Chinese New Year is one of the biggest holidays in Singapore and it's no surprise that preparations come into full swing weeks or even months before the event. To the Chinese community, ringing in the New Year with meaningful traditions sets the tone for the entire year. Chinese New Year is also a prime time to impress the people who matter in your life such as your elders, potential in-laws, business partners and bosses. Using auspicious greetings to wish them good fortune and health in Mandarin is a wonderful way to leave a good impression. Similarly, a well-thought-out and meaningful gift can speak volumes about your sincerity. Improve your relationships with others this year with our 2020 guide on Chinese New Year greetings and gifts.
In this article:
- Introduction to Chinese New Year
- What are the most popular Chinese New Year greetings?
- How to say auspicious CNY greetings for business?
- How to greet your elders for CNY?
- What are the best Chinese New Year wishes for children?
- Lunar New Year gift ideas
1. Introduction to Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, marks the beginning of the traditional Chinese calendar. Celebrated by more 20% of the world, Chinese New Year is the most important Chinese holiday with festivities lasting around 15 days. It is also celebrated annually outside China in countries with significant Chinese populations. These include countries throughout Asia, Oceania, and North America.
Preparations for CNY start weeks before when families busy themselves with spring cleaning and decorating their homes, buying new clothing, and preparing massive feasts for the extended family. Throughout the 15-day celebrations, people would visit relatives, watch traditional Chinese performances, launch fireworks and plan for the coming year. It is also a time to honour the family’s ancestors and visit the temple to pray for blessings in the New Year.
2. What are the most popular Chinese New Year greetings?
One of the most significant ways to communicate well wishes during CNY is through ji xiang hua (吉祥話), loosely translated to “auspicious words or phrases”. These Chinese New Year greetings can be found in the form of New Year couplets, printed on red paper and displayed in homes and businesses to express auspicious New Year wishes. It’s also communicated through loud and enthusiastic verbal greetings particularly communicated when visiting relatives and while giving and receiving red packets.
- 新年快乐，万事如意 xin nian kuai le, wan shi ru yi
Happy New Year and may everything you do go smoothly.
- 新年快乐，阖家幸福 xin nian kuai le, he jia xing fu
Happy New Year and may your family be blessed.
Wishing you happiness and prosperity.
May you have an abundant year.
- 四季平安过旺年 si ji ping an guo wang nian
Wishing you a whole year of peace.
3. How to say auspicious CNY greetings for business?
Chinese New Year celebrations involve many traditions, and food is often at the centre of it all. Many companies celebrate Chinese New Year with business lunches to reconnect with clients and business counterparts. Use this opportunity to express well wishes and give your business relationships a strong start to the New Year. A firm handshake followed by an auspicious CNY greeting geared towards business prosperity can help to cement your relationship in the upcoming year. CNY business lunches in Singapore, in particular, will certainly involve lo hei, which is the perfect opportunity to show off these phrases. Impress your bosses, business associates and colleagues with the right auspicious words this CNY 2020.
May your business flourish.
Wishing you good luck and large profits.
Wishing you harmony and wealth.
May a river of gold flow into your pockets.
Wishing you a smooth journey in all your endeavours.
4. How to greet your elders for CNY?
With many Chinese families opening their homes to visitors during Chinese New Year, this period is also commonly used to introduce your significant other to your extended family. Meeting elders and potential in-laws can be a nerve-racking affair, but with these Mandarin greetings focused on health and peace, you'll get into their good books in no time.
Wishing you a vigorous spirit.
Wishing you good health.
May you have peace at every age.
- 和气吉祥全家乐 he qi ji xiang quan jia le
Wishing you happiness and harmony for the whole family.
May you enjoy longevity and blessing.
5. What are the best Chinese New Year wishes for children?
One thing that all children look forward to during the Lunar New Year is the collection of ang pao or red packets. The act of giving money to children in red packets during Chinese New Year is a way to convey Chinese New Year wishes and blessings. When handing out a red packet to a child, be sure to use these sayings to wish them success in school.
May your grades improve.
May you reach greater heights in your studies.
Wishing you success in your examinations
6. Lunar New Year gift ideas
If you've received an invitation to someone’s home, especially from someone you respect, it's best not to show up empty-handed. On top of the mandatory 2 Mandarin oranges, consider bringing a meaningful gift to express your sincerity and gratitude. Remember, the type of gift you bring can leave a lasting impression. When picking out a Chinese New Year gift, do consider the status of the recipient and the cultural significance of this festive period. The giving of the gift should be accompanied by an enthusiastic greeting, usually upon arrival at the house.
When bringing alcohol, it’s best to prepare 2 bottles. Even numbers are more favoured by Chinese families, particularly during the Lunar New Year period. Whether you’re buying cognac, whisky or red wine, always check in advance what the recipient’s personal preferences are.
2. CNY goodies
When it comes to gifting, you can’t go wrong with CNY goodies. No one can resist CNY goodies so be sure to find out which are the favourites to score extra brownie points. Show your sincerity with a tub of homemade Chinese New Year cookies or simply pick up a few all-time favourites from the wide variety available at Giant.
Looking to impress your potential mother-in-law but aren’t sure what to buy? We’ve got the answer. Nothing leaves a better impression than a combination of Chinese delicacies such as abalone, dried mushrooms and dried scallops. They’re ideal for brewing nutritious soups and convey the message that you care about the family.
If you want to present a gift that lasts, go for a potted plant. Lucky bamboo and money plants are believed to bring luck and good fortune, while orchids symbolise fertility and abundance.
Everyone hopes to start the New Year on the right note, and this is especially important when it comes to our relationships. This Chinese New Year 2020, impress anyone with the right auspicious greeting and the perfect gift and watch your relationships blossom! Be sure to get yourself CNY-ready with Giant's exciting CNY promotions.