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How Do You Say Happy New Year in Chinese [4 Best Ways]

How do you say happy new year in Chinese? This article will introduce the 4 most common ways to say Happy New Year in Chinese, including how to say Happsy New Year in Cantonese and Mandarin. In addition, each Happy New Year comes with Chinese pronunciation, pronunciation audio, and English explanation, ensuring that even beginners can easily say Happy New Year.

The new year brings a sense of renewal and fresh starts. In Chinese culture, New Year celebrations revolve around spending time with family, honoring traditions, and exchanging good wishes for the year ahead. How do you say Happy New Year in Chinese to your loved ones? A few key phrases are used to convey these Happy New Year sentiments in Chinese. The most popular greeting in Mandarin is “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (新年快乐), literally meaning “New Year Happiness.” In Cantonese, “Sun Nin Fai Lok” (新年快樂) is commonly used.

留资按钮(en): Say Happy New Year in Chinese – CHINESE

Part1. Xin Nian Kuai Le (新年快乐) – Happy New Year 

The most common and generic New Year greeting is “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (新年快乐) in Mandarin. This directly translates to “New Year Happiness” in English.

How Do You Say Happy New Year in Chinese [4 Best Ways] - WuKong Blog

New Year in Chinese’ with the phrase ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le.’ Elevates celebrations with linguistic gems and spreads joy across cultural borders!

Let’s break the phrase down character by character:

  • Xin (新) – Meaning “new”
  • Nian (年) – Meaning “year”
  • Kuai (快) – Meaning “quick/fast.” Used here to mean “happy.”
  • Le (乐) – Meaning “happiness” or “joy.”

So the four characters together literally mean “New Year Happiness,” conveying the sentiment of a happy new year.

Cantonese Pronunciation of 新年快乐 – Happy New Year 

In Cantonese, Xin Nian Kuai Le is pronounced ‘Shin-nyen kwai-luh’. Below is the pinyin and pronunciation audio of Happy New Year in Cantonese

Chinese Mandarin Pronunciation of 新年快乐 – Happy New Year 

In Chinese Mandarin, it is ‘Xīn nián kuài lè. Below is the pinyin and pronunciation audio of Happy New Year in Chinese Mandarin.

This greeting can be used informally between friends or in more formal situations by simply saying:

  • Xin nian kuai le
  • 新年快乐

The phrase “Xin Nian Kuai Le” is very versatile. It can be used for the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, and the Solar New Year on January 1st.

So whether you are celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit or ringing on January 1st, 2024, “Xin Nian Kuai Le” is the perfect all-purpose New Year greeting in Mandarin Chinese. Come and book a free Wukong Chinese course and let Wukong teachers teach you more Spring Festival blessing expressions!

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Part2. Chun Jie Kuai Le (春节快乐) – Happy Spring Festival 

While “Xin Nian Kuai Le” can refer to both the Lunar New Year and January 1st, “Chun Jie Kuai Le” (春节快乐) is specifically used to wish someone a Happy Spring Festival and Lunar New Year.

How Do You Say Happy New Year in Chinese [4 Best Ways] - WuKong Blog

Immerse in vibrant traditions, dazzling lanterns, and family reunions as China welcomes the spring festival with joy, auspicious customs, and a tapestry of festive delights.

Breaking down the phrase:

  • Chun (春) – Means “spring”
  • Jie (节) – Means “festival” or “holiday.”
  • Kuai Le (快乐) – Together means “happiness” or “to wish happiness.”

So “Chun Jie Kuai Le” directly translates to “Spring Festival Happiness,” or “Happy Spring Festival” in English.

Cantonese Pronunciation of 春节快乐 – Happy Spring Festival  

In Mandarin, the pronunciation is:

  • Chwn-jyey kwai-luh

Chinese Mandarin Pronunciation of 春节快乐 – Happy Spring Festival  

With proper tones:

  • Chūnjié kuàilè

This greeting would only be used around Lunar New Year in late January or early February. While in English, we often say “Happy Chinese New Year,” using “Chun Jie Kuai Le” in Mandarin puts the focus on the Spring Festival specifically.

You can say:

  • Chun jie kuai le
  • 春节快乐

I wish your family, friends, colleagues, and others a joyful start to the Lunar New Year!

Part3. Sun Nin Fai Lok (新年快樂) – Happy New Year in Cantonese 

Now let’s explore the most common New Year greeting in Cantonese: “Sun Nin Fai Lok” (新年快樂). There is a slight difference in how do you say happy new year in Chinese and in Cantonese

The phrase has the same overall meaning as “Happy New Year” but is pronounced differently in Cantonese:

  • Sun-nin fai-look

Breaking it down character by character:

  • Sun (新) – Means “new”
  • Nin (年) – Means “year”
  • Fai (發) – Means “to emit” or “send out.” Used to indicate happiness.
  • Lok (祿) – Means “prosperity” or “good fortune.”

The four characters mean “New Year Happiness and Good Fortune.”

The romanization system used for Cantonese is Jyutping. Compared to Mandarin using Pinyin, you can see some key differences in the pronunciation of “Happy New Year.”

But both languages unite in celebrating a joyful new year with these meaningful greetings!

Part4. Gong Xi Fa Cai (恭喜发财) – Wishing Wealth and Prosperity 

In regions of Southern China, especially among Cantonese speakers, the New Year greeting “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (恭喜发财) is very popular. It is different from how do you say happy new year in Chinese.

This phrase means wishing prosperity, success, and wealth in the coming new year.

Breaking it down:

  • Gong xi (恭喜) – Means “congratulations” or “best wishes.”
  • Fa Cai (发财) – Means “to become wealthy.”
How Do You Say Happy New Year in Chinese [4 Best Ways] - WuKong Blog

Join the celebration, sending heartfelt wishes for financial success and good fortune in the Lunar New Year and beyond.

Together, “Gong Xi Fa Cai” conveys well-wishes for achieving prosperity in the year ahead.

Mandarin Pronunciation of 恭喜发财Wishing Wealth and Prosperity 

In Mandarin, it is pronounced:

  • Gong-sshee faa-tseye

Cantonese Pronunciation of 恭喜发财Wishing Wealth and Prosperity

In Cantonese:

  • Gong-hey fat-choy

The phrase reminds us that Chinese New Year is a time to wish your family and friends good fortune. Whether said in Mandarin or Cantonese, it will bring a smile in return!

Part5. Other Dialects and Greetings 

China is a vast country with a diversity of languages and cultures. While we have covered Mandarin and Cantonese New Year greetings, there are many other Chinese dialects with their special phrases.

For example, in certain provinces, Minnan, Hakka, and Gan Chinese languages have unique greetings and customs. Overseas Chinese communities blend local languages with Chinese New Year vocabulary.

People often wish for health, happiness, prosperity, or peace in the new year. Regional greetings add beautiful variety, showing the Chinese language and culture’s richness.

Learning a few New Year phrases in dialects beyond Mandarin and Cantonese can make your celebrations even more meaningful.

Part5. Speaking Properly and Politely 

When offering Chinese New Year well-wishes, there are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  • Use proper titles and show respect
  • Avoid phrases with negative connotations
  • Do not say words that sound like inauspicious terms
  • Could you keep it simple and sincere?

Remember, your greeting conveys care for the listener. Taking the time to speak properly and politely makes a good first impression.

Focus on positive phrases that feel authentic. Finding the right sentiment that resonates with you and the listener will go a long way in brightening someone’s new year.

Part6. FAQs about How do you say happy new year in Chinese

How do you say happy new year in Chinese?

The most common of how do you say happy new year in Chinese is “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (新年快乐) in Mandarin or “Sun Nin Fai Lok” (新年快樂) in Cantonese. These literally mean “New Year Happiness.”

What are other ways to say happy new year in Chinese?

Some other popular Chinese New Year greetings are:

  • Chun Jie Kuai Le (春节快乐) – Happy Spring Festival
  • Gong Xi Fa Cai (恭喜发财) – Wishing prosperity and wealth
  • Wan Shi Ru Yi (万事如意) – May all your wishes come true

How do you reply to happy new year in Chinese?

To reply to new year greetings in Chinese, you can simply say:

  • Xin nian kuai le (新年快乐) – Happy new year to you too
  • Xie xie (谢谢) – Thank you
  • Also wish you a happy new year

What’s the Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese?

“Sun Nin Fai Lok” (新年快樂) is the most common Cantonese greeting for happy new year. It shares the same meaning as the Mandarin “Xin Nian Kuai Le.”

How do you wish someone prosperity for Chinese New Year?

To wish someone prosperity for Chinese New Year, you can say “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (恭喜发财) which means “Wishing you prosperity and wealth.” This is used widely in Southern China and Cantonese areas.

Conclusion 

Whether you say “Xin Nian Kuai Le,” “Sun Nin Fai Lok,” “Gong Xi Fa Cai,” or another New Year greeting, the most important thing is conveying a heartfelt sentiment. Chinese New Year is about connecting with loved ones and looking for better times. Mastering these “How do you say Happy New Year” phrases is a great step toward sharing positive vibes. As we welcome the Year of the Rabbit, may good health, joy, and prosperity find you in the days ahead.