Based on previous proclamations, the Chinese Lunar New Year is a special non-working holiday observed by the Filipino-Chinese community, and Filipinos to some extent. Naturally, you will see and hear Chinese words especially when you visit Chinatown and some malls in late January to February.
Learn how to greet someone with an audio guide! The words will be repeated twice at different speeds so you can imitate the pronunciation perfectly.
How do you greet someone Happy New Year in Chinese?
The majority of the Filipino-Chinese community speaks or understands Hokkien. The Chinese translation of Happy New Year in Hokkien is “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai”. Here is a pronunciation audio guide:
Listen “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai”:
In Mandarin, it’s “Xin Nian Kuai Le”, “Xin Nian Hao”, or “Gong Xi Fa Cai” which are all appropriate greetings for the Chinese New Year. For 2023, in the spirit of the rabbit zodiac, you can say “Tu Nian Kuai Le” which means Happy Rabbit Year. Here is a pronunciation audio guide:
Listen “Xin Nian Kuai Le”:
Listen “Xin Nian Hao”:
Listen “Gong Xi Fa Cai”:
Listen “Tu Nian Kuai Le”:
What do the words on the red envelopes mean?
When you receive red envelopes or hong bao/ ang pao/ ampao, you will notice that there are almost always Chinese characters on them, but what do they mean? Some envelopes have the Chinese surname of the giver, otherwise the characters are often there to offer sentiments and wishes to the recipient. Here is the meaning behind the most common words and phrases on red envelopes.
|Chinese Words||English Translations|
|新年快乐||Happy New Year|
|恭喜发财||Wish you become richer|
|大吉大利||Big fortune, great profit|
|万事如意， 萬事如意||Good luck in everything|
|兔年快乐||Happy Year of the Rabbit|
|心想事成||May your wishes come true|
|成长快乐||May you grow up happy|
|内有巨款||Contains a huge sum of money|
Chinese New Year Vocabulary in Mandarin
|Chinese Words||PinYin||English Translation|
|新年||xin1 nian2||New Year|
|红包||hong2 bao1||Red envelope|
|年糕||nian2 gao1||New Year cake, tikoy|
|舞狮||wu3 shi1||Lion dance|
|舞龙||wu3 long2||Dragon dance|
You are now ready for the 新年!