Saturday, 9 February 2008

赤口 - chì kǒu – Inauspicious days!

Yesterday we learnt all about the importance of 拜年 – bài nián – New Year visits. However, today we learn that the third and fourth days of the Chinese New Year are considered to be inauspicious days for visiting because on these days there is a tendency for arguments to happen! The 3rd and 4th days are described as as 赤口, chì kǒu.

赤, chì is translated as bare or red. It is pronounced chur with a 4th or falling tone.

口, kǒu means mouth, and is pronounced “co” with a 3rd or falling and rising tone.

Perhaps the strain of all that celebrating and visiting is starting to tell. It is possible that the literal translation “bare mouth” means people’s real feelings may come out... Be careful what you say!