Lesson 037. Chinese Holidays and Vacation.

What holidays are there in China and what people do during those holidays? Learn such expressions as have a nice a holiday! Have a nice weekend! Middle Autumn Festival and moon cakes, Chinese New Year and Dragon Boat Festival.

Learn all about these traditional Chinese holidays and beyond!

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  1. Tom says:

    Hi Serge! Just want to let you know that your podcasts are just perfect! It’s so great to use your stuff for learning Chinese! The way you teach this language is probably the best way I’ve ever experienced!

  2. Greg says:

    hi Serge
    I was wondering if you could clear up the word “fangjia”. You have it listed as “taking a vacation” but my Chinese teacher keeps saying that this means specifically, “To get time off from work” or the boss “gives you time off”.
    He says that the way to take a vacation in the sense of “we are on vacation now” is “dujia”. So could you please explain a bit the difference between xiūjià, fàngjià and dujia. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Feichang ganxie ni!

  3. Hi Greg,

    Your Chinese teacher is right. Fangjia(放假)means to get time off work or school or when the boss or the school gives you this time off. It’s the most common word with the meaning “to have a holiday or vacation” So in most cases, when you talk about a vacation or holidays it’s fangjia. That’s why I have chosen this word, not dujia(度假) or xiujia(休假).

    The words fangjia, dujia and xiujia all have similar meaning in English, but in Chinese they have some stylistic differences. To better understand the differences between these three words, you need to look up the meanings of fang in fangjia, du in dujia and xiu in xiujia.

    Fang means to let someone go, set someone free etc. So fangjia means that you have been granted a holiday or a vacation from your company or school. And in most cases it’s true, because all of us work or study somewhere, so that’s why in the context of lesson 37 I used the word fangjia. Ni shenme shihou fangjia?-When do you have a vacation? Usually, it’s an official holiday, like in China we have 7 days of in October-National Day and 7 days off in May-Labour Day. In this case, the government grants you this vacation. So this is fangjia.

    Now, du in dujia means a process, to spend, to pass(duguo). So dujia emphasizes the process, maybe even the place, where and how you are having your vacation. Usually it’s used together with the verb “to go”-Qu. E.g. Women fangjia le, ni xiang qu nali dujia?-We have holidays, where do you want to go for a vacation? Du miyue-to have a honeymoon-another example. E.g. Women qu Taiguo dujia-we are going to spend our holidays in Thailand. So I would translate dujia as “to spend holidays or a vacation”

    Xiu in xiujia is from xiuxi-to rest, to take time off. Xiujia is very close in meaning to fangjia, but it doesn’t emphasize that you need to be granted this vacation. It’s usually a vacation that you are legally entitled to. Let’s say your annual leave- nianxiu, etc. You can chose the time to spend this vacation by yourself, it’s not an official holiday. E.g. Wo meinian you san tian de xiujia- I have there days of vacation every year.

    Now let’s make a sentence with all three words within one sentence.

    Wo laoban gei wo fangjia, suoyi wo you jitian de xiujia, wo jueding qu Xiaweiyi dujia.-My boss gave me a vacation, so I got several days off, I decided to spend my vacation in Hawaii.


    Learn Mandarin Chinese with Serge Melnyk

  4. Max C says:

    You course has actually helped many and i must say that it is not easy trying to ensure proper knowledge.Kudos

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