Greetings to make elders love you this Chinese New Year

Earn some brownie points from your elders by remembering these greetings and use them this CNY!

Phoon Jia Hui

Jack of all trades, master of drinking boba milk tea.

Published: 8 February 2021, 5:22 PM

The first day of the Chinese New Year is almost here. 

While COVID-19 restrictions mean that the festivities this year would be considerably subdued, that should not stop you from soaking in the atmosphere.

Here are some greetings you can use to impress your elders while visiting and, hopefully, get you extra red packets from them.

1. 牛气冲天 (niu qi chong tian)

The phrase translates to being strong like a bull or ox. By wishing your elders this, you are wishing them a confident or bullish year ahead.

2. 福寿双全 (fu shou shuang quan)

福  means blessings while 寿 means to live a prosperous life. When combined with 双全, you are wishing them the best of both worlds. 

Want to wish your elders longevity and blessings in the new year? This greeting is perfect for that. 

3. 精灵活泼 (ji lin huo po)

Translating to be lively, this greeting can be used to wish for your elders to be full of energy and active.

4. 笑口常开 (xiao kou chang kai)

If you hope to see your elders being happy in the Year of the Ox, you can wish them this. It translates to may your year be filled with an abundance of smiles and laughter.


2021 will see the Chinese celebrate the Year of the Ox. PHOTO CREDIT: MACAU PHOTO AGENCY VIA UNSPLASH

5. 牛年大吉 (niu nian da ji)

牛年 refers to the Year of the Ox, while 大吉 refers to best wishes. 

In short, you are wishing the other party plenty of luck and a happy year ahead.

6. 财源滚滚 (cai yuan gun gun)

Loosely translated as money is rolling, you can use this greeting to wish your elders a year of financial abundance ahead and that wealth would come pouring in.

7. 身体健康 (shen ti jian kang)

身体健康 means wishing your elders a good health and it is imperative that one looks after their health during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the end of the day, health is wealth.

8. 五福臨門 (wu fu lin men)

This greeting is commonly used among the Chinese as a blessing to their relatives especially during the Chinese New Year. 

Many would also put up the red paper with these words to wish that the five good fortunes will come to their homes in the new year.

9. 吉星高照 (ji xing gao zhao)

This greeting translates to a lucky star shining bright in the upcoming year and that fortune will smile on you. 

To wish your elders good fortune in the new year ahead, you may want to consider using this.

10. 四季平安過旺年 (si ji ping an guo wang nian)

This greeting translates to wishing someone a whole year of peace. 

Unlike the typical four-character idioms, this contains seven and is an upgrade from the normal greetings. This may lead to your elders being impressed with your command of the language! 

Now that you have learned these greetings, it’s your turn to master some of them and put it into practice. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

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