Puns, cows, and Chinese New Year

In China, and many other Asian countries, it’s the buildup to the new year (according to the lunar calendar). The upcoming year is the Year of the Ox (or Bull or Buffalo), and it starts on January 26.

The Chinese are all about puns and double entendres, as the restricted number of syllable sounds makes for a lot of words that sound like each other (despite the tonal differences, which aren’t very noticeable to the uninitiated).

One of my favourites so far combines the festive season, cows, Chinese, and English. The word for ‘cow’ (or ox) in Chinese is niu. It sounds a lot like the English word ‘new’. Therefore, imagine my delight when I first saw what I’m about to wish you.

Happy Niu Year!

Happy Niu Year!

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