Skip to content
                      Site Tools
                      Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
                      Home Practical Chinese Practical Expressions for Spring Festival
                      Practical Expressions for Spring Festival
                      Learn Chinese - Practical Chinese

                      2013 Chinese New Year
                      On the first day of Lunar Year, Chinese people traditionally go from house to house to visit their friends, relatives, and neighbors. This action is called Bainian (bài nián拜年) in Chinese, which means “to pay a New Year’s call” . People start the first day of a year by having breakfast earlier than usual, dressing children in new clothes, and heading out to pay a lot of visits.  If you are an expat living in China, this is a perfect opportunity to express your best wishes. Come to learn some expressions at the last moment!

                      Basic Expressions

                      過年好!  (guò nián hǎo)
                      新年快樂! (xīn nián kuài lè)
                      給您拜年了! (gěi nín bài nián le)

                      Greetings for Spring FestivalThe sentences above are similar to “Happy New Year” in English. The first two is used by almost everyone, while the last one is used when a young person pays a visit to an elderly or respected person.

                      With the rapid spread of Internet, the methods of Bainian have developed into a great variety of forms. There’s no need for you to express greetings from door to door if you are busy. Alternatively, you can send e-mails, online videos, e-cards, or text messages to give a new year’s wish.

                      Beginnings of Greetings
                      Spring Festival in China

                      As for greetings, there is no difference in expressions resulted by the age. However, expressions to the elder and the young are different in Chinese.

                      祝您… (zhù nín…)
                      Meaning : Wish you or bless you…
                      If the person you are to greet is older than you, you can say: 祝您…

                      祝你…(zhù nǐ)
                      Meaning: Wish you or bless you…
                      If the one you are to greet is younger than you, you can say: 祝你…

                      Common Greetings

                      心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng):
                      Meaning: All your wishes come true.

                      萬事如意 (wàn shì rú yì)
                      Meaning: May everything goes the way you wish for.

                      笑口常開 (xiào kǒu cháng kāi)
                      Meaning: Be happy and wear smiles every day.

                      The Year of Snake吉星高照 (jí xīng gāo zhào)
                      Meaning: Wish you be blessed by God of Fortune, God of Prosperity and God of Longevity.

                      吉祥如意 (jí xiáng rú yì)
                      Meaning: Wish you good luck on everything that you are willing to do.

                      新春大吉 (xīn chūn dà jí)
                      Meaning: May the new spring brings you good fortune.

                      大吉大利 (dà jí dà lì)
                      Meaning: I wish you happiness, luck and wealth in a new year.

                      恭喜發財,紅包拿來 (Gōng xǐ fā cái, hóng bāo ná lái)
                      Meaning: Wish you prosperous in the new year. Please give me a red envelope!
                      Note: On Chinese New Year, one of the most loved pastimes is exchanging “紅包” (hóng bāo, red envelopes), also called “壓歲錢” (yā suì qián, gift money), especially for kids. The gift is what adults give the youth during spring festival to bring blessings and good luck to them.

                            Greetings for Health
                      Greetings for Health

                      身體健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kāng)
                      Meaning: I wish you the best of your health.

                      龍馬精神 (lóng mǎ jīng shén)
                      Meaning: Wish you be energetic.

                      Greetings for Work or Business

                      spring festival scrolls恭喜發財 (gōng xǐ fā cái) New Year scrolls
                      Meaning: Wish you be prosperous.

                      財源廣進 (cái yuán guǎng jìn)
                      Meaning: May you have abundant source of income and receive wealth and fortune.

                      生意興隆 (shēng yì xīng lóng)
                      Meaning: May your business thriving.

                      工作順利 (gōng zuò shùn lì)
                      Meaning: Everything goes well with your work

                      事業有成 (shì yè yǒu chéng)
                      Meaning: May you make achievements in your career.

                      事業蒸蒸日上 (shì yè zhēng zhēng rì shàng)
                      Meaning: Wish your business flourishing.

                      步步高升 (bù bù gāo shēng):
                      Meaning: May you have a good prospect in job promotion.

                      平步青云 (píng bù qīng yún)
                      Meaning: Wish you get promoted rapidly.

                      馬到成功 (mǎ dào chéng gōng)
                                                  Meaning: Wish you meet with success at the very beginning.

                      Greetings for Students
                      Idioms for Spring Festival
                      學業有成 (xué yè yǒu chéng)
                      Meaning: Make achievements on school work.

                      學習進步 (xué xí jìn bù)
                      Meaning: Make progress on studies.

                      金榜題名 (jīn bǎng tí míng)
                      Meaning: Succeed in the examinations (especially for those who are going to take an important examination, such as college entrance examination.)

                            2013 Chinese New Year
                      Greetings for the family

                      闔家歡樂 (hé jiā huān lè)
                      Meaning: Have a happy family.

                      家和萬事興 (jiā hé wàn shì xīng)
                      Meaning: Harmonious family brings good wealth.

                      年年有余 (nián nián yǒu yú)
                      Meaning: Always get more than you wanted. (a wish for surplus and bountiful harvests every year)

                      蛇年行大運 (Shé nián xíng dà yùn)
                      Meaning: Good luck for the year of Snake.

                      歲歲平安 (suì suì ping ān)
                      Meaning: Wish you get rid of all mishaps.
                      Note: It is often used when tea-things is broken during Chinese New Year, because “歲” (suì, each year) is a homophone for “碎” (suì, break).

                      Greetings for Single Female

                      早日找到如意郎君 (zǎo rì zhǎo dào rú yì láng jūn)
                      Meaning: Find your Mr. Right as soon as possible.



                      China Yellow Pages