The 12 Days of Chengyu

Did you catch Chinosity's 12 Days of Chengyu? If not, have no fear! Our recap is here.


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In case you missed it: this holiday season Chinosity celebrated the 12 Days of Chengyu. Every day through our newsletter, Instagram, and Facebook, we learned a new chengyu–a traditional Chinese expression. 

If you missed out, don't fret! Join us now to go over the 12 chengyu we learned this holiday season.

Our amazing illustrations were done by @four_chars, make sure to check them out!

  1. 1 Yǎn jiàn wéi shí


    眼见为实

    Meaning: To believe in what can be seen

    Do you believe in Santa? How do you know if Santa is real if you have never met him?

  2. 2 Mín yǐ shí wéi tiān


    民以食为天

    Meaning: People view food as their heaven

    This five-character cheng yu is a classical way of saying there is nothing more important than food. All of the food for Christmas? And then Christmas leftovers? Yes please!

  3. 3 Huà shé tiān zú


    画蛇添足

    Meaning: To draw legs on a snake (i.e. to overdo something)

    This Chinese saying is perfect for artists or chefs. It suggests that in the effort to improve something that is already perfect, we might add something that makes it worse!

  4. 4 Qián rén zāi shù, hòu rén chéng liáng


    前人栽树,后人乘凉

    Meaning: The predecessors plant the tree, the descendants cool off in the shade.

    Did you know it takes more than 8 years to grow a Christmas tree? It is only thanks to the efforts of workers who planted trees 10 years ago that we get to enjoy Christmas trees during the holidays this year.

    Or, we can use this cheng yu to remember that we are able to enjoy the holidays because of all the hard work our parents and families do over the year.

  5. 5 Xīn xǐ ruò kuáng


    欣喜若狂

    Meaning: Extremely happy and surprised (in a good way!)

    The perfect word to describe getting the exact Christmas gift you wanted all along. 

  6. 6 Sài wēng shī mǎ


    塞翁失馬

    Meaning: The old man lost his horse, but it all turned out for the best

    A lot of difficult things that happened in 2020 could be blessings in disguise. For example, working and learning from home gave us more quality family time.


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