How to say Mother's Day in Mandarin Chinese & the origin of the carnation flower name

What is the perfect flower for Mother's Day? Carnations!

To celebrate this special holiday, don't forget to buy your mom a bouquet of carnations; if the cost is too great, then, draw her a card full of carnations then :)

(photo credit davedehetre)

On Mother's Day, I am going to buy my mom a bouquet of bright red carnations.


Mǔqīnjié dàngtiān , Wǒ yào mǎi yī shù xiānhóng de kāng nǎi xīn sòng gěi Wǒ māma.

Mǔqīnjié (母亲节 Mǔqīn mother, jié holiday; Mǔqīnjié means Mother's Day) dàngtiān (当天 that day) , Wǒ (我pronoun, I) yào (要 verb, want or would like) mǎi (买 verb, to buy) yī (一 number, one) shù (束 noun, bouquet) xiān (鲜 adjective, bright or fresh) hóng (红 adjective, red) de ( 的 a particle to put after attributive and before the noun it modifies) kāngnǎixīn (康乃馨 carnation) sòng (送 verb, to give or to send) gěi (给 preposition, to) Wǒ (我 Wǒ de 我的 for short, my) māma (妈妈 noun, mom).

The botanical (植 物 学 的 [zhíwùxué de] ) name for the Carnation flower is Dianthus. The name Dianthus is from the Greek (希 腊 文 的 [Xīlà wén de] ) words dios (god) and anthos (flower), and was named by the Greek botanist ( 植 物 学 家 [zhíwùxué jiā] ) Theophrastus.

Thus, carnation flowers have Greek origin which means divine (神 的 [shén de] )flowers or the flowers of Zeus, the Greek god of the sky and king of the gods. In Greek mythology (神 话 [shénhuà] ), it says goddess (女 神 [nŭshén] ) Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt as well as of childbirth (分 娩 [fēnmiăn] ), once was in extreme anger, and she tore out the eyes of a shepherd (牧 羊 人 [mùyángrén] ) when he startled her when she was in hunting. Later, Artemis regretted her own rash actions, so she replaced his eyes with two bright red carnations.

Listen to my audio recording and learn more about carnations and its different colors and meanings and much more, check it out at

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Comment by Shu on May 15, 2012 at 9:03am

Hi Grace,

I am glad that you had a memorable Mother's Day. Children are the sweetest presents themselves:)

There are some online flower shops, maybe they do delivery to China too?

Thank you for the comment. I like the movies you put on your website , they are all new to me ..

Comment by Grace on May 15, 2012 at 1:18am

My kids made the best gifts to me on Mother's day: crafted cards and necklace :-)

I wish I could send a bouquet of bright red carnations to my Mom in China if it's not that far ...

Nice post, Shu!


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