Greetings for Chinese New Year

Yǒu qián méi qián, huíjiā guònián.
1. 有   钱    没     钱,回家     过年。
Money or no, we’ll be home for Spring Festival.

Background Information:

This popular phrase originated from a well-known song of the same name. On Chinese New Year, getting home to see family is a long held practice. When the festival finally arrives, no matter where you are, or how life has been treating you, there’s always that voice in the back of your head telling you to return home and visit your loved ones.

Gōngxǐfācái, hóngbāo ná lái.
2. 恭喜发财, 红包       拿 来。
I wish you prosperity in the New Year; now give me my red envelope!

Background Information:

On Chinese New Year, one of the most loved pastimes is exchanging “红包 (hóngbāo) red envelopes,” also called “压岁钱 (yāsuìqián) gift money,” especially for kids. The gift is what adults give the youth during the festival to bring blessings and good luck.

Lóngnián dào le, zhù nǐ lóngténg hǔyuè, lóngmǎjīngshén.
3. 龙年        到  了,祝 你  龙腾        虎跃、龙马精神。
The Year of the Dragon is coming. I wish you happiness reminiscent of dragons rising and a tiger’s coiled leap. May the spirited  souls of the dragon and horse guide your path.

Background Information:

According to the order of the 12 animals in the “生肖 (shēngxiào) Chinese Zodiac,” 2012 is “龙年 (Lóngnián) the Year of the Dragon,” as each lunar year denotes a different animal stepping into the zodiac’s limelight.


恭喜发财 (gōngxǐfācái): May you be prosperous!

红包 (hóngbāo): n. red envelopes

压岁钱 (yāsuìqián): n. gift money

生肖 (shēngxiào): n. Chinese Zodiac

龙年 (Lóngnián): n. the Year of the Dragon

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