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See also: 三更灯火五更鸡
third watch; midnight lights the five watches of the night; fifth watch fowl; chicken trad. (三更燈火五更雞) 三更 燈火 五更 雞 simp. (三更灯火五更鸡) 三更 灯火 五更 鸡 Literally: “Third watch with lamp light and fifth watch as the rooster crows”.
From the Tang poem “An Exhortation to Learning” (勸學):
- to burn the midnight oil, only to get up at the crack of dawn
- to work long hours
- to burn one's candle at both ends
- 就是這樣的一道檻，讓眾多的學子“三更燈火五更雞”，讓眾多的學校加課補課取消節假日。 [MSC, trad.]
- From: 2004: 武少民 (Wu Shaomin), 来信选登:素质教育比不上高考升学率？ (Letters to the Editor: Quality education cannot compare to the rate at which students pass high school entrance exams?)
- Jiùshì zhèyàng de yī dào kǎn, ràng zhòngduō de xuézǐ “sāngēng dēnghuǒ wǔgēng jī”, ràng zhòngduō de xuéxiào jiākè bǔkè qǔxiāo jiéjiàrì. [Pinyin]
- It's just this kind of threshold that causes many students to study late into the night, only to get up and go to class the next morning. It also causes many schools to add extra classes, including make-up classes, and to cancel holidays and days off.
就是这样的一道槛，让众多的学子“三更灯火五更鸡”，让众多的学校加课补课取消节假日。 [MSC, simp.]