Travel Guide

New Year Greetings

If you're visiting Singapore during the Lunar New Year and would like to greet your friends in Mandarin, you'll find that there are many ways to wish someone a Happy New Year. Here are 10 different ways of greeting family and friends on this joyous occasion.

新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè) This is the quintessential new year greeting, which has the English equivalent of “Happy New Year.” Children usually add “红包拿来,” (hóng bāo ná lái) to this phrase, to cheekily ask for red packets or angpow.

恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) Though this phrase cannot be literally translated, it means, “May you prosper in the coming year!”

万事如意 (wàn shì rú yì) This translates to, “May the 10 000 things you do go your way.”

学业进步 (xué yè jìn bù) Older relatives say this to their younger cousins, nieces or nephews. It means, “May you do well in school.”

长命百岁 (cháng mìng băi suì) Similarly, the younger set say this to their grandparents. It means,  “May you have a long life!”

生意形容 (shēng yi xíng róng) This is said to friends or family members who have businesses, which translates to, “May your business prosper!”

年年有余 (nián nián yŏu yú) This greeting has a pun in it as “yú” means fish, as well as abundance and prosperity. This greeting can be interpreted as, “May you have an abundance of money every year!”

身体健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kāng) This means, “Wishing you good health in the coming year!”

岁岁平安/平平安安 (suì suì píng ān/píng píng ān ān) These two greetings carry the same meaning, and both of them mean, “May you have everlasting peace year after year. ”

Last but not least, 心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng), means “May all that you do go smoothly in the new year!”

How do you say “Happy New Year” in your country? Are there any greetings unique to your culture?


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