新年好 Happy New Year – 9 greetings you should know

2016 is coming! Happy New Year, everyone! In Chinese: 新年快乐 xīn nián kuài lè!

Even though we do celebrate this day in China (one day off from work), this universal new year is a bit different from the traditional Chinese new year, which is based on the lunar calendar. To differentiate these two new years, we call the 1st of January, the New Year celebrated around the world: 元旦 yuán dàn, which literally means the very beginning of a year. Therefore, instead of the 新年快乐, you can also say 元旦快乐 yuán dàn kuài lè.

The traditional Chinese New Year is called 春节 chūn jié: literally Spring (春) Festival (节).  Celebrating 春节 has a history of more than a thousand years. Apart from China, it is also celebrated in other Asian countries including Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, etc. This new year is much more important for Chinese people all over the world. Activities on this day include: 贴春联 tiē chūn lián (post new year couplets), 包饺子 bāo jiǎo zǐ (make dumplings), 放鞭炮 fàng biān pào (set on fireworks), 发红包 fā hóng bāo (give red envelopes).

So what to say on this special day of the year? Here is a list of common-used phrases. You can of course use them for both new years. Normally we start the following wishful expressions with 祝你zhù nǐ…. Wish you…. (except 恭喜发财, which is used on its own):

1. 新年快乐 / 元旦快乐 xīn nián kuài lè  / yuán dàn kuài lè: Happy New Year!

2. 新年好 xīn nián hǎo: Happy New Year!

3. 恭喜发财 gōng xǐ fā cái: Congratulations and may you be prosperous!

4. 吉祥如意 jí xiáng rú yì:  Blessings and everything goes well!

5. 大吉大利 dà jí dà lì: Many blessings & a lot of luck!

6. 万事如意 wàn shì rú yì: everything goes the way you wish!

7. 心想事成 xīn xiǎng shì chéng: whatever you dream of will become true!

8. 岁岁平安 suì suì píng ān: Peace all around!

9. 来年好运 lái nián hǎo yùn: good luck in the coming year!

Let’s finish the discussion of New Year with this simple children’s song 新年好 xīn nián hǎo. It’s so simple and easy that I bet you’ll learn it in no time! Enjoy!

xīn nián hǎo ya, xīn nián hǎo ya

新年好呀, 新年好呀

zhù hè dà jiā xīn nián hǎo

祝贺大家新年好

wǒmen chàng gē, wǒmen tiào wǔ

我们唱歌,我们跳舞

zhù hè dà jiā xīn nián hǎo

祝贺大家新年好

Vocabs:

祝贺 zhù hè: to congratulate (v.)

唱歌 chàng gē: to sing (v.)

跳舞 tiào wǔ: to dance (v.)

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