Christmas Tuesdays: Festive idioms

Ho ho ho (哈哈哈), a very merry Christmas and happy holidays to ants all over the world. The Anthill is taking a week's break, and will be back in the new year with more narrative sketches and stories from China. Until then, here's a cracker-full of chengyu, four-character Mandarin idioms – some meant for spring festival – that could be repurposed as more Western festive greetings ...

张灯结彩 – zhāngdēngjiécǎi: To be decorated with lanterns and coloured banners. (Deck the halls with boughs of holly.)

瑞雪兆丰年 – ruìxuězhàofēngnián: Timely snow foretells a prosperous year. (I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.)

笙歌鼎沸 – shēnggēdǐngfèi: Music and song; a confused racket. (Ding dong merrily on high.)

皓如繁星 – hàorúfánxīng: As bright as a sky full of stars. (Christmas lights.)

喜气洋洋 – xǐqìyángyáng: Full of jubilation. ('Tis the season to be jolly.)

阖家团圆 – héjiātuányuán: A family reunion. (Coming home for Christmas.)