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新年快乐 恭喜发财

The Year of the Dragon is upon us. Big celebration in Chinatown tonight at Midnight. Fireworks, dragons and lions. Celebration!

Here is some important fast-breaking info to help get you through the next fifteen days:

Mandarin Chinese:
新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè, pronounced “sheen nyen kwy luh”) = Happy new year! (literally “The new year comes fast!”)

恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái, pronounced “gong shee fah tsy”) = Wishing you a prosperous new year! (literally “May you have much joy and wealth!”)

Cantonese Chinese:
新年快乐 (san nin faai lok) = Happy new year!     (literally “The new year comes fast!”)

恭喜发财 (gung hei faat choi) = Wishing you a prosperous new year!     (literally “May you have much joy and wealth!”)

The most common auspicious greetings and sayings consist of four characters, such as the following:

  • 金玉滿堂     Jinyu mantang – “May your wealth [gold and jade] come to fill a hall”
  • 大展鴻圖     Dazhan hongtu – “May you realize your ambitions”
  • 迎春接福     Yingchun jiefu – “Greet the New Year and encounter happiness”
  • 萬事如意     Wanshi ruyi – “May all your wishes be fulfilled”
  • 吉慶有餘     Jiqing youyu – “May your happiness be without limit”
  • 竹報平安     Zhubao pingan – “May you hear [in a letter] that all is well”
  • 一本萬利     Yiban wanli = “May a small investment bring ten-thousandfold profits”
  • 福壽雙全     Fushou shuangquan – “May your happiness and longevity be complete”
  • 招財進寶     Zhaocai jinbao – “When wealth is acquired, precious objects follow”

Now give me a red envelope.

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