Linguistics

Learn How To Say Happy New Year in Chinese

Chinese New Year greetings are part and parcel of one of the most recognized holidays in the world. And there’s nothing better than knowing a few Chinese New Year sayings to get you into the spirit of things. 

Let’s explore some popular Chinese New Year greetings in Mandarin, the official language of China that you can learn with the Fluent Forever app. Ready to find out how to say Happy New Year in Chinese?

A warm Chinese New Year welcome 

Also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, Chinese New Year typically happens sometime between January 21st and February 20th, coinciding with the appearance of the new moon. Lasting up to 16 days, this giant celebration fills the skies with impressive fireworks and the streets with colorful parades in almost every major city across the globe. 

The merriment concludes with the Lantern Festival, which encourages serenity and forgiveness. Many take the opportunity to renew and repair distant relationships with friends and family; others seek to pay off old debts or loans to improve their financial standing. 

Accompanying this joyous event is a multitude of Chinese New Year greetings to express all sorts of good wishes. Exchanging Chinese New Year blessings is meant to bring good luck and fortune for the remainder of the year ahead, so here’s a list of what to say on Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year wishes for strangers and dear ones

If you’re wondering how to write Happy New Year in Chinese, it’s 新年快樂. Pronounced [ɕin⁵⁵ njɛn³⁵ kʰuai⁵¹ lɣ⁵¹] and spelled (Xīnnián kuàilè) in Pinyin, it means “Happy New Year.” This festive phrase is widely used as a formal greeting to strangers. 

If you want to know how to say Happy New Year in Chinese to close friends and family, the more informal greeting is 新年好. Spelled (Xīnnián hǎo), it is pronounced [ɕin⁵⁵ njɛn³⁵  ho⁵²⁻²¹] and translates as “New Year Goodness.”

Wish your colleagues good fortune 

恭喜發財 [kuŋ⁵⁵ ɕi⁵²⁻²¹ fʻa⁵⁵  tsʰai³⁵], or (Gōngxĭ fācái) in Pinyin, is Mandarin for “Happiness and Prosperity.” 恭喜 (gōngxĭ) means “congratulations” or wishing someone “joy,” while 發財 (fācái) implies wishing someone wealth or monetary success. It’s no wonder that this Chinese New Year phrase is popular with business owners and co-workers.

Get ready to say Happy New Year of the Tiger

As the legend of the Chinese zodiac goes, the Jade Emperor once sought 12 animals as his guards. He called for an animal race on Earth to see which creatures made it through the Heavenly Gate’s finish line first. The fast, competitive tiger came third. 

Did you know that 2022 is a Tiger Year?

Chinese New Year of the Tiger

If you’re born under this sign, you’ll be blessed with the strength and determination to accomplish your goals. And if you’re curious to learn a zodiac-related Chinese New Year greeting in Mandarin, 虎年大吉 [xu⁵²⁻²¹ njɛn³⁵ ta⁵1 tɕi³⁵]—spelled (Hǔ nián dàjí)—means exactly “Happy New Year of the Tiger.”

Embrace Chinese New Year blessings

Chinese New Year is a time to embrace family, coming together, and good fortune. No matter your nationality or ethnicity, learning about this stunning global celebration can bring richness to your life. Along with exchanging Chinese New Year greetings, you have the chance to pay respect to a beautiful culture. 

If our New Year-themed Mandarin phrases have you intrigued, why not download the Fluent Forever app to start your language learning journey? And while you think about it, 新年快樂!  

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