How Do You Say Happy New Year in Chinese?


CHINESE New Year is a 15-day celebration, beginning with the New Moon and ending on the full moon. It’s an extravaganza full of fiery colors, fireworks, food and fun. Chances are you know someone who celebrates it. So how do you say Happy New Year in Chinese? Read on.

Mandarin is the most widely used form of Chinese. To say happy new year in this Chinese language you would say:

Xin Nian Kuai Le, 新年快乐 (pronounced sheen nyen kwai luh) This breaks down into xin – new; nian – year; kuai le – happy

In Cantonese, you would say Gong Hei Fat Choi, 恭喜发财 (pronounced gong hey fat choy).

This year Chinese new year falls on February 14, 2010, when the Year of the Tiger (formal name Geng Yin) begins. Last year, 2009, the Chinese new year fell on January 26.

Happy New Year in Chinese

The reason for the difference is that instead of the day being determined by a set calendar date, as it is in the Western world, the Chinese new year is determined by astronomy. It falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice thus combining aspects of lunar (new moon) and the solar (winter solstice) cycles or movements.

The eve of Chinese New Year is the day of the biggest celebration, culminating with fireworks, like it does here in the West. The fifth day of Chinese New Year, called Jie Cai Ceng, is also often marked with fireworks to welcome the gods of prosperity to bring good fortune. And the last day, the 15th day, of Chinese New Year is called the Festival of Lanterns, Yuan Xiao Jie. This is when you will see red paper lanterns lit in the streets and dancing dragons. Other symbols of Chinese New Year are red envelopes. In the custom, called Hong Bao, the red envelopes are filled with money and given to children and unmarried adults. Red is the color of luck in Chinese culture. It symbolizes good fortune, happiness and abundance.

Now you know how to say Happy New Year in Chinese. So join in on the celebration!