Chinese New Year Greetings - Gong Xi Fa Cai!

What are some common Chinese New Year Greetings? How do you wish someone a Happy New Year in Chinese? Here are some of the most common phrases and sayings during this most important of holidays.

Chinese New Year Greetings

The most common way to wish someone a Happy New Year is by saying


Gong Xi Fa Cai in Mandarin

or

Gong Hey Fat Choy in Cantonese


The written characters are the same:

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Gong Xi Fa Cai

Gōng

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Gong Xi Fa Cai

Xǐ

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Gong Xi Fa Cai

Fā

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Gong Xi Fa Cai

Cái

Gōng Xǐ - are good wishes or congratulations

Fā Cái - to become rich, acquire wealth

So together it means "best and prosperous wishes" for the coming year.

Also, the more literal way of wishing someone a Happy New Year is

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Xin Nian Kuai Le

Xīn

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Xin Nian Kuai Le

Nián

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Xin Nian Kuai Le

Kuài

Writing Chinese Characters for Happy Chinese New Year - Xin Nian Kuai Le

Lè

Xīn- is New

Nián - means Year

Kuài Lè - means Happy, Joyful

So Xīn Nián Kuài Lè translates literally into "Happy New Year"

Now, children, pay attention, when someone says Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái to you, you answer:

Characters for Chinese New Year - Hong Bao Na Lai

Hóng

Characters for Chinese New Year - Hong Bao Na Lai

Bāo

Characters for Chinese New Year - Hong Bao Na Lai

Ná

Characters for Chinese New Year - Hong Bao Na Lai

Lái

Hóng- is Red

Bāo - means packet or envelope

Ná Lái - means to take on

So can you guess what you just asked for? Hóng Bāo Ná Lái means something like "May I have my Red Envelope please?", so it's quite common for children to greet their uncles and aunties when they arrive with Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái, Hóng Bāo Ná Lái!!!

Chinese New Year Greetings for Banners, Cards and Scrolls

Fu Scroll

We also see Chinese New Year Greetings in the banners and scrolls that hang from just about everywhere, mostly on the side of entrances which offer a warm welcome to the guests and visitors as well as wishes of good fortune.

The most popular and prominent symbol you will see come Chinese New Year time is FU, here to the left, which means Prosperity and Wealth.

Here are some of the most popular greetings and quotes you often see printed, you can use them to make your own banners to decorate your house, greeting cards to send to friends and loved ones, red envelopes, etc.

Follow the links to learn how to write the characters stroke by stroke.

Characters for Chinese New Year - Fu Prosperity

Fú
Prosperity

Characters for Chinese New Year - Spring

Chūn
Spring

Characters for Chinese New Year - Good FortuneCharacters for Chinese New Year - Good Fortune

Dà Jí
Good Fortune

Characters for Chinese New Year - Peace Safety

Chū Rù Píng Ān
Peace and Safety Wherever You Go

Characters for Chinese New Year - Happy New Year

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè
Happy New Year!

Characters for Chinese New Year - Happy New Year

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái
Greetings! May Wealth Come Your Way!
(The most common Greeting to wish someone
a Happy New Year)

Characters for Chinese New Year - Peace Safety

Jí Xiáng Rú Yì
Good Luck! Hope Everything Goes Well!

Remember the phrases made up of two or more characters can also be written vertically from top to bottom, specially when placing them alongside doors:

Vertical Banners for Chinese New Year placed along side of door

Chinese New Year Greeting Cards

Try making your own with some of the above Good Luck messages and greetings. Or choose from this year's selection of Year of the Monkey greeting cards:

Year of the Monkey Greeting Cards
Check out the selection at Amazon.com

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái !!!

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