Chinese New Year greetings: 2 couples happily holding some sparklers

As a new calendar year approaches, it’s time to start thinking about also celebrating the wonderful holiday of Chinese New Year, sometimes called Lunar New Year. It’s a holiday all about happiness and prosperity, filled with rich colors and cultural New Year traditions.

In this guide, we’ll share a few of those standout traditions and themes from the Lunar New Year. We’ll also share some popular traditional Chinese New Year greetings, along with ideas for thoughtful messages you can send to loved ones or close friends who are celebrating the holiday.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or chūn jié within Chinese culture, is an exciting celebration for those who celebrate it, since it symbolizes new hope, prosperity, and an opportunity for a fresh start. The holiday begins with the first new moon that occurs between January 21 and February 20 and lasts for two weeks.

One of the most memorable aspects of Chinese New Year is the Chinese Zodiac, which gives us the “animal of the year.” This rotates on a 12-year cycle, so 2022 was the Year of the Tiger and 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit. Each animal has its own characteristics and cultural significance, and it’s believed that those traits are transferred to those born during that year.

Another familiar sight during Chinese New Year is the color red. People often wear red-colored clothing at this time of year, as it’s said to symbolize prosperity and protect against evil spirits. Red envelopes (hóng bāo in Mandarin, or lai see in Cantonese) are another common sight — these are filled with money and given to loved ones to wish them good luck for the year ahead.

Understanding these key elements of Chinese New Year celebrations makes it easier to know what to say and how to celebrate alongside others. You’ll find the color red dominating Chinese New Year cards, and Chinese New Year greetings often mention new starts, prosperity, and good luck.

Traditional Chinese New Year Greetings

Chinese New Year greetings: family celebrating the Chinese New Year

Like any cultural holiday, there are traditional sayings and greetings that have been popular for many years. For Chinese New Year, you’ll find popular Chinese New Year greetings written in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

If you know the preferred language of the person you’re writing to, use greetings and sayings from that language. If you’re not sure, ask them if they have a preference or opt for Mandarin, as it’s the official standard language of China and the most widely spoken within the country. In other countries, like Hong Kong, Cantonese is the go-to language.

To help you share some traditional Chinese New Year wishes, here are some of the most commonly used greetings for the New Year:

1. Happy New Yearxīn nián kuài lè or 新年快乐 (Mandarin) or san nin fai lok (Cantonese)

2. Wishing you happiness and prosperitygōng xǐ fā cái (Mandarin) or gong hei fat choy or 恭喜发财 (Cantonese)

3. Wishing you New Year goodness — Xīnnián hǎo or 新年好 (Mandarin)

4. May everything go well for you — wàn shì rú yì or 万事如意 (Mandarin)

5. May all your wishes come true — xīn xiǎng shì chéng or 心想事成 (Mandarin)

6. Wishing you good healthshēn tǐ jiàn kāng or 身体健康 (Mandarin)

7. Hoping for a promotion at every step — bù bù gāo shēng or 步步高升 (Mandarin)

8. Wishing you lots of luck and profits — dà jí dà lì or 大吉大利 (Mandarin)

9. I hope that all you do goes smoothly — yī fān fēng shùn (Mandarin)

10. Good luck for the year ahead — gōng hè xīn xǐ (Mandarin)

11. May your family be filled with happiness — hé jiā xìng fú (Mandarin)

12. Wishing you abundance and prosperity — nián nián yǒu yú (Mandarin)

13. May wealth come pouring in — cái yuán gǔn gǔn (Mandarin)

14. May your business flourish — shēng yì xīng lóng (Mandarin)

Thoughtful Messages for Loved Ones for Chinese New Year

If you don’t know Mandarin or Cantonese and you want to send a Chinese New Year greeting in English, there are lots of great ways you can celebrate the holiday and wish your friends, neighbors, or family members well. Here the list continues of some of our favorite Chinese New Year greetings:

15. Wishing you a very happy Chinese New Year.

16. Happy New Year, [Name]! I hope you have an amazing year ahead of you.

17. May the year ahead bring you happiness, joy, and fulfillment.

18. I hope you have a year filled with good fortune and good health.

19. Sending you lots of good vibes for the year ahead!

20. I wish you all the best for the New Year.

21. Wishing you a New Year filled with love and happiness.

22. I hope this year brings you luck and prosperity.

23. Wishing you a joyful New Year.

24. May all your dreams come true this year.

25. Sending you all my love for the New Year.

26. I hope this year is filled with exciting new opportunities for you, [Name]!

27. It’s going to be a great year, [Name]!

28. May you get everything you wished for this year.

29. Wishing you a year filled with hope and joy.

30. May the New Year bring you prosperity and good fortune.

31. I hope you have a prosperous New Year, [Name].

Share Your Chinese New Year Greetings with These Stylish Cards

Chinese New Year greetings: red lanterns for the Chinese New Year

One of the best ways to wish someone a Happy New Year is with a Chinese New Year card. Our online cards are perfect, as you can create something personal, then schedule it or send it in just a few clicks — without worrying about anything getting lost in the mail.

Each of our digital New Years cards can be customized, so you can change the layout, colors, and fonts. Our photo cards give you space to share a beautiful family photo to really make your recipient smile. After you’re done designing, you can add your own personal greeting or Chinese New Year wishes inside.

To help you find the perfect Chinese New Year card this year, here are some of our favorites.

Coral Lantern Trio Card

Coral Lantern Trio Card

Design: aticnomar designs & art

We love the simplicity of this Coral Lantern Trio Card. It features those classic Lunar New Year colors, but still feels contemporary and fresh. There’s space on the front for your own good luck wishes, or you can use one of the wording ideas we shared above.

Lucky Coins Card

Lucky Coins Card

Design: Bonjour Berry (photo courtesy of Angela & Evan Photography)

Celebrate Chinese New Year in style with this Lucky Coins Card. The coins on the front symbolize a good luck charm, and you can include a smiling photo of your family alongside them. On the reverse, there’s plenty of space for a message, poem, or longer New Year greeting.

Horned Dragon Invitation

Horned Dragon Invitation

Design: Lisa Travis

If you’re planning a party, this Horned Dragon Invitation is a wonderful match. Include your party details on the inside of this colorful card, with a traditional or modern greeting on the front. Not hosting an event? No problem — simply customize the wording to turn it into a fun Lunar New Year card instead.

Wish Your Loved Ones a Very Happy Chinese New Year with These Greetings

Chinese New Year is a time for celebration and excitement. Use these traditional and modern Chinese New Year greetings to help you share the love, wish your loved ones well, and send good luck for the year ahead.

Complement your heartwarming greetings with a Chinese New Year card to match. Browse our collection, choose a design that matches your personal style, then customize it to create something special. Send it to your loved ones and surprise them with your personalized message for good luck, good health, and prosperity in the year ahead.