Throughout literature spring has long been one of the symbols of refreshment, youth and rebirth. Coming after a long and cold winter, spring brings a new-found excitement to live. Its freshness, charm and warmth are all embodied in various Chinese chengyu (idioms).
1. 春兰秋菊 (chūn lán qiū jú). The chengyu says, "in spring there are orchids, in autumn there are chrysanthemums," each season has its own beauty, as well as every period in life bringing its own joy. The saying can be used when emphasizing the difference between things.
2. 枯木逢春 (kū mù féng chūn). This chengyu literally states, "withered trees burst afresh in spring" and implies a person getting a new life. The chengyu first appeared in a legend where one of the Taoist eight immortals named Zhang Guolao at the age of 80 years old married an 18 year-old daughter of Wei Shu. Now that would make you feel immortal!
3. 着手成春 (zhuó shǒu chéng chūn). The chengyu says, "all you have to do is to start, and then you will succeed." The saying dates back to ancient times and was intended for poets when writing their poems: once you have started writing, the needed words and rhythms will come. Another meaning of it is "by using a miraculous cure, the dead can be brought to life."
4. 春冰虎尾 (chūn bīng hǔ wěi). This spells out a dangerous situation for someone, and compares jeopardy with treading on the tiger's tail or walking on the ice in springtime.
5. 暮云春树 (mù yún chūn shù). This chengyu goes back to China's ancient times and means "thinking of a distant friend who is far away." The first two characters stand for "evening clouds," and the last two mean "spring tree." Presumably, thoughts about friends from afar can be born in such surroundings.