The Best of the Chinese Proverbs (Inspirational Quotations #362)


Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival

The Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is the most important festival on the Chinese calendar. The festivities traditionally begin on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar and end with the Lantern Festival celebrated on the 15th day of the New Year.

The Chinese festival year follows a lunar calendar and consists of twelve moons; each moon lasts about 29 1/2 days. The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year cycle and each year relates to an animal in the Chinese zodiac. Year 4708, the year beginning February 3, 2011, is the Year of the Rabbit.

Dragon Dance at Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival parade

Festivities and Traditions

For the Chinese, the New Year is a time of great renewal. They devote the last few days of the old year to intense preparation. They clean their homes in a belief that, along with the dirt and debris around their homes, they can sweep away the mistakes and misfortunes of the past. They hang protective ornaments in their homes to welcome the good fortunes that the New Year brings.

The Chinese New Year is also a period of reunion. Scores of migrants return home to share the festivities with their families. The Chinese celebrate by partaking in divinatory readings at temples, sharing gifts, and bonding over elaborate family dinner parties. Children receive “lucky money” in red envelopes as part of the New Year’s gift-giving.

Outside of the Far East, ethnic Chinese celebrate the New Year in Chinatowns around the world with community parades and extravaganzas featuring fireworks, lion and dragon dance-shows, acrobatics, lanterns, and illuminated floats.

Chinese Proverbs

The tongue is like a sharp knife; it kills without drawing blood.
Chinese Proverb

Never try to catch two frogs with one hand.
Chinese Proverb

When you go to dig a grave for your enemy, dig two.
Chinese Proverb

Who thinks an inch, but talks a yard, needs a kick in the foot.
Chinese Proverb

If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.
Chinese Proverb

A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.
Chinese Proverb

I dreamed a thousand new paths… I woke and walked my old one.
Chinese Proverb

Man fools himself. He prays for a long life, and he fears an old age.
Chinese Proverb

Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men.
Chinese Proverb

Those who cause divisions, in order to injure other people; are in fact preparing pitfalls for their own ruin.
Chinese Proverb

Talk doesn’t cook rice.
Chinese Proverb

Don’t curse the darkness — light a candle.
Chinese Proverb

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
Chinese Proverb

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
Chinese Proverb

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
Chinese Proverb

What you cannot avoid, welcome.
Chinese Proverb

Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.
Chinese Proverb

Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time.
Chinese Proverb

Slander cannot destroy the man … when the flood recedes, the rock is there.
Chinese Proverb

If you want your dinner, don’t offend the cook.
Chinese Proverb

Flowers leave their fragrance on the hand that bestows them.
Chinese Proverb

When you put on your clothes, remember the weaver’s labor; when you take your daily food, remember the husbandman’s work.
Chinese Proverb

Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect.
Chinese Proverb

Not the fastest horse can catch a word spoken in anger.
Chinese Proverb

Towers are measured by their shadows, and men of merit by those who are envious of them.
Chinese Proverb

Comments

  1. Bill says

    I had a dream of a woman, unknown to me, who spoke quietly in my ear, what she called an “ancient Chinese proverb”. I don’t recall most of it because, just like in eal life, my hearing isn’t so good. What I do remember were the words “Blood on your hands” and “emerging from the congregation”.

    The mood of the conversation, between her and I was a positive one. Her words were meant as an encouragement, in retrospect, to something I had been dealing with, that has left me fealing unworthy.

    Another thing that I thought was odd about the dream was that, as the woman first approached me, she started out as my Boss, a male figure. He transformed into this unkown woman about half way toward me.

    I am not sure why this meant so much for me to write. I didn’t know about this website before hand.

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