Cantonese New Year Greetings: 8 Popular Ways

Happy New Year! The Cantonese New Year is special because it’s a season to honor your deities, ancestors, parents, and family. It’s also time to welcome the New Year with traditional but fun and engaging activities to learn about.

And what else could you learn from Cantonese New Year than the important vocabulary to practice? Join the Ling app as we unfold Cantonese New Year greetings and other phrases that you can use for your friends, relatives, and family.

How Do You Say Happy New Year In Cantonese?

Happy New Year in Cantonese is 新年快樂 (san nin faa lok). They use this greeting every New Year (新年) and Chinese New Year (農曆新年)

Due to the various regional customs, languages, and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese New Year, it is celebrated in various ways, and so is the way they greet each other. Cantonese is one of the most predominant languages in China. The Cantonese-speaking people are the ones who live in the Southern part of China and the language is also used by the ones who are living in Macau, Hongkong, Taiwan, and Vietnam.  

8 Beautiful Cantonese New Year Greetings Cantonese Happy New year

8 Beautiful Cantonese New Year Greetings

Here are the 8 popular ways to greet your friends and relatives on Chinese New Year in Cantonese. Memorize these Cantonese phrases for a higher chance of getting more red envelopes this new year!

1. 恭喜發財 Pronunciation: Gong hei faat choy

Meaning: Wishing you wealth and prosperity

It is one of the most famous phrases that you can easily hear when you’re walking on the streets. It is a widely used Chinese New Year greeting of Cantonese-speaking people in different communities around the world, Gong hei faat choy is usually the first thing that’s said when Chinese people greet one another during Chinese New Year. It is usually followed by a genuine wish – “sun tai gin hong” (身體健康), which means ‘Stay healthy’. Use Gong hei faat choy when you greet your friends and relatives on Chinese New Year for a prosperous year ahead.

2. 心想事成 Pronunciation: Sum Seung Si Sing

 Meaning: Whatever the heart desires will happen

What a lovely way to greet someone in Cantonese during the Chinese New Year if they are passionately doing their best and working hard for their dreams and wishes through this phrase. A simple greeting such as sum seung si sing can be a powerful motivator that affirms your trust and support as you remind them to keep hustling and grinding until their dreams and wishes are fulfilled. Don’t forget to smile when you greet your friends and relatives Sum Seung Si Sing.

Cantonese New Year Greetings hok yip jun bou

3. 學業進步 Pronunciation: hok yip jun bou

Meaning: Improvement in studies

This Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese is perfect for the students. It’s a great way to inspire them by saying “Hok yip jun bou” as it expresses blessings and best wishes for them to do well in their academics. The core of the Chinese New Year celebration is to spend time with family. If you know a Cantonese-speaking student studying abroad and spending Chinese New Year away from their family, greet them with ‘hok yip jun bou’ to counter homesickness.

As you learn Cantonese, it’s best to find the perfect tool to help you memorize those words and phrases. Why not check out the Ling app on the Play Store or App Store? It’s free, gamified, and has a way for you to listen to pronunciations from native speakers too!

4. 大吉大利 Pronunciation: Dai Gut Dai Le

Meaning: Good luck and may things go smoothly

Every time you greet someone with this phrase, you have to accompany your greetings with images of tangerines because the second character, gut (吉), means tangerines, which is often placed beside the word le (利), which means luck. This phrase is also one of the easiest to write among the Cantonese New Year greetings. Look at the characters and try to scribble them down on a plain sheet of paper.

5. 财源滚滚 Pronunciation: tsoy yun gwan gwan

Meaning: May wealth roll in

This Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese is perfect to use in a work setting intended for your boss and well-deserved colleagues who are doing their best to excel in their respective fields. This is for everyone who’s working hard to earn more and celebrate life. At the end of the day, Chinese New Year can be celebrated anywhere with everyone. Use this greeting as you commend a diligent workmate.

6. 龍馬精神 Pronunciation: lung ma jing sun


Meaning: As full of energy as a horse

Lung ma jing sun is intended for young and elderly people every Chinese New Year to bless them with great energy and stamina. They always look forward to being greeted with this to feel young; if you are lucky enough, this can be a good way to receive lai see (利是) or the famous red envelopes containing surprises. Take note of this Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese as you enjoy your time with the elderly.

Cantonese New Year Greetings wàn shì rú yì

7. 万事如意 Pronunciation: wàn shì rú yì


Meaning: Everything goes your way.

As you look forward to a beautiful year ahead, this Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese will greatly flatter your heart. How amazing will it be when all of your plans will go the way you want them to be. So, spread happiness and hope as you wish someone a happy Chinese New Year with this greeting wàn shì rú yì’.

8. 春节快乐 Pronunciation: tsun zit fai lok


Meaning: Happy Spring Festival

Since Chinese New Year is celebrated every Spring season, it has become well-known as the Spring Festival in mainland China. So, you can greet each other with tsun zit fai lok, which literally means “Happy Spring Festival. You can start with this Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese then lengthen your greeting using the other phrases mentioned above, the most important thing is to carry a beautiful smile every time you wish someone a tsun zit fai lok.

What Is The Cantonese/Chinese New Year?

When fancy red-colored designs start to take over the streets in Chinatown and elsewhere, everyone is excited about the different Chinese New Year festivities. Chinese New Year is an annual celebration that signifies the coming of a new era in the middle of the winter season. Cantonese New Year greetings are great to learn since you can meet with people all over the world who speak the language to practice.

That’s the reason why it is also known as the chunjie (春节) or the Spring Festival. It runs up to 15-16 days; it is celebrated all over China and its neighboring countries, including the whole world, due to the adamant migration and influence of the Chinese.

Traditionally, Chinese New Year is a time to honor their deities as well as their ancestors. Through time, it has evolved to become a traditional family dinner reunion accompanied by the thorough cleaning of their houses in order to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for incoming good luck, and decorating their windows and doors with red paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper cuts and couplets include that of good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity.

Have Fun Learning Cantonese Today!

We hope you enjoy learning about New Year greetings in Cantonese! Cantonese is just one of the languages in China, and memorizing these Cantonese phrases will surely make your celebration of Chinese New Year memorable. Practice as early as now to perfect your Cantonese tone and pronunciation in preparation for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Have fun while learning the language. Try using the Ling app to memorize those words and phrases effectively!

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