Chinese Words and Phrases During Chinese Lunar New Year With Pronunciation Audio

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
Good fortune
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
饺子 jiao3 zi5 Dumpling
年糕 nian2 gao1 New Year cake, tikoy
舞狮 wu3 shi1 Lion dance
舞龙 wu3 long2 Dragon dance
生肖 sheng1 xiao4 Zodiac
鞭炮 bian1 pao4 Firecrackers
灯笼 deng1 long2 Lantern
tu4 Rabbit

You are now ready for the 新年! 

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