Bai4 Nian2, 拜年 to send Chinese New Year greetings or pay Chinese New Year house calls to relatives, friends, colleagues, and neighbors, is the most important activity of Chinese New Year.
It’s the single activity that fills up the fifteen days of Chinese New Year. If you have a lot of friends, you can be sure you’ll have a very busy Chinese New Year!
Bai4 nian2, Chinese New Year greetings is a traditional ritual which has the meaning of “sending off the old and welcoming the new”, and expressing good wishes to each other for the new year.
Chinese New Year greetings start at home. On the morning of Chinese New Year, the children wish the parents and elders in the household “good health” and “may everything go smoothly”. (see below)
The parents then give red packets to the children. Anyone who’s not married is eligible to receive red packets.
Then the phone calls and house calls start. To everyone, send and say Chinese New Year Greetings.
Relatives, neighbors, friends, colleagues, even strangers you meet.
Nowadays, Short Messaging Service (SMS) is a popular way to send Chinese New Year greetings.
Billions of mobile phone messages are sent during Chinese New Year in China and the Chinese community overseas!
Here's some of the most popular Chinese New Year Greetings:
- Xin1 nian2 kuai4 le4 新年快乐Happy Chinese New Year
- Wan4 shi4 ru2 yi4 万事如意 A Thousand Things Go Smoothly
- Gong1 xi3 fa1 cai2 恭喜发财Wishing you Great Wealth
- Shi4 ji4 ru2 yi4 四季如意Everything Goes Smoothly in the Four Seasons
- Shen1 ti3 jian4 kang1 身体健康Good Health