How to Say Happy Birthday in Chinese: Celebrate a Joyous Day in Mandarin

Birthdays are a special time of celebration, and in Chinese culture, expressing well wishes on this joyous occasion is done with heartfelt words. When it comes to saying "Happy Birthday" in Chinese, there are two commonly used phrases that convey your warm wishes. The first phrase is 生日快乐 (shēngrì kuàilè), which directly translates to "Happy Birthday." Simple yet powerful, this expression brings cheer and joy to the celebrant's special day. By understanding these fundamental phrases, you can properly commemorate someone's birthday in Mandarin Chinese and create a truly memorable and uplifting celebration.

How Do You Wish a Friend a Happy Birthday in Cantonese?

If you want to wish a friend a happy birthday in Cantonese, you can greet them with the phrase “Saang1 Jat6 Faai3 Lok6” (生日快樂). The phrase translates to “Happy Birthday” in English.

Cantonese is a dialect of Chinese spoken in the Guangdong Province and Hong Kong. It’s it’s own unique pronunciation and vocabulary compared to Mandarin, which is the official language of China.

When saying “Saang1 Jat6 Faai3 Lok6” to a friend, you can add other phrases or expressions to make your birthday wishes more personal. This adds an extra layer of sincerity and positivity to your birthday wish.

In addition to verbal greetings, it’s also common in Cantonese culture to give gifts to celebrate someones birthday. Traditional gifts might include red envelopes containing money or items that symbolize good luck and fortune. It’s a thoughtful gesture that can make the birthday celebration even more special.

How to Write a Birthday Card or Message in Cantonese

  • 生日快樂!希望你度過一個美好的一年。
  • 願你的生活與你的夢想同樣精彩,生日快樂!
  • 祝福你在新的一歲裡,事事順心如意。生日快樂!
  • 願你的生日充滿喜樂和愛!
  • 生日快樂!祝福你健康、快樂與幸福。
  • 希望你的生日充滿驚喜和歡笑!
  • 在你的生日,願你的願望成真。
  • 生日快樂!願你的未來充滿無盡的可能性。
  • 祝你生日快樂!希望你所有的夢想都成真。
  • 生日快樂,祝你天天都開心!

祝你生日快乐 (shēngrì kuàilè) is the most commonly used way to say “happy birthday” in Chinese, but there are a few other options that can add a touch of formality or heartfelt wishes. 祝你生日快乐 (zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè) conveys the same meaning as the basic phrase, but adds a level of emphasis. 祝您生日快乐 (zhù nín shēngrì kuàilè) is a more formal way to wish someone a happy birthday, often used when speaking to someone older or in a professional context. Taking it a step further, 祝您福如东海,寿比南山 (zhù nín fú rú dōnghǎi, shòu bǐ nánshān) is a poetic expression that wishes the recipient a life as prosperous as the East Sea and as long-lived as the South Mountain.

What Is the Best Chinese Birthday Wishes?

When it comes to Chinese birthday wishes, there are several ways to express your joy and well wishes to someone on their special day. In Mandarin, the most common and simple way to say “happy birthday” is “生日快乐” (shēngrì kuàilè). This phrase is easy to remember and is appropriate for both formal and informal settings.

This is used when addressing someone of higher status or who you’ve a professional relationship with. The use of “您” (nín) shows respect and politeness.

If you want to go above and beyond with your birthday wishes, you can say “祝您福如东海,寿比南山” (zhù nín fú rú dōnghǎi, shòu bǐ nánshān). This translates to “May your blessings be as limitless as the East Sea, and may your life be as long as the South Mountain.”. It’s a poetic way to express your sincere and heartfelt wishes for the persons happiness and longevity.

In addition to these phrases, it’s also common to accompany birthday wishes with gifts such as red envelopes filled with money, flowers, or special treats. These cultural practices add an extra layer of significance and thoughtfulness to your birthday wishes.

Whether you choose a simple phrase or a more elaborate expression, the most important thing is to convey your joy and well wishes in a sincere and thoughtful manner.

Chinese New Year is a significant celebration in Chinese culture, filled with vibrant traditions and customs. The way Chinese people wish each other a Happy New Year varies across regions, but one common greeting is “Gong hei fat choy” in Cantonese or “gong xi fa cai” in Mandarin. These greetings convey the heartfelt wishes of happiness and prosperity for the upcoming year.

How Do Chinese Wish Each Other Happy New Year?

During the Chinese New Year celebration, there are several other popular greetings that Chinese people use to wish each other a prosperous and joyful year ahead. One common phrase is “Xin Nian Kuai Le,” which translates to “Happy New Year.”. This greeting is widely used in Mandarin-speaking regions and is a simple and straightforward way to convey well wishes for the upcoming year.

Another popular greeting, especially in Northern China, is “Gong Xi Fa Cai,” which is similar to the Cantonese “Gong Hei Fat Choy.”. This phrase also expresses wishes for prosperity and wealth in the new year. It’s often accompanied by gifts of red envelopes or hongbao, which contain money and are given to children and unmarried friends and family members as a symbol of good luck.

In Shanghai and surrounding areas, people may say “Xin Nian Hao,” which simply means “Happy New Year.”. In Hokkien, a Southern Chinese dialect spoken in parts of Taiwan and Southeast Asia, people may say “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai,” which means “wishing you prosperity.”

Whether it’s through the traditional “Gong Xi Fa Cai” or one of the regional variations, these greetings are an important part of the festive atmosphere and express the hope for a joyful and prosperous year for all.

Source: How to Wish Someone a Happy Chinese New Year – Time

In addition to symbolic gifts, Hong Kong residents also celebrate birthdays with elaborate feasts and parties. It’s customary to gather friends and family to share in the joyous occasion, often accompanied by singing, dancing, and indulging in delicious meals. Whether it’s a simple home gathering or a grand affair, celebrating birthdays in Hong Kong is a cherished tradition that fosters love, connection, and well-wishes for a long and prosperous life.

How Do People in Hong Kong Celebrate Birthdays?

In Hong Kong, birthdays are celebrated in a special and meaningful way, reflecting the rich traditions and cultural values of the region. One common practice is to give symbolic gifts to friends, family, or neighbors on their birthdays. These gifts often carry deep meaning and are chosen carefully to convey well wishes and blessings to the birthday person.

One popular symbolic gift is gold in the shape of a peach. The peach is considered a symbol of longevity and immortality in Chinese culture. By gifting gold in this shape, it signifies the desire for the birthday person to live a long and prosperous life, filled with good health and happiness.

Another unique gift that’s often given is yee mein, which are long noodles. These noodles hold a special significance as they represent longevity and the idea of eating together as a family or with loved ones. By offering yee mein as a gift, it conveys the wish for the birthday person to have a long and fulfilling life, surrounded by loved ones and cherished memories.

Friends and family come together to share a delicious meal and to honor the birthday person. It’s a time for laughter, happiness, and creating unforgettable memories.

These may include offering incense or prayers at temples, as a way to seek blessings and good fortune for the year ahead.

The symbolic gifts, such as gold in the shape of a peach and yee mein noodles, carry deep meaning and serve as a beautiful way to convey well wishes for health, happiness, and longevity. It’s a celebration of life and an opportunity to honor and appreciate the special individuals in our lives.

The Role of Temples in Birthday Celebrations and Seeking Blessings for the Year Ahead

In Chinese culture, temples play an important role in birthday celebrations and seeking blessings for the year ahead. Many people visit temples on their birthdays to pray for good fortune, longevity, and happiness. It’s believed that by making offerings and performing rituals at the temple, one can ensure a prosperous and successful year ahead.

When it comes to wishing someone a pretty happy birthday, short and sweet messages can make a big impact. Whether you’re sending a text, writing a card, or saying it in person, there are plenty of ways to express your well wishes. Messages like “Hope all your birthday wishes come true!” or “It’s your special day — get out there and celebrate!” are simple yet heartfelt. You can also opt for a playful message like “Our age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying us!” Whatever message you choose, make sure it brings a smile to their face and lets them know how special they are.

How Do You Wish Someone a Pretty Happy Birthday?

When it comes to wishing someone a pretty happy birthday, there are various ways to make the moment special. Short and sweet birthday messages are always a good choice, as they can convey your heartfelt wishes in a concise and meaningful manner. You can start by expressing your hope that all their birthday wishes come true, capturing the essence of their desires and aspirations for the year ahead. Additionally, you can encourage them to embrace their special day and celebrate it to the fullest, urging them to make the most of the joyous occasion. Lastly, you can add a touch of humor to your birthday wishes by playfully mentioning that age is just a number and that they’ve been a source of enjoyment for the world throughout the years.

Creative Ways to Deliver Birthday Wishes (Such as Through a Surprise Party or Personalized Gift)

There are many creative ways to deliver birthday wishes to make someone’s special day even more memorable. One popular option is to throw a surprise party, where friends and family gather to celebrate the birthday boy or girl. Another great idea is to give a personalized gift that shows thought and effort, such as a custom-made piece of artwork or a heartfelt handwritten letter. These unique gestures can make the birthday person feel loved and cherished, adding an extra touch of joy to their special day.


The phrases "生日快乐" (shēngrì kuàilè) and "祝你生日快乐" (zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè) are the most commonly used expressions to convey birthday wishes in Mandarin. By using these phrases, you can bring a smile to someone's face and help create a memorable and happy birthday celebration.

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