13 February 2010

Chinese New Year Greetings

I remember my first Chinese New Year (CNY) here in Hong Kong.  I was totally overwhelmed.  Absolutely floored with all the greetings people heap on each other.  They don’t just say “Happy new year” and stop there.  They would recite a long list of greetings and I would just stand there, smiling, bemused, and a little bit embarrassed that I only gave them my two basic greetings:  新年快樂 (xīn nián kuài lè) / Happy New Year and 恭喜發財 (Gōng xǐ fā cái) / Congratulations and be prosperous. 

Over the years, I’ve picked up a few more and have memorized quite a few that I can more or less now keep up with the more enthusiastic greeters.

There are a LOT of these CNY greetings, but here are a few of the more common ones: 
身體健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kāng) – May you be healthy.
年年有餘 (Nián nián yǒu yú) – May you have surpluses and bountiful harvests every year.
歲歲平安 (Suì suì píng ān) – May you have everlasting peace year after year.
新年進步 (Xin nián jìn bu) – Wishing you progress in the new year.
生意興隆 (shēng yì yǔ lóng ) –Usually to shop owners.  May your business be successful.
龍馬精神 (lóng mǎ jīng shén)- Wishing you the energy of a horse and the longevity of the dragon.
步步高升 (bù bù gāo shēng) – Usually to a colleague.  Wishing you advancement with every step.
萬事如意 (wàn shì rú yì) – May everything be as you wish.
心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng) - Similar to the above… May everything go according to your wishes.
笑口常開 (xiào kǒu cháng kāi) – One of my favorites:   May you always be smiling.
My greetings to all of you this CNY and every day: 
笑口常開 (xiào kǒu cháng kāi)
心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng)
Keep smiling.
May your wishes come true.


jen@odbt said...

Happy New Year - I saw it's the year of the tiger, right? Enjoy all the celebrating!

Michelle @ Flying Giggles said...

I would love to celebrate Chinese new years there! Now, that is a long list and I wish them all back to you!

Nezzy said...

Right back at ya' friend! Happy CNY with all the love that Valentine's Day has to offer!

God bless you sweet one!!!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I like this one - (wàn shì rú yì)

Now, your next assignment is for me to know how to pronounce all of those. I tried but I'm sure I'm not pronouncing them correctly.

Six Feet Under Blog said...

How cool! The same back to you since I dont know how to type that-lol!

SafeHomeHappyMom said...

A nice blog you have here. This is Blessing following from MBC!!!

You can follow me at www.safehomehappymom.com

The Mind of a Mom said...

Just smile and nod doesn't that always work? LoL
The best of the year to come to you and yours.

Wanda said...

And all of the above to you too!

Aunt LoLo said...

My favorite is Ching Cheun Seung Jyu...I have no idea how it translates, but I'm wishing you...youth and beauty? It always made the PoPos giggle. ;-)

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