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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hong Kong Series at CantoneseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Hong Kong. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 20. Human Day, or 人日 in Cantonese.
Human Day is on the 7th day of the 1st month on the lunar calendar. In 2016, Human Day is on February 14 and in 2017, it's February 3. According to Chinese tradition, this is considered as the day human beings were created.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you- Do you know how to greet others on Human Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
As the name Human Day, or 人日 suggests, Human Day is about the birth of mankind. Human Day has a history of at least two thousand years. By tradition, it’s considered that human beings are created by the Goddess 女媧. In the ancient Chinese literature, it says creatures were made in this order. First was the chicken or 雞, second the dog or 狗, third the pig or 猪, fourth the sheep or 羊, fifth the ox or 牛, sixth the horse or 馬, seventh the human or 人, and eighth, wheat or 小麦.
Records about a festival being held on Human Day date back to the Han Dynasty, or 漢朝 in Cantonese, which was in 206 BCE to 220 CE. It’s recorded that people celebrated the day with firecrackers and firework displays.
As the New Year days are the birthdays of different animals, there is a custom of not slaughtering those animals on their respective birthdays. For instance, killing chickens is not allowed, nor is the punishment of prisoners on Human Day.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question- Do you know how to greet others on Human Day?
On Human Day, you can greet people by saying "Happy Birthday". In Cantonese, this is 生日快樂. Don’t be surprised if someone says this expression on this day even though it’s not your birthday. People in Hong Kong say it because Human day is the birthday of mankind.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Is there a festival similar to Human Day in your country?
Leave us a comment at CantoneseClass101.com.
We'll see you next time!


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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Is there a festival similar to Human Day in your country?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:08 PM
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Hello robert groulx,

You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.

Kind regards,


Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 10:21 PM
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thanks for he lesson

my favorite phrase is 生日快樂.

we do not celevrate this holiday