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What is Happy New Year in Chinese — 10 Ways to Wish Someone

Have you ever found yourself at a Chinese New Year celebration, unsure of how to properly convey your best wishes? You’re not alone. Understanding the significance and variety of greetings in Chinese can be challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with the language and culture. Our article about “What is Happy New Year in Chinese” offers a solution to this dilemma. This article provides an insightful exploration into the rich traditions of Chinese New Year greetings. It equips you with 10 different ways to wish someone, ensuring that you can confidently express your heartfelt wishes in a culturally respectful manner.

What is Happy New Year in Chinese in Different Ways?

“Happy New Year” in Chinese is commonly expressed as “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè) in Mandarin. This is the most universal and widely used greeting for the New Year in Chinese-speaking communities. Another popular greeting, especially during the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is “恭喜发财” (Gōngxǐ fācái), which means “Wishing you wealth and prosperity.” These phrases are an integral part of Chinese New Year celebrations and are used to convey good wishes for the coming year.

what is happy new year in chinese

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What is Happy New Year in Chinese Mandarin

Saying “Happy New Year” in Chinese, particularly in Mandarin, is a joyful and respectful gesture, especially during the festive season. The most common way to express this is by saying “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè), which directly translates to “New Year happiness.” This greeting is universal and can be used in both formal and informal settings. Another popular phrase is “恭喜发财” (Gōngxǐ fācái), meaning “Wish you wealth and prosperity,” often used during the Lunar New Year.

 For a more personal touch, you can say “祝您新年快乐” (Zhù nín Xīnnián kuàilè), which means “Wishing you a Happy New Year.” These phrases embody the spirit of joy and good wishes that define the New Year celebrations in Chinese-speaking communities.

What is happy new year in chinese greetings

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What is Happy New Year in Chinese Cantonese

To say “Happy New Year” in Cantonese, the dialect widely spoken in Hong Kong and parts of southern China, you would say “新年快樂” (pronounced as “San Nin Faai Lok”). This is the Cantonese equivalent of the Mandarin “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè) and carries the same meaning of wishing someone a happy and joyous new year.

Additionally, during the Lunar New Year, another common greeting in Cantonese is “恭喜發財” (Gung Hei Fat Choi), which means “Wishing you prosperity and wealth.” This phrase is particularly popular in the context of the Lunar New Year celebrations.

What is Happy New Year in Chinese Pronunciation

Wishing “Happy New Year” in Chinese involves not just knowing the words, but also mastering their pronunciation. In Mandarin, “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè) is the standard greeting. Here, “新” (Xīn) sounds like ‘sheen’, “年” (nián) like ‘nyen’, “快” (kuài) like ‘kwai’, and “乐” (lè) like ‘ler’. In Cantonese, the phrase is “新年快樂” (San Nin Faai Lok), with “新” (San) sounding like ‘san’, “年” (Nin) like ‘neen’, “快” (Faai) like ‘fai’, and “樂” (Lok) like ‘lok’. Pronunciation is key in Chinese as it’s a tonal language, where a slight change in tone can alter the meaning. Practice these phrases, and you’ll be warmly welcomed into New Year celebrations with accurate and respectful greetings. 

How to Write Chinese New Year in Chinese?

Chinese New Year can be written in Chinese characters as “春节” (Chūnjié). The term “春节” directly translates to “Spring Festival,” which is another common name for Chinese New Year. This festival marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of spring, hence the name. It’s celebrated with various customs, traditional foods, and activities across Chinese-speaking regions and communities around the world. The characters “春” (Chūn) means “spring,” and “节” (Jié) means “festival” or “holiday.” Writing “春节” is a way to refer to this important and widely celebrated festival in the Chinese calendar.

When is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is not just a date on the calendar; it’s a vibrant and deeply significant cultural event, marking the transition from winter to spring. Unlike the fixed date of January 1st for the Gregorian New Year, the Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year, typically between January 21st and February 20th. This is because it’s based on the lunar calendar, with the festival beginning on the second new moon after the winter solstice.

In 2024, Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, February 10th. This date marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, one of the most dynamic and powerful signs in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese New Year is not just a single day of celebration; it’s a vibrant, 15-day festival filled with rich traditions, family gatherings, and a plethora of cultural activities. Streets come alive with red decorations, symbolizing luck and happiness, and the air is filled with the sounds of fireworks , music and a lot more.

10 Ways to Wish Happy New Year in Chinese

Below are some ways to wish someone a Happy Chinese New Year, including the Chinese characters, their pronunciation in Pinyin, and the English translation for each:

  • 新年快乐 (Xīnnián kuàilè) – “Happy New Year”

Pronunciation: Sheen-nyen kwai-luh

Meaning: The standard greeting for “Happy New Year.”

  • 恭喜发财 (Gōngxǐ fācái) – “Wish you wealth and prosperity”

Pronunciation: Gong-shee faa-tseye

Meaning: A common phrase wishing wealth and prosperity in the new year.

  • 步步高升 (Bùbù gāoshēng) – “May every step take you higher”

Pronunciation: Boo-boo gow-shung

Meaning: A wish for continual improvement and success.

  • 万事如意 (Wànshì rúyì) – “May all your wishes be fulfilled”

Pronunciation: Wan-shee roo-ee

Meaning: Hoping that everything goes as one desires.

  • 身体健康 (Shēntǐ jiànkāng) – “Wish you good health”

Pronunciation: Shen-tee jyen-kahng

Meaning: A common wish for good health.

  • 心想事成 (Xīn xiǎng shì chéng) – “May all your heart’s desires come true”

Pronunciation: Sheen shahng shrr chung

Meaning: Wishing that one’s heart’s desires are fulfilled.

  • 年年有余 (Niánnián yǒu yú) – “May there be surpluses every year”

Pronunciation: Nyan-nyan yo yoo

Meaning: A wish for abundance and prosperity each year.

  • 大吉大利 (Dàjí dàlì) – “Great luck and great profit”

Pronunciation: Dah-jee dah-lee

Meaning: Wishing great luck and profitability.

  • 和气生财 (Héqì shēngcái) – “Harmony brings wealth”

Pronunciation: Huh-chee shung-tseye

Meaning: Suggesting that harmony and good relationships lead to prosperity.

  • 笑口常开 (Xiàokǒu cháng kāi) – “May you always have a smile on your face”

Pronunciation: Shyow-koh chang kai

Meaning: Wishing continuous happiness and smiles.

These phrases are not only used during the Chinese New Year but can also be shared in other joyous occasions and gatherings. They reflect the richness of Chinese culture and the emphasis placed on good wishes, prosperity, health, and happiness.


Q1: What is the most common way to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese?

Answer: “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè) is the standard phrase, meaning “Happy New Year.”

Q2: Is there a different New Year greeting for the Chinese Lunar New Year?

Answer: Yes, “恭喜发财” (Gōngxǐ fācái), meaning “Wishing you wealth and prosperity,” is popular during Lunar New Year.

Q3: Can “Happy New Year” in Chinese be used for both Gregorian and Lunar New Years?

Answer: Yes, “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè) is suitable for both the Gregorian New Year and the Chinese Lunar New Year.


All in all, knowing what is Happy New Year in Chinese is a wonderful way to embrace Chinese culture. “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè) represents hope and happiness, while “恭喜发财” (Gōngxǐ fācái) brings wishes for prosperity, especially during the Lunar New Year. These greetings connect people worldwide, sharing the joy of new beginnings. Whether it’s the start of the year in the Gregorian calendar or the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year, these phrases express a common wish for a happy and successful year ahead.

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