Chinese New Year greetings

Are we supposed to say ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi!’ to our English-speaking friends at Chinese New Year? Are there other things we can say?

Most westerners living in Hong Kong know what ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi! (恭喜發財)’ means. The English phrase which is most similar to ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi!’ is ‘I wish you health, wealth and happiness!’

Here are some popular sayings you can say at Chinese New Year:


Wish you all the best!


Harmony brings wealth.


May all your wishes come true!

You can also say ‘I wish you…

  • success with your business / study;
  • prosperity all through the year;
  • peace all year round;
  • good luck in the new year;
  • good health and much happiness.’

Apart from the above, you can also say ‘Happy Year of the Dog / Pig / etc.!’

There are twelve animals associated with the Chinese Zodiac. In English, some animals have different names for the male and female. The names of Chinese years often use male animal names. For example:

e.g. The Year of the Rooster (male chicken)
e.g. The Year of the Ram (male sheep)
e.g. The Year of the Boar (male pig)

Here is the full list, in the right order of the Chinese zodiac:

  1. The Year of the Rat
  2. The Year of the Ox
  3. The Year of the Tiger
  4. The Year of the Rabbit
  5. The Year of the Dragon
  6. The Year of the Snake
  7. The Year of the Horse
  8. The Year of the Sheep / Ram / Goat
  9. The Year of the Monkey
  10. The Year of the Rooster
  11. The Year of the Dog
  12. The Year of the Pig / Boar

Which one is your favourite saying?