Chinese people greet one another with lucky sayings and phrases to wish each other health, wealth, and good fortune when they meet during the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) period.
Here are the most popular Chinese New Year greetings, wishes, messages, and quotes in Mandarin and Cantonese which will enable you to share joy and love during the festive period.
- 3 Popular Chinese New Year Greetings
- New Year Wishes for the Tiger Year 2022
- New Year Wishes for Friends and Family
- New Year Wishes for Business Clients
- New Year Wishes for Colleagues and Bosses
3 Most Popular Chinese New Year Greetings
In Mandarin, the most common Chinese New Year greeting is Xīnnián hǎo (新年好), which directly translates as 'New Year Goodness'. A more formal greeting is Xīn nián kuài lè, literally meaning 'New Year happiness'.
In Cantonese, the most common greeting is Gong hei fat choy(恭喜发财), which means 'Best wishes, wishing you happiness and prosperity.'
1. 新年好 — Happy Chinese New Year (popular way)
"Xīnnián hǎo" is usually the first thing that's said when Chinese people greet one another during Chinese New Year. It replaces the normal greeting "nǐ hǎo".
- In Mandarin: xīn nián hǎo /sshin-nyen haoww/
- In Cantonese: san nin hou
2. 新年快乐 — Happy Chinese New Year (formal way)
"Xīnnián kuàilè" is a somewhat more formal way to greet people during Chinese New Year. It also can be used during the regular January 1st New Year.
- In Mandarin: xīn nián kuài lè /sshin-nyen kwhy-ler/
- In Cantonese: sun nin fai lok
3. 恭喜发财 — Happiness and prosperity
"Gong hay fat choy" is usually spoken in Hong Kong, Guangdong Province and the places nearby, and nowadays you can hear this phrase in many Chinatowns.
- In Mandarin: gōng xǐ fā cái /gong-sshee faa-tseye/
- In Cantonese: gong hay fat choy
Chinese New Year Greetings and Wishes for the Tiger Year 2022
As 2022 will be a year of the Tiger, it will be popular to greet people with new year lucky phrases including hu (tiger). Here are the most popular greetings for the year of the Tiger.
1. 虎年大吉 — Wishing you luck in the year of the Tiger!
- In Mandarin: hǔ nián dà jí /hoo-nyen daa-jee/
- In Cantonese: fu nin dai gat
2. 虎虎生威 — Wishing you fullness of the vigor and vitality of the tiger.
- In Mandarin: Hǔ hǔ shēng wēi /hoo-hoo shnng-way/
- In Cantonese: fu fu sang wai
3. 龙腾虎跃 — 'Dragon soaring and Tiger leaping' (Wish you prosperous and thriving in new year)
- In Mandarin: lóng téng hǔ yuè /long tnng hoo yhwere/
- In Cantonese: lung tang fu joek
4. 如虎添翼 — Wishing you're like a tiger with wings (i.e. doubly strong)!
- In Mandarin: rú hǔ tiān yì /roo hoo tyen ee/
- In Cantonese: jyu fu tim jik
5. 虎年兴旺 — Wishing you a prosperous year of the Tiger!
- In Mandarin: hǔ nián xīng wàng /hoo nyen sshing wung/
- In Cantonese: fu nin hing wong
6. 生龙活虎 — Wishing you the drive of the Dragon and the vigor of the Tiger!
- In Mandarin: shēng lóng huó hǔ /shnng long hwor hoo/
- In Cantonese: sang lung wut fu
7. 虎运连年 — Wishing you the luck of the Tiger year after year!
- In Mandarin: hǔ yùn lián nián /hoo ywnn lyen nyen/
- In Cantonese: fu wan lin nin
Chinese New Year Wishes for Friends and Family
1. 平平安安 — Peace and safety!
- In Mandarin: píng píng ān ān /ping ping an an/
- In Cantonese: ping ping ngon ngon
2. 幸福安康 — Peace and happiness!
- In Mandarin: xìng fú ān kāng /sshing-foo an-kung/
- In Cantonese: hang fuk ngon hong
3. 阖家欢乐 — Happiness for the whole family!
- In Mandarin: hé jiā huān lè /cher-jyaa hwan-ler/
- In Cantonese: hap gu fun lok
4. 吉祥如意 — Good luck and life according to your wishes!
- In Mandarin: jí xiáng rú yì /jee-sshyang roo-ee/
- In Cantonese: gat coeng jyu ji
5. 好运连连 — Good luck again and again!
- In Mandarin: hǎo yùn lián lián /hao-ywnn lyen-lyen/
- In Cantonese: hou wan lin lin
Chinese New Year Wishes for Business Clients
1. 生意兴隆 — Prosperous business!
- In Mandarin: shēng yì xīng lóng /shnng-ee sshing-long/
- In Cantonese: sang ji hing lung
2. 恭喜发财 — Happiness and prosperity!
- In Mandarin: gōng xǐ fā cái /gong- sshee faa-tseye /
- In Cantonese: gong hay fat choy
3. 财源广进 — Wealth's sources broadly entering in!
- In Mandarin: cái yuán guǎng jìn /tseye-ywen gwung-jin/
- In Cantonese: choy jyun gwong zeon
4. 蒸蒸日上 — May your business grow and expand with each day!
- In Mandarin: zhēng zhēng rì shàng
- In Cantonese: zing zing jat soeng
5. 大展宏图 — Realize one's ambition
- In Mandarin: dà zhǎn hóng tú /daa-jan hong-too/
- In Cantonese: taai zin wang tou
Chinese New Year Wishes for Colleagues and Bosses
1. 工作顺利 — May your work go smoothly!
- In Mandarin: gōng zuò shùn lì /gong-dzwor shwnn-lee/
- In Cantonese: gung zok seon lei
2. 事业有成 — Success in your career!
- In Mandarin: shì yè yǒu chéng /shrr-yeah yoh-chnng/
- In Cantonese: si jip jau sing
3. 平步青云 — Have a meteoric rise (usually to wish for promotions)!
- In Mandarin: píng bù qīng yún /ping-boo ching-ywnn/
- In Cantonese: ping bou cing wan
4. 马到成功 — Success immediately upon arrival!
- In Mandarin: mǎ dào chéng gōng /maa-dao chnng-gong/
- In Cantonese: maa dou sing gung
5. 步步高升 — Promotions at every step!
- In Mandarin: bù bù gāo shēng /boo-boo gao-shnng/
- In Cantonese: bou bou gou sing
6. 升官发财 — Win a promotion and get rich!
- In Mandarin: shēng guān fā cái /shnng-gwan faa-tseye/
- In Cantonese: sing gun fat choy
Chinese New Year Wishes for Kids and Students
1. 学业有成 — Achieve academic success!
- In Mandarin: xué yè yǒu chéng /sshwair-yeah yoh-chnng/
- In Cantonese: hok jip jau sing
2. 学习进步 — Progress in studies!
- In Mandarin: xué xí jìn bù /sshwair-sshee jin-boo/
- In Cantonese: hok zaap zeon bou
3. 金榜题名 — Success in the examination!
It is usually used for those taking an important examination, including students — literally ‘to sign one's name on the role of honor'.
- In Mandarin: jīn bǎng tí míng /jin-bung tee-ming/
- In Cantonese: gam bong tai ming
5 Popular Chinese New Year Wishes for Anyone and for Any Occasion
During the period of Chinese New Year, you can use these very common Chinese New Year sayings to express your best wishes.
1. 大吉大利 — Lots of luck and profits!
In Cantonese, the pronunciation of gut (桔, 'mandarin oranges') is the same as gut (吉, 'auspiciousness'). That's why orange is one of the most popular Chinese New Year foods.
- In Mandarin: dà jí dà lì /daa-jee daa-lee /
- In Cantonese: dai gut dai lei
2. 心想事成 — May all your wishes come true!
People with a dream or wishes they want to come true would love to be greeted with this greeting.
- In Mandarin: xīn xiǎng shì chéng /sshing-sshyang shrr-chnng/
- In Cantonese: sum seung si sing
3. 万事如意 — May all go well with you!
It directly translates as ' 10,000 things go according to your wishes.'
- In Mandarin: wàn shì rú yì /wann-shrr roo-ee/
- In Cantonese: mahn si yuh yi
4. 身体健康 — Wishing you good health!
It can be said to all people, especially the elder people.
- In Mandarin: shēn tǐ jiàn kāng /shnn-tee jyen-kung/
- In Cantonese: sun tai gin hong
5. 年年有余 — Surplus year-after-year!
The pronunciation of 余 (yú, meaning 'abundance') is the same as the pronunciation of 鱼 (meaning 'fish'). Usually, people prepare two fish for Chinese New Year's Eve dinner, one for dinner and one for the next day (surplus for the new year!).
- In Mandarin: nián nián yǒu yú /nyen-nyen yoh-yoo/
- In Cantonese: nin nin yau yu
5 of the Most Popular Chinese New Year Greeting and Wishes Sentences
In a formal way, such as proposing a toast or writing a Chinese New Year card, you can add some beginning words before your Chinese New Year greetings, and combine one or two or more Chinese New Year wishes in a sentence.
Greeting an older (or respected) person is a little different in Chinese: nín for 'you', instead of the common nǐ. For example:
Meaning: Wish you... (to an older/respected person) ...
- In Mandarin: Zhu nín... (/joo neen/)
- In Cantonese: zuk nei
Meaning: Wish you (to a younger person or informally) ...
- In Mandarin: Zhu nǐ ... (/joo nee/)
- In Cantonese: zuk nei
Meaning: Wishing you a happy Chinese New Year and good health!
- In Mandarin: Zhù nín xīn nián kuài lè, shēn tǐ jiàn kāng!
- In Cantonese: Zuk nei san nin faai lok, sun tai gin hong!
Meaning: Wishing you a happy Chinese New Year, a happy family!
- In Mandarin: Zhù nǐ xīn chūn kuài lè, hé jiā xìng fú!
- In Cantonese: Zuk nei san ceon faai lok, hap gu hang fuk!
Meaning: Wishing you a happy new year, good luck, and all the best!
- In Mandarin: Zhù nǐ xīn nián kuài lè, dà jí dà lì, wàn shì rú yì!
- In Cantonese: Zuk nei san nin faai lok, dai gut dai lei, mak si jyu ji!
Meaning: May all your wishes come true, money and treasures flow in, and your career flourish!
- In Mandarin: Zhù nǐ xīn xiǎng shì chéng, cái yuán guǎng jìn, shì yè xīng wàng!
- In Cantonese: Zuk nei sam soeng si sing, coi jyun, gwong, zeon, si jip hing wong!
Meaning: Wishing you a happy new year, good health, a happy family, and smooth work!
- In Mandarin: Zhù nǐ xīn nián kuài lè, shēn tǐ jiàn kāng, jiā tíng xìng fú, gōng zuò shùn lì!
- In Cantonese: Zuk nei san nin faai lok, gyun ban gin hong, gu ting hang fuk, gung zok seon lei!
Funny Chinese New Year Wishes
Meaning: Wishing you happiness and prosperity; give me a red envelope.
Use this to greet someone if you're expecting lucky money. Only say this to close friends and relations. Don't say it to strangers or in a formal setting, to avoid looking presumptuous or ridiculous.
- In Mandarin: Gōng xǐ fā cái, hóng bāo ná lái
- In Cantonese: gong hay fat choy, hung baau naa loi
Meaning: I wish you all the best, all things prosperous, and all things auspicious!
Literally: ‘Wishing you one smooth voyage, two dragons soaring, three goats bringing peace, four seasons of safety, five blessings at your door, six-six (‘flowing') great favor, seven stars shining down from on high, eight directions yielding wealth, nine-nine (‘long-lasting') harmony, ten (out of ten) for excellence, 100 (all) things to your liking, 1,000 (all) things lucky, 10,000 (all) things your way.'
- In Mandarin: Yī fān fēng shùn, èr long téng fēi, sān yáng kāi tài, sì jì píng ān, wǔ fú lín mén, liù liù dà shùn, qī xīng gāo zhào, bā fāng lái cái, jiǔ jiǔ tóng xīn, shí quán shí měi, bǎi shì hēng tōng, qiān shì jí xiáng, wàn shì rú yì!
- In Cantonese: jat faan fung seon, ji lung tang fei, saam joeng hoi taai, si gwai ping ngon, ng fuk lam mun, luk luk taai seon, cat sing gou ziu, baat fong loi coi, gau gau tung sam, sap cyun sap mei, mak si hoeng tung, cin si gat coeng, mak si jyu ji.
Chinese New Year Quotes
In China, there are dozens of beautiful Chinese New Year quotes that people may use to send as cards or messages, or to say out during a toast in the Chinese New Year reunion dinner.
1. "Wish New Year happiness all year four seasons always there."
Yuàn xīnnián de kuàilè yīniánsìjì cháng zài.
May the joy of New Year be with you throughout the year.
2. "Wish you all of New Year dreams all become real."
Yuàn nǐ suǒyǒu de xīnnián mèngxiǎng dōu chéngzhēn.
Hoping all your New Year dreams come true.
3. "Four seasons at peace pass prosperous year."
Sì jì píng'ān guò wàng nián.
Wishing you four seasons of peace and a flourishing year.
4. "Respectfully congratulate new joy, wish body fit, career thriving."
Gōnghè xīnxǐ, zhù shēntǐ jiànkāng, shìyè fādá.
Happy New Year, wishing you good health and success.
5. "Five grains abundant harvest, big wealth big honor, luck as you wish, wind harmonious rain favorable."
五谷丰收， 大富大贵。 吉祥如意， 风调雨顺。
Wǔgǔ fēngshōu, dàfù dàguì, jíxiáng rúyì, fēnɡ diào yǔ shùn.
Successful harvest of the grain, with great prosperity and earnings. Good fortune as desired, with timely wind and rain. (*A common wish for farmers)