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Chinlingo Chinese character: 年

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"" (nián) means "year", the time it takes for the earth to orbit the sun. However, in ancient China, people have no scientific calendar knowledge, so they kept time according to the farming arrangements. It is the start of a year when seeding happens, while it is the end of a year when getting harvest. Thus, the character "年" is closely related to a good harvest. 

"年"(nián)是时间单位。是地球绕行太阳一圈的时间。但在中国古代,古人并不具备科学的历法知识。所以,他们用农事来计算时间。播种之际,即是一年的开端。丰收之时,即是一年的结束。因此,汉字"年"与粮食丰收紧密相关。

In modern China, "年" has been defined accurately. According to the scientific calendar, "年" means the time it takes for a revolution of the earth. Such words as "今年" (jīn nián: this year), "明年" (mínɡ nián: next year), and "去年" (qù nián: last year) are common words that are suffixed with "年". Also, "年" can be used as a measure word by following a number, for example, "2015年" and "2016年" (Year 2015 and Year 2016). 

在现代中国,"年"得到了准确的定位。依照科学立法,年即是指地球公转一周的时间。以"年"为词根的常用词语有"今年"(jīn nián:this year)、"明年"(mínɡ nián:next year)、"去年"(qù nián:last year)等。它也可跟在阿拉伯数字后作单位,如:2015年、2016年。

"年" meant "harvest" originally, but it has now evolved into the folk culture of Chinese Lunar New Year, which usually falls in the winter. At this time, as all farm work is finished, farmers make various foods with their reaped grain to celebrate the good harvest, and decorate their houses to be festive with the money earned from grain sales. Those who are engaged directly in farm work would also celebrate the new year with their "年终奖" (year-end bonus). All in all, "年" is the top priority for Chinese people. They hope for either a full granary or a stuffed moneybag. 

"年"表示丰收的本意则演化为中国农历新年的民俗文化。农历新年一般在冬季。这时候正是农事完毕,农息之时。农民用丰收的粮食制作各类美食庆祝丰收。也用粮食丰收置换的钱财装点家园,热闹喜庆。没有直接从事农业生产的人们,也会利用辛苦一年的"年终奖"购置年货,庆祝新年。总之,中国人的"年"是头等大事,若不是粮食满仓,也要是钱袋满满!

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2016-06-21

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