5 Ways To Greet Happy Birthday In Cantonese

March 29, 2021

Are you one of those people who is always looking forward to their birthday every year? A birthday is a time when a person celebrates his/her birth anniversary. In this blog, you will learn how to say Happy Birthday in Cantonese.



When you hear the words cake, gifts, balloons, the first thing that will come to your mind is your birthday. It is the time of the year to celebrate our birth. It is often celebrated with gifts, parties, and most of all, with our loved ones. Most of the people around the world celebrate their birthday this way. Nowadays, people also use social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even email to send birthday greetings.

Celebrating a birthday is also a way of thanking God for another year of keeping you alive, another year to make meaningful memories and another year of making this world a better place. It is not just about gifts and other material things, please remember that it's about how the great times you share with the people in your life.


Chinese Birthday

Birthdays are celebrated almost the same way across the world. But some culture has their own unique way to celebrate it like the Chinese. They have a very rich culture that makes them unique to others. Chinese age is calculated according to the Lunar calendar. When the child turns two years old, parents celebrate their birthday by surrounding a child with different symbolic items to predict his/her future. For example, the pen indicates that the child has a natural talent for writing.

Cakes VS Longevity Noodles

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

Birthdays are not complete without cakes but in Chinese, eating longevity noodles is more important than slicing the cake. Longevity noodles symbolize long life so be careful not to bite and cut it off while slurping because it symbolizes the breaking of a long life.

Food - Who's Treat Is It?

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

You can never talk about birthdays when there is no food. If you have a Chinese friend, do not be surprised if he treats you for a meal during his/her birthday. He/she wants to follow their traditions that the birthday celebrant will pay the bill no matter how large the gathering may be.

Gifts - What To Give?

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

Another exciting part of birthdays is the gift. It really feels good when you saw a gift with your name on it. Talking about gifts, they have their own also. If you have a Chinese friend and you want to give him/her something, make sure to think wisely about what to give. Yes, it's the thought that counts but it wouldn't hurt to give something useful.

Nowadays, people use just shopping bags or paper bags as wrappers but the Chinese have ways on how to wrap a gift also. If you plan to give a gift, wrap it using a red wrapper and a golden ribbon which indicates good luck. Do not be offended and do not take it as an insult if your Chinese friend declined the gift at first. It's part of their tradition to insist a little more.

Birthdays - Traditions Or Celebrations?

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

There are more Chinese traditions when it comes to birthdays but it's good to start to have a little knowledge about it. At the end of the day, the primary point of celebrating birthdays is being grateful for the life we have. So as an individual, make sure to live your life well. Make each day count and worth it.


How To Say Happy Birthday In Cantonese?

For most people, a birthday is one of the happiest days of their lives. You feel important and you receive many gifts. But not all people want to celebrate their birthday that way. Some want's to celebrate it with friends and some rather stay at home with their families. Either way, what's a birthday without greetings?

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

Who wouldn't want to receive birthday greetings on their birthday? It is nice if someone greets and wishes you a Happy Birthday. You can greet someone Happy Birthday in different languages. You can say Feliz cumpleaños, in Spanish, Selamat ulang tahun, in Indonesian, Saeng-il chugha in Korean, and Buon compleanno in Italian.

For Chinese, you might be hearing Shēngrì kuàilè (生日快乐) often. This birthday greeting came from Mandarin which is widely spoken in China. In this blog, we will learn how to say Happy Birthday in Cantonese. Cantonese is widely spoken in Hong Kong. If you want to know the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, there's a separate blog for you.

Want to know how to greet Happy Birthday using the Cantonese language? Check the following phrases below:

1. Saang1 Jat6 Faai3 Lok6 (生日快樂)

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

If you want to wish someone Happy Birthday in Cantonese, you can say "Saang1 Jat6 Faai3 Lok6" (生日快樂). 生 refers to “birth” and 日 refers to "day". This is commonly used in Hong Kong whether in formal or informal situations. You can also add his/her name to make it more personal and see how it will immediately put a smile on his/her face.

2. Zuk1 Nei5 Saang1 Jat6 Faai3 Lok6, Sam1 Soeng2 Si6 Sing4 (祝你生日快樂,心想事成)

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

To make it more meaningful, you can add some phrases.  To say "I wish you a happy birthday, and that all your wishes come true!" use "Zuk1 Nei5 Saang1 Jat6 Faai3 Lok6, Sam1 Soeng2 Si6 Sing4" (祝你生日快樂,心想事成). This is applicable to both written and spoken situations whether formal or informal. It's nice to hear that someone wishes you a good life.

3. Ngau4 Jat1 Faai3 Lok6 (牛一快樂!)

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

Greeting someone a Happy Birthday may also differ on the level of your closeness with the celebrant. To greet someone informally, you can say Ngau4 Jat1 Faai3 Lok6 (牛一快樂!). This means "Happy B-day!" in English. Again, you can also put his/her name to make it more personal.

4. Cing1 Ceon1 Soeng4 Zyu3, Nin4 Nin4 Jaa6 Baat3 (青春常駐,年年廿八!)

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

Everyone wants to be happy during their birthdays but let's admit the fact that not all of us are happy to be older. If you want to wish someone to stay young you can say "Cing1 Ceon1 Soeng4 Zyu3, Nin4 Nin4 Jaa6 Baat3"(青春常駐,年年廿八!). This means "Wishing you always (stay) young, like 28 years old, every year!"

5. Xīwàng Rì Rì Kāixīn (希望日日開心)

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

It is nice if someone wishes you to have a good life. After all the problems and challenges, it is really heart-warming hearing these words on your special day. Xīwàng Rì Rì Kāixīn (希望日日開心) means "Hope you will be happy every day" in English.


Some Words To Remember:

After learning five ways to say Happy Birthday in Cantonese, here are few words to remember:

Cantonese Pinyin English
快樂 faai lok Happy
生日 saang jat Birthday
生日快樂 saang jat faai lok Wish you
希望 xi wang/hei mong Hope


Ways To Celebrate Birthdays In Hong Kong

Now that you have learned how to say Happy Birthday in Cantonese, let's find some nice place tp celebrate it.

1. Enjoy A Free Day At A Theme Park

No one is ever old enough to go to a theme park. You can enjoy your birthday in a famous theme park in Hong Kong.

2. Go To Hong Kong's Finest Beaches

For beach lovers, nice sunsets and cold breezes can be one of your birthday gifts from nature. You may go there with your family and friends.

3. Sing With Your Friends In A Restobars

A night with your friends full of music, laughter, and stories, what more can you ask for? Hong Kong has nice restaurants and bars where you can sing your hearts out.


The Essence of A Birthday

People only celebrate their birthdays once a year. Some want it to be fun with their friends and family but some want to spend it alone and quiet. Either way, it is a day in a year to be grateful for everything you have right now. Being grateful is a sign that you appreciate everything and everyone around you. Greetings, gifts, and food are part of the celebration. We usually take things for granted. Many of us do not realize that the best thing in life is having life itself.

Learning Happy Birthday In Cantonese, What's Next?

In this blog, you have learned that the Saang1 Jat6 Faai3 Lok6 (生日快樂) and Shēngrì kuàilè (生日快乐) is different because they came from different Chinese dialect. Now that you have learned this, why not expand your knowledge? Do not be contented by just knowing how to say Happy Birthday in Cantonese. Challenge yourself and expand your horizons.


Learning New Languages

Happy Birthday In Cantonese

There are language learning tools that may help you learn languages in a convenient and exciting way. If you have learned from this blog, I recommend you to try Ling App. Yes, you can always read blog posts like this, watch and follow different video tutorials, read books about learning languages but using this app, you will be able to get an exciting learning experience. Please remember that knowing will not automatically be converted to fluency. Your motivation and hard work will be your key to be successful in learning new languages.

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