today), it’s the first (1号). (Which is also Two-day.)
3. Since it’s CNY, everyone switches over to the lunar system for just a week or so. Day one of the lunar month (初一) is Thursday (which is Four-day, and also the third).
But just to make everything clearer, you might want to check out this PDF calendar (Warning: traditional characters!). Some key vocab:
– 大年三十: Chinese New Year’s Eve
– 春节: Chinese New Year
– 初一: the first of the lunar month (never used more than around CNY)
– 初二: the second of the lunar month
– 初三: the third of the lunar month (see a pattern here?)
OK, now for the sexy part. 2011 is the year of the rabbit. (Really, I’m going somewhere with this; be patient!) I did a little searching for images on the Chinese internet and found this creative graphic:
Also, somewhat to my surprise, my innocent 兔年 (“year of the rabbit”) search turned up some rather sexy pics. The year of the rabbit only comes around once every 12 years, so I’m pretty sure it’s the first time this particular sexied-up CNY theme has appeared in mainland China (it’s referred to as 兔年美女):
And while not all of the Playboy bunny-esque photos floating around online now are actually specifically meant for Chinese New Year, the one above is, as evidenced by the golden thing in the model’s hands, which is a 金元宝 (a gold ingot, an ancient form of money which usually makes appearances in CNY decorations).
Anyway, Happy Chinese New Year.