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How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Chinese New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join ChineseClass101 for a special Chinese New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Chinese? Let a native teach you! At ChineseClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Chinese New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in China
  2. Must-Know Chinese Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Chinese
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Learn Chinese

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Chinese New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in China

To most Chinese people, you truly begin a brand new year only when you experience a traditional Spring Festival celebration. So even though there is a one-day public holiday for New Year’s day in January, it doesn’t really have a New Year’s celebratory atmosphere. However, in recent years, various kinds of countdown activities have become very popular among young people, and the day has become a kind of romantic holiday.

Now before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

What are the lyrics to the Chinese version of the song “Happy New Year,” or Xin Nian Hao, 新年好 (xīnniánhǎo)?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Just as in many countries in the West, the most important activity when celebrating the coming new year in China is, of course, a countdown or 倒数计时 (dàoshǔ jìshí). In the bustling city areas, you will see many kinds of celebratory events. The big screens in financial districts will display the numbers as they count down, and when they hit zero, fireworks or 烟花 (yānhuā) are set off in many places to celebrate. Young people go to bars, themed restaurants hold gatherings, and people drink and dance.

In recent years, the end of the year has become the time when people go shopping because this is the day that malls offer big discounts known as Chinese Black Friday or 黑色星期五 (hēisè Xīngqīwǔ). Malls will usually extend their shopping hours and sales shifts until late at night, and their product racks will look as though a robbery has taken place overnight because they’ll be almost empty!

New Year’s Day is, of course, a good opportunity to connect with family and friends who you haven’t seen for a long time. Some years ago, it was popular to exchange New Year’s cards, called 贺年卡 (hèniánkǎ). In recent years, more and more people have been conveying their wishes and greetings via email or text message due to a desire to save trees and avoid sending physical cards.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question!

Do you know the lyrics to the Chinese version of the song “Happy New Year,” or 新年好, (Xīn Nián Hǎo)?

The song says 新年好呀,新年好呀,祝福 大家新年好;我们唱歌,我们跳舞,祝福大家新年好

(xīnniánhǎo yā , xīnniánhǎo yā , zhùfú dàjiā xīnniánhǎo ;wǒmen chànggē, wǒmen tiàowǔ, zhùfú dàjiā xīnniánhǎo)

Meaning “Happy new year, happy new year, wishing everyone a happy new year; we sing, we dance, wishing everyone a happy new year!” Almost everyone in China can sing it!

Happy New Year!

新年快樂!
新年快乐!
Xīnnián kuàilè !

2. Must-Know Chinese Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Chinese Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year


nián

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in China could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

午夜
wǔyè

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

元旦
Yuándàn

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

派对
pàiduì

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

舞蹈
wǔdǎo

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

香槟
xiāngbīn

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

烟花
yānhuā

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

倒计时
dào jìshí

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

新年假期
Xīnnián jiàqī

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10-Confetti

五彩纸屑
wǔcǎi zhǐxiè

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

跨年夜
kuà nián yè

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

干杯
gānbēi

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

决心
juéxīn

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

游行
yóuxíng

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At ChineseClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Chinese New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

So, you learned the Chinese word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at ChineseClass101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Chinese friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

多阅读。
Duō yuèdú.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Chinese in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Chinese language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

花更多时间陪伴家人。
Huā gèngduō shíjiān péibàn jiārén.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

减肥。
Jiǎnféi.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

存钱。
cúnqián.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to ChineseClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

戒烟。
Jièyān.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

学习新东西。
Xuéxí xīn dōngxi.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

少喝酒。
Shǎo hējiǔ.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

多运动。
Duō yùndòng.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

饮食健康。
Yǐnshí jiànkāng.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Chinese with ChineseClass101

跟ChineseClass101.com一起学习中文。
Gēn ChineseClass yī líng yī diǎn com yīqǐ xuéxí Zhōngwén.

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Chinese, especially with us! Learning how to speak Chinese can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. ChineseClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Chinese new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Chinese, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Chinese incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with ChineseClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Chinese could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Chinese - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Chinese - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with ChineseClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Chinese! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that ChineseClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Chinese at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Chinese that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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