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Fancy Lantern
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

    Fancy Lanterns
Fancy lanterns (dēng cǎi 灯彩), also called Colored Lamps (huā dēng 花灯), are special handicraft product of Chinese tradition which are widely used for decorations on festivals and holidays, weddings and other personal celebrations in China. According to statistics, fancy lantern was originated from the Western Han Dynasty (xī hàn 西汉) over 1800 years ago. When Lantern Festival (yuán xiāo jié 元宵节) comes, people will hang red lanterns so as to create a cheerful atmosphere. Afterward lantern became the symbol of joy in China. With its development, the lantern has formed abundant varieties and super craftwork level.

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Lady White and Xu Xian
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

   Lady White, Xiao Qing and Fa Hai
The folk of Lady White and Xu Xian (bái niáng zǐ hé xǔ xiān 白娘子和许仙) is one of the Chinese four greatest folklores. It reflects people’s recognition of love. The story goes like this: Taking the shapes of two women, White Snake (bái shé 白蛇), Bai Suzhen (bái sù zhēn 白素贞), and Green Snake (qīng shé 青蛇), Xiao Qing (xiǎo qīng 小青), toured on the West Lake (xī hú 西湖). A sudden heavy rain came at that time it sent everyone scurrying for shelter. When Bai Suzheng and Xiao Qing found their way, a young man holding up an umbrella protected them from the rain. The young man looked very handsome and gentle he was a local young scholar. Both Bai Suzheng and the young man flushed crimson with embarrassment when their eyes met together. They began to fall in love at that time. Seeing this, the clever Xiaoqing asked: "Thank you for your umbrella Sir, Could you tell us your name?"The young man replied: "My name is Xu Xian and I live in nearby the Broken Bridge (duàn qiáo 断桥)." Then Bai Suzheng and Xiaoqin introduced themselves to the young man.

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Chinese Civilian Residence
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

   Siheyuan
Residential construction in different parts of China is also called civilian residential housing which is a basic type of architecture. Due to the vast expanse of China, the presence of many ethnic groups, different climatic conditions and ways of life, the residences of people in different parts of the country differ in terms of design and style. The most representative civilian residences in China are the Siheyuan of Beijing (běi jīng sì hé yùan 北京四合院), Cave Dwellings (yáo dòng 窑洞) of the Loess Plateau (huáng tǔ gāo yuán 黄土高原) northwest China, the Earthen Tower (tǔ lóu 土楼) of Kejia (or Hakka) people (kè jiā rén 客家人) in Fujian (fú jiàn shěng 福建省) and Guangdong provinces (guǎng dōng shěng 广东省), and the Mongolian yurt (méng gǔ bāo 蒙古包) in Mongolian nationality.

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Stone Lion
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

    Stone Lion in Forbidden City
The earliest stone lion (shí shī 石狮) was discovered in a Eastern Han Dynasty tomb in Ya'an (yǎ ān 雅安), Sichuan Province (sì chuān shěng 四川省). During the Ming Dynasty (míng cháo 明朝) stone lions were placed in front of palaces, government buildings, temples and even some rich family mansions to display power. Later, stone lion designs were carved as decoration on important architectural features such as door lintels and eaves. Beijing now has many stone lions made during the Ming and Qing (qīng 清) dynasties. These lions do not seem powerful and wild, but rather are kindly and gentle.

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Daily Figurative Slangs (70)
Learn Chinese - Practical Chinese

Chinese slangs

吃香
Be very popular.

【发音】chī xiāng

【释义】指受重视;到处受人欢迎。
            Be welcome by a great amount of people everywhere.

【例1】现在中国到处需要英语教师,他们很吃香。
           Now, in China, teachers of English are in good demand and have the best of it.

【例3】那位大臣当时在宫廷里很吃香。
           The minister was in high favor at court at that time.

 
Daily Figurative Slangs (69)
Learn Chinese - Practical Chinese

Chinese slangs

吃力不讨好
A thankless task; do a hard but thankless job.

【发音】chī lì bù tǎo hǎo

【释义】费力而得不到好效果。
            Work hard but get little result.

【例1】改卷子是吃力不讨好的任务。
           Grading papers is a thankless task.

【例2】 要是你想帮助他这个人,那将是吃力不讨好。
             If you try to help him, you will be a fool for your pains.

 
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