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Chinese New Year Greetings

Chinese New Year [Chinese Spring Festival] Greetings Highlights:

Chinese New Year Greetings

“Bai Nian” is an important activity in Chinese New Year – visiting relatives, friends and neighbors to convey Chinese New Year greetings. Chinese New Year greetings are often loud, enthusiastic, auspicious words or phrases, referred to as 吉祥話 (Jí Xiáng Hùa).

Happy New Year

“Xīn Nián Kuài Lè” (新年快乐) means “Happy New Year” in Chinese. It is a more contemporary greeting reflective of western influences. “Guo Nian Hao” (过年好) is another Chinese phrase meaning “Happy Chinese New Year”, a way to differentiate the Chinese New Year greeting from international New Year greeting.

Wishing a prosperous New Year

“Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái” (恭喜发财) means “wishing a prosperous new year.” As the ideas of capitalism and consumerism became more significant in Chinese societies around the world, this greeting has now more commonly heard during Chinese New Year. “Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái, Hóng Bāo Ná Lái” (恭喜发财, 紅包拿來) is a jokingly way for young children asking for the red envelope. “Cái” (财) rhymes with “Lái” (來). The phrase could be translated as “Wish you a prosperous New Year. Now give me a red envelope.”

Other greetings

“Suì Suì Píng'ān” (岁岁平安) means “everlasting peace year after year.” “Suì” (岁) is homophonous with “碎” meaning “shatter”. It is interesting to see another indication of the Chinese people’s love for wordplay in auspicious phrases. “Nián Nián Yǒu Yú” (年年有余) means “wishing surpluses every year.” “Yú” (余) is homophonous with “魚” meaning “fish”. This explains the popular fish-based dishes in Chinese New Year and New Year’s decorations displaying the paintings or graphics of fish.


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