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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. 


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. 


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