12 Common Chinese New Year Greetings

12 Common Chinese New Year Greetings

In the coming Chinese New Year you may have a line-up of Chinese New Year get-togethers (either online or offline) with your family and relatives. It’s time to brush up on your Chinese New Year greetings! You might think that the only greeting you needs is a simple and polite “Happy New Year!” But here at The Woks of Life, we’re going tiger parents on you with THE comprehensive list of common Chinese New Year greetings and useful phrases to spread that new year prosperity around! 

1. 新年快樂 - Happy Chinese New year
    san1 nin4 faai3 lok6

The most common greeting used during the Chinese New Year is a simple “Happy New Year,” also used during our regular Jan 1st new year.  


2. 身體健康 - Good Health
    san1 tai2 gin6 hong1

Health is an important wish this time of year, and a go-to greeting for anyone, young or old!


3. 年年有餘 - Good Wealth
    nin4 nin4 yau5 yu4

A common phrase I heard growing was a wish for abundance or surplus every year. 

The word for abundance (余, ) also sounds like the word for fish (鱼 ). That’s why we always make two fish for our Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner, and save one for the next day (the surplus for the year!). 


4. 萬事如意 - May you Get Everything You Wish true
     si6 si6 jyu4 ji3

This is another common sweet wish for all of someone’s dreams to come true!


5. 心想事成 - May All Your Wishes Come True 
    sam1 soeng2 si6 sing4

5. 恭喜發財 - Wishing You Prosperity and Good Fortune
    gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4

Gong hei fat choy (Cantonese) has become one of the most recognizable Chinese New Year greetings outside of China. Growing up in the New York metropolitan area and even today, you’ll still hear this phrase everywhere in Chinatown and even in school classrooms.


6. 大吉大利 - Good Luck & Big Profits
    daai6 gat1 daai6 lei6

As kids, we used a longer phrase, but we’ll have to meet in person if you want to hear it! This auspicious greeting is quite popular and good for everyone, but business people especially appreciate this one.


7. 學業進步 - Academic Progress
    hok6 jip6 zeon3 bou6

All you students out there may hear either of these from your grandparents and relatives, so check these phrases and recognize these well wishes! Once they’re done, you can fire back with some happy new year and good health greetings back at ‘em (see above).


8. 步步高升 - Promotion at Every Step
    bou6 bou6 gou1 sing1

This greeting and the ones that follow are good options for work settings and colleagues! New Years greetings aren’t just for family and friends, after all.


9. 馬到功成 - Instant Success
    ma5 dou3 gung1 sing4

10. 一帆風順 - May Everything Go Smoothly
      yat1 faan4 fung1 seun6

11. 生意興隆 - Presperous Business
      sang1 yi3 hing1 lung4

That’s it for now and Happy Chinese new year to everyone!






  1. https://thewoksoflife.com/chinese-new-year-greetings/
  2. https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/cantonese-vocabulary-lists/chinese-new-year
  3. https://hongkongvision.com/tool/cc_py_conv_zh
  4. https://www.howtostudycantonese.com/chinese-new-year-greetings-in-cantonese/?fbclid=IwAR0XbNXIlpZH7eSIo8lGSa0BpIxJGd30K2v00u0mUn76V14qQLLO_ozehQk


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