chinese new year greetings

30 Essential Chinese New Year Greetings and Traditions for the Year of the Dragon [2024]

Whether you have Chinese friends or your trip to China falls in the wintertime, Chinese New Year greetings are something you’ll want to know.

Not only will you be able to understand the seasonal vocabulary in the air, but you’ll also deepen your understanding of Chinese culture, considering it’s the biggest holiday of the year.

In 2024, Chinese New Year falls on February 10, though celebrations will last for weeks. And this year, we’re celebrating the Year of the Wood Dragon!

In this post, you’ll learn the must-know Chinese New Year wishes in Mandarin, how to use them correctly and the cultural traditions associated with the holiday.



Common Chinese New Year Greetings

Here are five common ways to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese. The fifth one can be changed depending on which animal’s year it is.

1. 新年好 — Have a good New Year

Pinyin: xīn nián hǎo

2. 新年快乐 — Have a happy New Year

Pinyin: xīn nián kuài lè

3. 过年好 — Happy New Year

Pinyin: guò nián hǎo

4. 春节快乐 — Happy Spring Festival

Pinyin: chūn jié kuài lè

5. 龙年大吉 — Good luck in the Year of the Dragon

Pinyin: lóng nián dà jí

Chinese New Year Wishes for Wealth and Prosperity

Money and wealth are highly valued in Chinese culture, and Chinese people aren’t shy when it comes to talking about money. It’s considered appropriate and polite to offer money-related greetings at the New Year.

Here’s a list of wealth and prosperity Chinese New Year greetings you can use right away.

6. 恭喜发财 — Wish you wealth and prosperity

Pinyin: gōng xǐ fā cái

7. 财源广进 — May wealth flow in

Pinyin: cái yuán guǎng jìn

8. 和气生财 — May harmony bring wealth

Pinyin: hé qì shēng cái

9. 金玉满堂 —May your gold and jade fill the halls

Pinyin: jīn yù mǎn táng

10. 一本万利 — Hope you put in a small investment and reap a huge profit

Pinyin: yī běn wàn lì

11. 招财进宝 — May you find wealth and treasures

Pinyin: zhāo cái jìn bǎo

12. 财源滚滚 — May wealth come pouring in

Pinyin: cái yuán gǔn gǔn

13. 大吉大利 — May you have great luck and great profit

Pinyin: dà jí dà lì

14. 年年有余 — May you have abundance every year

Pinyin: nián nián yǒu yú

Chinese New Year Wishes for Success in Business

Another popular way to greet someone during Chinese New Year involves wishing them success in their work or business.

Yes, some of these phrases are also related to making money—it’s hard to get away from that theme!

15. 事业发达 — May your career take off

Pinyin: shì yè fā dá

16. 升官发财 — May you get promoted and receive a raise

Pinyin: shēng guān fā cái

17. 生意兴隆 — May your business flourish

Pinyin: shēng yì xīng lóng

18. 学业进步 — May your studies improve

Pinyin: xué yè jìn bù

19. 步步高升 — May every step take you higher

Pinyin: bù bù gāo shēng

20. 新年进步 — May the New Year bring much better things

Pinyin: xīn nián jìn bù

Chinese New Year Wishes for Happiness, Health and Peace

You can also wish people peace, health and happiness. The below phrases are perfect for elders in the family, people outside of your work and business circles, or just people in general that you care for and love.

21. 心想事成 — May all your wishes come true

Pinyin: xīn xiǎng shì chéng

22. 万事如意 — May everything go well with you

Pinyin: wàn shì rú yì

23. 笑口常开 — May you smile often

Pinyin: xiào kǒu cháng kāi

24. 五福临門 — May the five blessings come to you

Pinyin: wǔ fú lín mén

(The five blessings are longevity, wealth, health, virtue and a natural death.)

25. 身体健康 — Wish you good health

Pinyin: shēn tǐ jiàn kāng

26. 竹报平安 — May you hear tidings of peace

Pinyin: zhú bào píng ān

27. 福寿双全 — May you enjoy both longevity and blessing

Pinyin: fú shòu shuāng quán

28. 岁岁平安 — May you have peace at every age

Pinyin: suì suì píng ān

29. 和气吉祥全家乐 — Wish you harmony and joy for the whole family

Pinyin: hé qì jí xiáng quán jiā lè

30. 四季平安过旺年 — Wish you four seasons of peace and a flourishing year

Pinyin: sì jì píng ān guò wàng nián

How to Use Chinese New Year Greetings

To use a New Year greeting, such as the ones listed in this article, begin your sentence with 祝你 (zhù nǐ), which translates to “Wish you…”

To be more formal—which is necessary for greeting an older or respected person—use the honorific  (nín) for “you” instead.

In that case, you’d begin your greeting with 祝您 (zhù nín), which is a more polite version of “Wish you…”

Generally, you’d preface all of that by greeting the person by name. Especially if they are older than you, someone in your family or someone with authority, you must address them by their position or title.

For example:

Adjusting your greeting based on formality takes practice, but I promise, it’ll eventually come naturally. The way I recommend learning these differences, picking up on cultural cues, learning new vocabulary and overall sounding more like a native speaker is by immersing yourself in Mandarin as much as possible.

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Chinese New Year Traditions

chinese new year greetings

As the most important holiday of the year, Chinese New Year brings celebrations that last over two weeks.

Called 农历新年  (nóng lì xīn nián) — Lunar New Year, or more commonly 春节 (chūn jié) — Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is celebrated in the first month of the lunar calendar, from the 1st to the 15th day.

Here’s a link to see which dates Chinese New Year falls on each year.

During this time, it’s customary for people to greet one another with New Year well-wishes, which bring in good fortune for the coming year.

It’s also customary to visit people at their homes, a practice called 拜年  (bài nián). Upon visiting one another, people exchange gifts, such as fruit, candy, cakes and red envelopes with cash, called 红包 (hóng bāo).

Here’s a humorous skit from CCTV (China Central Television, the state television broadcaster) on what happens during 拜年.

However, some gifts are taboo, and you shouldn’t bring them.

  • Gifts associated with funerals, like handkerchiefs, towels and certain types of flowers, such as chrysanthemums, may be considered offensive.
  • Chinese people dislike receiving clocks because it suggests that time (and life) is running out.
  • Sharp objects are considered unlucky because they suggest a cutting off of ties or relations.

Here’s a handy guide on Chinese gift-giving customs, so you’ll always know what (and what not) to give.

In addition to visits and gifts, Chinese people celebrate by going to open-air markets that pop up just for the New Year.

These markets are often crowded, lively and festive. You can buy food, small gifts and other  (nián huò), that is, New Year paraphernalia.

You can also buy cut flowers and house plants, as several types are associated with Chinese New Year:

Traditionally, Chinese people also light firecrackers, or  (fàng biān pào)during Chinese New Year. This has a symbolic meaning of scaring away evil and bad luck.

Chinese people love watching dragon dances, or  (wǔ lóng), in which trained dancers dance as one “dragon,” often chasing one other dancer, who holds a “pearl.”

There are also traditional Chinese New Year songs, which you might hear if you’re lucky.

Many people like to wear red during the Lunar New Year. Red is always a lucky color for traditional Chinese, which is why you’ll see plenty of red at Chinese weddings, grand openings of businesses and other celebratory events.

To decorate, Chinese may put up auspicious sayings written on red paper, called  (chūn tiē) or 挥春  (huī chūn), or display paper cuttings called 剪纸图  (jiǎn zhǐ tú)—a special art that presents silhouetted images of animals, flowers and even entire scenes in paper.


Learning all of this cultural information will make you more prepared to celebrate the holiday as the locals do.

And you have 30 Chinese New Year wishes in Mandarin ready to go for greeting people during Spring Festival, too!

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