Sunday, 2 October 2011

秋天的妝,萬聖節的裝 Fall Makeup, Halloween Disguise

In anticipation of Halloween, we are singing silly songs and thinking about the costumes we are going to wear. The stores have everything about Halloween on display. We've visited several pumpkin patches. We can hear the rustling of leaves on the ground when we go for a walk in the woods. I think Halloween is my children's favourite festival (ok, maybe after Christmas). As a kid, I was always excited about going out in the dark. Although in Taiwan, the ghosts are said to be a lot more vicious. Here in Canada, this so-called ghost festival is just a day to ask for treats and dress up in funny or fancy clothes. How fun!

I was surprised I have a lot of stock photos from the past that I can use for this short poem. I want to share this poem BEFORE the Halloween arrives so kids and parents can learn and use a few Chinese phrases just in time for the holiday. I have to admit I don't really like the pumpkin pie but I do like to carve pumpkins. One of the pumpkins in the photos (the happy ghost) was the orginal design of Emilyn when she was 4. Hmmm... what are we going to carve this year?

Here is the full poem. As always, feedback welcomed. Enjoy!

qiū tiān de zhuāng
Fall Makeup

wàn shèng jié de zhuāng
Halloween Disguise

shéi  bǎ lù sè de shù yè huà le zhuāng
who puts the makeup on the green leave?

shéi bǎ sēn lín huàn shàng hóng huáng jú sè de xīn yī
who puts the new clothes of red, yellow and orange on the forest?

shéi bǎ dì shàng pū mǎn shù yè de dì tǎn
who covers the ground with a carpet of leaves?

hǎo měi ā
so beautiful

yuán lái shì qiū tiān liáng shuǎng de kōng qì
 it is the cool air of the Fall

biàn de bǎ xì
that plays the trick

hǎo wán yē
so much fun

kě yǐ duī mǎn luò yè
let’s pile up the leaves

tiào jìn qù
then jump in

hǎo chī yōu
so yummy

kǎo ge nán guā pài
let’s bake a pumpkin pie

he rè kě kě
drink hot chocolate

ā! bú yào wàng jì
aya! don’t forget to

bǎ nán guā kē chéng xiào xiào liǎn
carve a smiley face onto the pumpkin

yě bú yào wàng jì
also don’t forget to

bǎ zì jǐ huà zhuāng
put the makeup on ourselves

māo mī? wū pó? hái shì xiǎo guǐ?
a kitten? a witch? or a little ghost?

guò wàn shèng jié le!
it’s time for Halloween!


  1. Beautiful!
    Ining - when you say the mandarin and your daughters follow it really helps my comprehension too!

    Great pictures to accompany the poem!
    Keep up the great work!

    And have a fun halloween!


  2. Hi Ining -
    Here's another idea: can you write a "new words and phrases" section at the end or beginning of the poems? From my own perspective, this would be useful for me: I could then work to integrate this new diction into our conversations and also have the poem to put it in context and practice pronunciation... what do you think?

  3. I`m glad you like my reading, Paul. It`s easier for Emilyn and more fun for her to read with me. I`ll try the new words and phrases approach. I do that with Emilyn as we create the poem so that`s not a problem, part of the learning process. I just need to make it visible to you and the readers.
    Happy Halloween!

  4. Hello,

    Chinese children benefit from traditional clothing because there is both historical significance and symbolism designed into the garments.The clothing is designed with straight lines and fits loosely. The loose fit allows the garments to hang with natural folds regardless of whether or not the child is wearing a belt.Thanks!

    Chinese kids clothing