On this page, we've got the top ways to say "Happy Chinese New Year" in Chinese and Cantonese which you will use during the Chinese New Year period, which is from Chinese New Year's day (Feb. 10, 2024) up to the 15th day of the Chinese New Year (Feb 24, 2024).
As 2024 is a year of the Dragon, we've also prepared popular greetings with Rabbit symbolism to help you wish a happy New Year to your friends.
3 Ways to Say "Happy Chinese New Year" in Chinese and Cantonese
In Mandarin, the most common way to wish your family and close friends a happy Chinese New Year is "Xīnnián hǎo" (新年好), literally meaning 'New Year Goodness' or 'Good New Year'. Another way to say "Happy Chinese New Year" is "Xīnnián kuàilè" (新年快乐), literally meaning 'New Year happiness'. It is a formal greeting typically used for strangers.
In Cantonese, the common way to say 'Happy Lunar New Year' is "Gong hei fat choy" (恭喜发财), which means 'Wishing you happiness and prosperity.'
1. 新年好 — 'New Year Goodness' (popular way)
- In Mandarin: xīn nián hǎo /sshin-nyen haoww/
- In Cantonese: san nin hou
2. 新年快乐 — 'New Year happiness' (formal way)
- In Mandarin: xīn nián kuài lè /sshin-nyen kwhy-ler/
- In Cantonese: sun nin fai lok
3. 恭喜发财 — 'Happiness and prosperity' (in Mandarin)
- In Mandarin: gōng xǐ fā cái /gong-sshee faa-tseye/
- In Cantonese: gong hay fat choy
3 Most Popular Chinese New Year Greeting Phrases
Usually, you only have to greet people like this the first time you see them in the new Chinese calendar year, and after that, you can return to normal Chinese greetings (e.g. Nihǎo).
1. 大吉大利 — Lots of luck and profits!
- In Mandarin: dà jí dà lì /daa-jee daa-lee /
- In Cantonese: dai gut dai lei
2. 万事如意 — May all go well with you!
- In Mandarin: wàn shì rú yì /wann-shrr roo-ee/
- In Cantonese: mahn si yuh yi
3. 步步高升 — Step-by-step high promotion (Promoting to a higher position)
- In Mandarin: bùbù gāoshēng /boo-boo gaoww-shnng/
- In Cantonese: /boh-boh goh-sshin/
Click to see more Chinese New Year greetings and wishes.
How to Wish Someone Happy Chinese New Year 2023
As 2023 will be a year of the Rabbit, you could wish your friends a Happy Rabbit Year with the below lucky phrases!
1. 兔年快乐 — Happy year of the Rabbit!
2. 兔年大吉 — Wishing you lots of luck this Rabbit year!
3. 兔年兴旺 — Wishing you a prosperous year of the Rabbit!
May your New Year be as lucky and lovely as the Rabbit!
How Do You Respond to "Happy Chinese New Year"?
When someone greets you with "新年快乐 (Xīnnián kuàilè, Happy New Year)", the best and simple replies are:
1. "新年快乐 (Xīnnián kuàilè)"
2. "Happy New Year to you too, thank you"
3. Thank you, and wish you the same.
How to Write 'Happy Chinese New Year' in Chinese?
Want to write a New Year's card to your friends in China? Here's how you can write "happy Chinese New Year" in Chinese, stroke by stroke.
"Happy New Year"is written "新年快乐"in simplified Chinese characters.
The character for 'New'(新Xīn /sshin/) comes first:
The second, 年(Nián /nyen/) is the character for 'Year':
The last two characters快乐(kuàilè /kwhy-luh/) together mean 'happy'. On its own, the Chinese character 快(kuài) can mean 'fast':
The last character is 乐 (lè):
And there you have it!