How Do You Say Happy New Year in Chinese?

Happy New Year in Chinese: The Many Ways of Wishing Your Friends a Happy Spring Festival

Happy New Year in Chinese

How do say Happy New Year in Chinese?

That time of the Lunar Year has rolled around again, and we’re about to step out of the Year of the Pig (2019) and into the Year of the Rat (2020).

You will wear red underwear, you will noisily pop champagne corks and, as tradition requires, exchange greetings for the New Year.

First of all it should be clarified that in China there are two different “New Years” celebrations: the first is the so-called “Spring Festival” 春节 (Chūnjié), which usually falls between the last two weeks of January and the first two of February.

The second New Year is the one celebrated worldwide that is on January 1st, which in Chinese is called 元旦 (yuán dàn). There is, however, an interchangeable and usable term for both events: 新年 (xīn nián) literally “New Year”.

To best prepare yourself, you need to learn how to wish your friends a Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese! And be warned, there are many many ways to do this.

However, it’s a great way to pick up some new Chinese vocab.

So let’s start at the very beginning…

Chapter 1 – A Simple Happy New Year in Chinese

Chapter 2 – Happy Spring Festival in Chinese

Chapter 3 – Happy New Year in Chinese: Kung Hei Fat Choi

Chapter 4 – Elaborate Ways to Wish Happy New Year in Chinese

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How do you say Happy New Year In Chinese?

happy new year in chinese
Happy New Year in Chinese: 新年快乐

This is probably the easiest and most literal way of wishing your friends a Happy New Year:

Chinese Characters: 新年快乐

Pinyin Pronunciation: Xīnnián kuàilè

Meaning: 新年 literally means ‘New Year’ and 快乐 means ‘Happy’.

This phrase is used interchangeably both at Chinese New Year and on the 1st of January at the start of the solar New Year.

But if we only learnt how to say this version of Happy New Year in Chinese, we’d have barely hit the tip of the iceberg…

Read on for more New Year Greetings and Wishes…

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How do you say Happy Spring Festival in Chinese?

happy spring festival in chinese
Happy Spring Festival in Chinese: 春节快乐

This is also a very literal way of wishing your friends a Happy Spring Festival.

Chinese Characters: 春节快乐

Pinyin Pronunciation: Chūnjié kuàilè

Meaning: 春节 literally means ‘Spring Festival’ and 快乐 means ‘Happy’. So Happy Spring Festival!

Unlike Xīnnián kuàilè, the phrase Chūnjié kuàilè would only be used for Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, rather than during Western New Year.

Though in English translations this phrase will often just been translated to ‘Happy Chinese New Year’, seeing as we don’t refer to it as Spring Festival as often.

How do you say Happiness and Prosperity in the New Year?

Happiness and Prosperity in the Year of the Pig: 恭喜发财

Chinese Characters: 恭喜发财

Pinyin Pronunciation: Gōngxǐ fācái

Meaning: ‘Happiness and Prosperity in the New Year’.

These New Year wishes are a little difficult to translate concisely into English. 

恭喜 literally means respectful congratulations, and 发财 means to get rich or to prosper.

The phrase is a blessing for prosperity and wealth in the coming year and is used all over China. But in the South of China, Cantonese-speaking regions in particular, it is used as a general greeting for Chinese New Year.

This is why in English letters the phrase is often written as ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi’, following the Cantonese pronunciation.

Remember not to cut your hair after Chinese New Year, as the word for hair in Chinese uses the same character as 发 in 发财 (to prosper).

The belief is that by cutting or washing your hair in the new year, you might be washing away some of the prosperity.

10 Alternative Ways to Wish Happy New Year in Chinese

Why not opt for something more elaborate and personalized with some of these alternate ways of wishing in the new year!

Here is a list of 10 ways to wish happy New Year in Chinese:

1. Best Wishes

Chinese Characters: 祝新年快乐,并致以良好的祝福。

Pinyin Pronunciation: Zhù xīnnián kuàilè, bìng zhì yǐ liánghǎo de zhùfú.

Meaning: Best wishes for a happy New Year!

2. Good Health and Good Luck 

Chinese Characters: 祝你在新的一年里身体健康,多福多寿。

Pinyin Pronunciation: Zhù nǐ zài xīn de yī nián lǐ shēntǐ jiànkāng, duō fú duō shòu

Meaning: I wish you good health and good luck in the New Year!

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3. Luck, Happiness and Joy

Chinese Characters: 恭祝新年吉祥,幸福和欢乐与你同在。

Pinyin Pronunciation: Gōng zhù xīnnián jíxiáng, xìngfú hé huānlè yǔ nǐ tóng zài.

Meaning: I wish that luck, happiness and joy accompany you throughout the New Year!

4. Good Health and A Successful Career

Good Health for the New Year

Chinese Characters: 恭贺新禧,祝身体健康、事业发达

Pinyin Pronunciation: Gōnghè xīnxǐ, zhù shēntǐ jiànkāng, shìyè fādá

Meaning: Happy New Year with wishes of good health and a successful career

5. Best Wishes to Your Family

Chinese Characters: 请接受我对你及你全家的美好祝福,祝你们新年快乐。

Pinyin Pronunciation: Qǐng jiēshòu wǒmen duì nǐ jí nǐ quánjiā dì měihǎo zhùfú, zhù nǐmen xīnnián kuàilè.

Meaning: Please accept my best wishes for a happy New Year to you and your family!

6. Joy and Happiness

Chinese Characters: 愿快乐幸福永伴你左右。

Pinyin Pronunciation: Yuàn kuàilè xìngfú yǒng bàn nǐ zuǒyòu.

Meaning: May joy and happiness always stay with you.

7. Hope to be Together Soon

Hope to be together soon

Chinese Characters: 在这特殊的日子,向你致以新年的祝福,希望不久我们能相聚在一起。

Pinyin Pronunciation: Zài zhè tèshū de rìzi, xiàng nǐ zhì yǐ xīnnián de zhùfú, xīwàng bùjiǔ wǒmen néng xiāngjù zài yīqǐ.

Meaning: On this special day, I want to wish you a Happy New Year with the hope that we will soon be together.

8. All Your Wishes Come True

Chinese Characters: 愿你所有的新年想都成真!

Pinyin Pronunciation: Yuàn nǐ suǒyǒu de xīnnián xiǎng dōu chéng zhēn!

Meaning: I wish that all that you want for this New Year comes true!

9. Great New Year

Chinese Characters: 愿你度过最美好的新年!

Pinyin Pronunciation: Yuàn nǐ dùguò zuì měihǎo de xīnnián!

Meaning: May you have a great New Year!

10. Bright and Splendid! 

Chinese Characters: 愿你的新年光彩夺目,愿你的新年灿烂辉煌!佳节快乐!

Pinyin Pronunciation: Yuàn nǐ de xīnnián guāngcǎi duómù, yuàn nǐ de xīnnián cànlàn huīhuáng! Jiājié kuàilè!

Meaning: May this New Year be bright and splendid! Happy Holidays!

As we have seen, the happy new year wishes in Chinese are closely linked to the concepts of luck, health, longevity and success.

So what are you waiting for?!

Best wishes to your friends with these 10 phrases and start the New Year enriching your vocabulary!

Happy New Year – FAQ’s

When is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year falls in February typically although it can also fall in late January and early March on some rare occasions.

What is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is the celebration of the start of the new Lunar Calendar year. This festival is commonly referred to as Spring Festival in China.

Is Chinese New Year the biggest celebrated festival in China?

Yes. China does not celebrate Christmas and National Week (October 1st-7th), although big, is more widely celebrate by travelling.

Chinese New Year is commonly the time families get to spend together more than any time in the year especially if they live

What does 恭喜发财 mean?

“Happiness and prosperity in the New Year.”

How do you say “New Year” in Chinese?

新年 (xīn nián) is new year in Chinese.

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