Culture, News

Happy Māori new year! 新年快乐!

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It’s the time of the year to celebrate Matariki and we just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year 新年快乐 xīn nián kuài lè! We’d also like to take this time to thank everyone who has journeyed with Ni Hao Children’s Community over the past year and for giving us the opportunity and joy of being able to share the Mandarin language with your families in our own little way 🙂 We look forward to continuing this journey with you and doing whatever we practically can to support your learning, especially if in a non-Mandarin speaking environment.

By the way, did you know the traditional Māori calendar is based on the lunar cycle? The traditional Chinese calendar is also based on the lunar cycle….and solar cycle. But, the Chinese New Year is actually a Lunar New Year too.

The definition of the lunar calendar depends on the definition of the solar calendar, but not vice-versa. ….

The Chinese solar calendar consists of a sequence of solar years which are not divided into months but rather into 24 periods which begin at the “solar terms” (see below).

The Chinese lunar calendar consists of a sequence of lunar years which are divided into 12 or 13 lunar months. A solar year begins at the (northern) winter solstice, which is on or around December 22 in the Common Era Calendar. A lunar month begins on the day of a dark moon.

The beginning of a lunar year (i.e, lunar new year’s day) is more difficult to define (but see below); it always begins from about January 20th to about February 20th, i.e., about a month or so after the start of the Chinese solar year.

More info for the kids:


Chinese Calendar

Culture, News

Traditional Chinese Painting – Student Art Exhibition in Lower Hutt

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Traditional Chinese Painting – Student Art Exhibition

Presented by the students of Chinese Painting Teacher Tina Kuo

A parent has told us that it includes the art work of one of girls learning Mandarin with Ni Hao Children’s Community 🙂

Exhibition Dates: Tuesday 20 – Sunday 25 September 2016
Venue: Odlin Gallery (Hutt Art Centre), 9-11 Myrtle Street, Lower Hutt.
Student Demonstration Day: 1-4pm, Saturday 24 September 2016

The Odlin Gallery is open everyday, 10am to 4pm, free entry 🙂

Check out some of the amazing paintings below:


Class-Home Resources, Culture, News, Weekly Handout

Chinese Moon Festival – A guide to Mooncakes!

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A great video giving the low down on Mooncakes! Yum 🙂

Mooncakes are small but they are still to be shared and eaten in very tiny slices (loaded with oil and calories, and are very rich).

Mooncakes can be pretty expensive too. They are usually bought in a gift box of 4 moon cakes, and could cost between $35 / box to $50 / box or much more!

My personal fave is the Cantonese style moon cake, lotus paste – now, don’t some of the best Chinese foods come from Cantonese-style cuisine?? 😉 A biased view..

Culture, News

Sunday @ Capital E

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Here are some photos taken this Sunday morning at Capital E while we were there to run some activities. We thought the decorations looked very festive 🙂 Thank you to Capital E for having us!

Lovely red blossum LED trees!
Festive playground
Artwork by Stan Chan
Swimming goldfish in the “floor tank”


Culture, News

Chinese New Year: Xue’s view

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From our teacher, Xue:

Xue Photo

On Chinese New Year eve, all the family members get together for lunch and dinner. After that will sit together to prepare dumplings, which will be served right after 12am new year. Parents will put red envelope with money under children’s pillow when they are asleep on new year. The most exciting things for children are new clothes, yummy food and red envelope. Children play the fire crackers outside, or step on small balloons inside, which are to make bad luck or monsters go away.
We celebrate new year for 15 days, on new year day will eat dumplings. The second day we will eat noodles. There are more traditions to follow, but my family only do these first two days.
We decorate our house with red lanterns, a couplet on both side of front door, and Chinese character “happiness/Fu/福” is stick upside down on the door. All of these wish for a happy new year and good luck.
Culture, News

Chinese New Year: Chien-Chi’s view

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Chien-Chi profile picture FrontdeskFrom Chien-Chi, ex-teacher, and now volunteer advisor:

The idea of Chinese New Year in Taiwan is a lot like Christmas here in New Zealand- families gather together and share good meals as well as good time.
For me and my family, Chinese New Year is the best time for catching up with the extended family- every family member who lives in different parts of Taiwan would go down to Grandpa and Grandma’s in the south of Taiwan. We would spend at least 3 days there and do nothing but eat and hang out with the cousins.

The typical food we have on Chinese New Year’s Eve is “hotpot”, which requires people to sit in a big circle and surround this steaming pot which cooks all the yummy ingredients. Hotpot symbolises the fulfilment of the family and it creates heaps of chances for people around the table to mingle and talk about their life during the previous year.

Sometimes we would go visit old family friends to wish them good health and all the best for the new year.

Chinese New Year is definitely the best chance for us to have good quality family time!

Next up, we’ll be hearing from our new teacher, Xue! Watch for the post in a few days time 🙂

Culture, News

Chinese New Year: Lizzie’s view

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Chinese New Year is just around the corner!!! So we thought we’d share our personal experiences and thoughts on Chinese New Year. Everyone does things a little differently! 🙂

From our teacher, Lizzie / Yi:

Yi Lizzie Li photo

During the Chinese New Year, people like to have dinner with their families and watch the Spring Festival Evening show together.

Firecrackers_lit_by_handWith regard to the dinner, in my country (Yunnan province in China), people eat various dishes in the Spring festival evening since it is a really happy time for them. Some people who work far from their home will buy tickets in advance and go back home to celebrate the new year with their families together. So you can see it is a  happy time for family reunion.
Some people play with firecrackers at 12pm that night and at 6 am the day after. It is just a tradition. Not all people do that, our families don’t do that, but some people do.
For younger kids, they might get 红包 ( “hong bao”, a red packet with money in it) from their families.

With regard to the dinner, our family would have fish, chicken, Chinese cabbage soup…. the Chinese cabbage soup includes Chinese cabbage and lots of meat. We make it taste a bit sour. It is delicious for me!! It is a traditional food in my country and every new year we will cook it. I know some people from northern part of China, they would cook dumplings.
One of my friends, she is from Shandong province, she said that the day after spring festival evening, in the early morning (probably at 5am), she would visit her other relatives one by one.

In another few days, we’ll have Chien-Chi sharing her experiences from a Taiwanese angle 🙂