NEW YEAR'S DAY

YUANDAN

元 旦

(Yuán Dàn)

New Year’s Day v.s. YuanDan Festival in China

New Year’s Day, referring to the first day in January of the solar year, is much known as the Chinese word “元旦 (Yuán dàn)“, the name of the first Chinese festival we’ll meet at the beginning of the solar year.

Initially, the Chinese Word for New Year’s Day “元旦 (Yuán dàn)” appearing in ancient China was not working as a festival’s name but was used to name the first day of the lunar January in China’s lunar calendar. Until the founding of PRC (The People’s Republic of China) in 1949, the Chinese word “元旦 (Yuán dàn)” was officially set down by legal as the name of the Festival on January 1st of the Solar Calendar, and then got spreading throughout the world as “YuanDan Festival“.

Extended Readings on New Year’s Day and YuanDan Holidays

Since YuanDan Festival, as the New Year’s Day in China, has been specified to be a legal Chinese festival, people will then have a three-day holiday for the celebrations of New Year’s Day in China.

Such legal holidays within three days are usually called the “Chinese Long-Weekend Holidays” (小长假 xiǎo cháng jià). According to the Solar Calendar, the specific days for YuanDan/New Year’s Day Holidays will fluctuate in the initial of January but always be arranged around January 1st of each year.

Keep reading the following stories to get more about New Year’s Day and Yuan Dan Festival in China. Enjoy it. 😛

? TALK ABOUT CHINESE NEW YEAR'S DAY

The Chinese Word for New Year’s Day is written as “元旦 (Yuán dàn)” which was mainly used to mark the first day of January in the solar calendar by the Chinese ancients. The first Chinese character “元 (yuán)” in Chinese refers to the first, initial, the start, or the origin, and it implies the meaning of beginning. So in the Chinese history, this character was added frequently in front of a day as “元日 (Yuán rì)” to describe the first day, added in front of a month as “元月 (Yuán yuè)” to describe the first month, and in front of a year as “元年 (Yuán nián)” to describe the first year.

As for the second character “旦 (dàn)“, it means a day or sometimes the morning. “旦 (dàn)” is a pictogram Chinese character and you can almost guess its meaning from the drawings with strokes it represents. In Chinese, the character “旦 (dàn)” consists of two basic Chinese characters: “日 (rì)” and “一 (yī)“, in which the former “日 (rì)” means the sun and the latter “一 (yī)” is the Chinese number form of the digit one or the Arabic “1”. If combining both characters together to form the new character “旦 (dàn)“, its glyph looks like the sun rising from the horizontal line, and hence implying the morning as well as the beginning of a day. So these are really helpful for us to actually understand the meaning of the Chinese word “元旦 (Yuán dàn)“, which is equivalent to the initial day, and that’s the reason for the Chinese word “元旦 (Yuán dàn)” used to mark New Year’s Day in China. With regard to the literal Chinese meaning of the English word “New Year”, please feel free to check out Chinese word for New Year here.

元 旦
(Yuán dàn)

"New Year's Day"

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Simplified Chinese

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