What My Father Said About Chinese New Year

Wishing all a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year. I wonder how many of us are familiar with the traditional Chinese way of telling time of the day? Most of us have come across such ways of telling time in old Chinese movies or dramas.

Never mind, let me go straight to the point. My father said that when he was young (teenager probably, he is now 80 years old), those who set off fire-crackers at Zi hour (子时) on the eve of Chinese New Year were usually the Cantonese. The rest of the dialect groups usually set off fire-crackers later at 12am or maybe even later at Chou hour (丑时). How true is this, I”m not sure as I cannot find any “evidence” to support this, but my father said he is very sure about it as he had even read about it in the Chinese newspaper articles in the past. So anyone heard about it too?

I’m only very sure that Chinese regard Zi hour (子时) as the beginning of the day but as to the different dialect groups marked the start of Chinese New Year at different times – I”m really not sure. My father said that in the past, Guangzhou was like the first door opened to the foreigners for trade. This is true as around 618 to 609BC, many Arab, Indian and Persian merchants set their feet on Guangzhou. So Guangzhou may be more established and advanced compared to other places in Chinea. As such, people living in Guangzhou may be using the above method to tell the time of the day and then later spread to other provinces.

Believe it or not, up to you haha.

Note : Sorry for not updating this site for quite some time due to my son’s O level exam last year 2010. Glad he did very well – All As for all his 8 subjects (4A1s and 4A2s), much better than me….what else can I ask for? As for this year, I’ll be preparing my daughter for her PSLE…sigh…..

What my father wrote;

“I smell a rat”, “可疑”

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8 Responses to “What My Father Said About Chinese New Year”


  1. 1 Icemoon Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Hey LKK, we’re wondering what happened to you. Congrats on your son’s results. Don’t worry, PSLE has less subjects to prepare, haha.

    Happy Chinese New Year to you and family!

  2. 2 laokokok Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you Icemoon. Happy New Year to you and your family too.

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