Traditional Chinese New Year Greetings

The Chinese New Year is one of the world’s most popular holidays. More than a billion and a half people – roughly one-sixth of the world’s population – celebrate it. The fifteen-day extravaganza is recognized all over East Asia and many other places throughout the world over, such as Australia, France, and North America. Wherever you are in the world, chances are there’ll be a Chinese New Year celebration not too far from you.

If you’re ever lucky enough to take part in these festivities yourself, you’ll do well to know some Chinese phrases to help you spread the good will. Many New Year’s greetings carry messages of hope for luck and prosperity in the coming year.

Here are some commonly used greetings and blessings spelled out in the English fashion. Don’t stress about the pronunciation too much, but remember that Chinese is a tonal language, and the accent marks do matter. A straight line means a high tone, rising and falling accents mean rising and falling tones, and a curved accent means a tone that goes down and then up again.


For everyone:

1. xīn nián kuài lè
“Happy New Year!”

2. xīn nián hǎo
“Have a good New Year!”

3. xīn chūn kuài lè
“Happy Spring Festival!”

4. suì suì píng ān
“Hope you have peace, year after year.”

5. dà jí dà lì
“Good luck!”

6. xīn nián xīn qì xiàng
“Let’s have a fresh start as the New Year begins.”

7. xīn xiǎng shì chéng
“May all your wishes come true!”

8. zhù hè jiā jié
“Season’s greetings!”


For friends and co-workers:

1. xīn chūn kuài lè
“Wishing you a good time at work.”

2. gōng xǐ fā cái
“Wishing you increased wealth.”

3. bù bù gāo sheng
“Hope you get that promotion.”

4. xiào kǒu cháng kāi
“May you smile often.”


For elders:

1. fú shòu ān kāng
“Wishing you long life and health.”

2. shòu bǐ nán shān
“May you live a long and happy life.”

3. hé qì jí xiáng quán jiā lè
“Wishing you harmony and joy for the whole family.”

4. lóng mǎ jīng shén
“Have the spirit of the dragon and the horse.”


For children and students:

1. shòu bǐ nán shān
“May your future be bright.”

2. xué yè jìn bù
“Make a lot of progress in your studies.”

3. xué yǒu suǒ chéng
“Accomplish a lot.”

4. Jīng líng huó pō
“Have a bright and lively spirit.”