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Happy New Year In Chinese: How To Say It, And Other Greetings

02/04/2015 03:22 EST | Updated 02/04/2015 03:59 EST

Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) is coming up on Feb. 19.

We already know that it will celebrate the "Year of the Goat (Sheep)." But how do you wish someone a happy new year?

Let us count the ways.

(Please keep in mind that these phrases have specific tones, which can't quite be explained here.)

One of the most popular greetings is "gung hey fat choy." It's a Cantonese phrase meaning, "happiness and prosperity" — NOT happy new year, according to China Highlights.

This is often followed by the phrase, "lai see dou loi," which means, "give me a red packet!" or "envelope," according to The Toronto Star.

The Mandarin version is "gong xi fa cai/hong bao na lai!" This refers to the tradition of married family members giving red envelopes with "lucky money" in them to unmarried relatives.

Here are a few other greetings in Cantonese and Mandarin that have been suggested by China Highlights:

"Pass the new year well!": "Gwor-nin haow" (Cantonese); "gwor-nyen haoww" (Mandarin)

"Step-by-step high promotion," which wishes people a rise to high places: "Boh-boh goh-sshin" (Cantonese); "Boo-boo gaoww-shnng" (Mandarin)

"New year happiness!": "Sen-nin feye-lor" (Cantonese); "Sshin-nyen kwhy-ler" (Mandarin)

"New year goodness!": "Sen-nin haow" (Cantonese); "Sshin-nyen haoww" (Mandarin)

There are many more greetings, but the people in the video above say them better than we could ever type them out.

Regardless of how we say it, please accept our wishes for a wonderful new year full of happiness and prosperity!

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