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Traditional Chinese naming is often done by an expert who takes into account the child’s time, date, and place of birth, as well as the family’s hopes and dreams for their new baby. It is believed a name plays an important role in bringing balance (yin yang) to the child by combining  these elements to make one full name.

Here is a sampling of elemental names to help ring in most important Chinese holiday: The New Year!

A wonderful name that works well cross-culturally, Bai means “pure” or “white” when given to a girl, and “cypress” when bestowed on a boy. Chinese-born American actress Bai-Ling is a famous bearer.

Professional basketball player Yao Ming sports this surname — one of the oldest in history — meaning “greatly desired.”

Lin conveys the strength and endurance of “forest” when used for a boy. It’s a very fitting moniker for Olympian Lin Dan, one of the world’s all-time greatest badminton players.

This element means “shining,” but when coupled with Na, as with Chinese-American actress Ming-Na Wen, it means “enlightened and graceful.”

Traditionally chosen for a daughter who is the youngest of sisters, Mei is given to aspire to beauty and is often written with the Chinese character for “plum.”

Chinese actress and singer Li Bingbing’s name means both “strong” and “lovely.”

Got a brilliant baby name idea for this list? Add it to the comments below!