Here again is the time to see out the old year and usher in a new one. “Year” in the Chinese language (nian) originally meant a plenteous harvest, as reflected in the well-wishing proverb, “The years see bumper crops and people enjoy longevity.” Crops were harvested annually in ancient times, so the word came by extension to meansui, a cycle of four seasons, and later on to mean a person's age. In the West, people customarily make New Year’s resolutions aimed at improving themselves in the year ahead. As a matter of fact, the list needn't be long. Instead, to have one or two small changes for the better is quite enough. It is one of the most easily achievable goals, for example, to drop the habit of keeping your eyes riveted to the screen of your mobile phone while talking to someone else.
Again, it is time bidding farewell to one year while welcoming the approaching of another. “Year” in the Chinese context was originally the equivalence of harvest, just as a Chinese phrase goes, “people with long life expectancy and a year with rich harvest.” In ancient China, given that harvest happens once a year for crops, “year” has been enriched in meaning to stand for the four seasons and later for people’s age as well. In the western world, people usually make New Year’s resolutions, wishing all the better for the upcoming year. Frankly speaking, instead of a long list of resolutions, one or two will suffice, which for instance, could simply be vowing to get rid of mobile phones when talking with others and so forth.
It is the turn of the year again. The Chinese character “nian”, equivalent to the English word “year”, refers to “harvest” in its original meaning, as suggested by an old saying “May god send us a good harvest and a long life”. In ancient China, the character began to acquire the meaning of “year” just because there was only one harvest in one year. Later, it was employed to describe human age. When the new year is approaching, it is a tradition for people in the West to make a “New Year resolution”, hoping they will do better than before. It is, in fact, of no use to make too many resolutions. It will be quite fine to deal with one or two small matters successfully. For example, you are suggested not to play on the phone when talking with friends. Such things are easier to manage.