雪 is pronounced Xuě,


This character was first seen in the Shang Dynasty, and it means snow.

The upper part is 雨 (yǔ) which means rain, since snow is related to the rain; and the lower part is in the shape of “羽” (yǔ) which means feather, as falling snow is like feathers.



To say it is snowing heavily, we can say “鹅毛大雪” (Émáo dàxuě) which literally means it is snowing like the goose’s feathers.

In China snow is related to the agricultural harvest. There is a popular saying, “瑞雪兆丰年” (Ruìxuě zhào fēngnián) which means a timely snow indicates a year for a good harvest.


Another similar saying is, “冬天麦盖三层被,来年枕着馒头睡” (Dōngtiān mài gài sān céng bèi, láinián zhěnzhe mántou shuì) which means if the wheat is covered with a multi-layer of snow which is like a quilt in the winter, then you can sleep with the steamed buns in the coming year.

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