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Chinese New Year sayings


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The Chinese New Year is just a few days away! I think it’s a good idea to learn a few Chinese New year sayings - just to expand the vocabulary a bit. Below are some phrases that I’ve learned recently:


  • 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè), 春节快乐 (chūn jiē kuài lè), and 拜年 (bài nián) - a few ways to say ‘Happy New Year’
  • 事业有成 (shì yè yǒu chéng) - to be successful in business
  • 心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng) - to have one's wishes come true
  • 吉祥如意 (jí xiáng rú yì) - good luck and happiness


This article has a larger list of helpful vocabulary along with some interesting facts about Chinese traditions, foods, and some other vocabulary associated with this special celebration. Btw, the tradition to avoid arguing during the entire two weeks of the festival, supported by the belief that this helps you avoid bad luck in the new year, is just brilliant. We need more such traditions!


If you know some interesting or unusual Chinese New Year greetings and sayings, please share. Any recommendations are appreciated!

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拜年 is a verb, rather than a greeting itself. 向某人拜年 to wish someone a happy Spring Festival, or 给某人拜年 to pay someone a visit over Spring Festival.


2021 is a cow year 牛年 based on the Chinese Zodiac 生肖, so expect lots of cow puns like 牛气冲天 (apparently this applies to share prices rising quickly, compare "bullish"/"bull market", but it just makes me think of cow farts). 牛 as an adjective also means “awesome”, along with the vulgar term 牛逼 which means the same.




属我最牛 - "Belonging to me is the coolest!" 属 "belong", when referring to the 12 生肖, means you were born during that animal year.

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