Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is the most important festival for Chinese people around the world. During the Spring Festival, people will express their best wishes to their relatives and friends. Do you know how to wish your friends a Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese? Read this article, you will learn how to say Happy New Year in Chinese as well as how to pay a New Year call to Chinese people.
How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese
Basic Chinese New Year Greetings
Here are three simple spoken expressions of Happy New Year in Mandarin. You can use these expressions to greet your family, friends, colleagues or even strangers who you meet during the Lunar New Year.
To learn more native spoken Chinese expressions, you can check out our spoken Chinese course which you’ll find very helpful.
Advanced Chinese New Year Greetings & Wishes
If you are on a more formal occasion, or if you need to write greeting cards or send text messages, you can use the following advanced New Year wishes to wish others a Happy New Year in Chinese.
With best wishes for a happy New Year!
May you have a prosperous New Year!
Wish you good luck in the New Year.
May you have peace year after year.
Lit. (may you) have abundance every year.
May all your hopes be fulfilled.
May you achieve meteoric success in your career.
Wish you and your family happiness.
May you make a great fortune.
2021 is the year of the Ox. We have prepared three blessings related to the Ox, which you can use to wish people a Happy Chinese New Year in the year of the Ox.
Wish you a thriving and flourishing new year
Best wishes for the Year of the Ox!
Lit. May a golden Ox bring many blessings of New Year to you.
Say Happy New Year in Chinese by Singing the Song
There is a popular children’s song for the Chinese New Year, which is “新年好”. It is a lighthearted way to extend your New Year’s greetings. It's easy to learn how to say Happy New Year in Chinese by singing this song with Miss Deng.
Pay a New Year Call to Your Chinese Friends and Family
Common Ways to Pay New Year's Greetings
Here are several ways for Chinese people to wish people a Happy New Year in Chinese throughout history, some of which have fallen out of use, and some of which are still in use.
In some rural areas, young generations, especially the minors, need to kowtow when they pay New Year’s greetings to the elders.
Zuoyi is written as “作揖” in Chinese. “作揖” is to bow with hands folded in front. The basic gesture of “作揖” is to clench your fist with your right hand and cover the right fist with the left hand. But if you are a woman, you need to cover your left fist lightly with your right hand. Don’t reverse the position of your left hand and right hand, otherwise people will think you’re mourning them. When people pay New Year’s greetings to their elders or superiors, they will “作揖”.
Bowing is a modern ritual that can be used to pay New Year’s greetings regardless of age or gender.
Chinese New Year's Greetings Etiquette
It is a traditional Chinese folk custom to pay a New Year call during the Spring Festival. It is also a way to ring out the old and ring in the new and say Happy New Year to each other. Different from the usual visits to relatives and friends, we should pay much attention to etiquette when paying a New Year call.
- Pay New Year’s greetings in order
First we will extend New Year’s greetings to the elders in the family as well as the elders in the neighborhood after we get up on the first day of the New Year. Next, we will visit our relatives. On the first or second day of the New Year, we need to visit our parents-in-law and bring gifts. After that, we will pay a New Year’s call to our friends.
- Choose the right time
Call before you visit someone in case the host goes out to pay a New Year’s call, too. It also gives the host time to prepare in advance. We usually pay a New Year visit in the morning, but not too early. After a year of hard work, people usually get up late during the Chinese new year.
- New clothes are best
Chinese people prefer to wear new clothes when they pay a New Year visit. The clothes should be casual, not too sporty or too formal. The color of the clothes should be warm and red is usually a good choice. Don’t dress in all black or in all white.
- Don’t say anything unlucky
People all hope the New Year is lucky and joyous, so don’t say any unlucky words when you wish someone a Happy New Year in Chinese, such as 死(death), 病(disease) and 离婚(divorce), etc.
- Give the right gift
When paying a New Year’s visit to relatives and friends, we should bring some gifts. The gifts should be not too expensive or too cheap. We can give the recipients what they want. However, there are some things that should never be given as gifts. You can learn more about Chinese gift-giving culture from the following video.
List of Chinese New Year Vocabulary
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
to celebrate the Chinese New Year
to pay a New Year call
to extend New Year's greetings
lunar New Year's Eve
Chinese new year merchandise
Spring Festival couplet
(the first line goes on the right side of a door, and the second on the left side)
New Year picture
money given to children as new year present
to pay a New Year call
to bow with hands held in front
to give a gift
That’s it for this article. Now do you know how to wish someone you know a Happy New Year in Chinese? Go and extend the New Year’s wishes mentioned in the article to your Chinese friends during the Spring Festival. If you enjoyed this article on Chinese New Year greetings, don’t miss our other article on Chinese birthday greetings.