New answers tagged greetings
Whether it is a "greeting" specifically might be arguable, but if you watch the CCTV Chinese New Year Gala ("春晚", colloquially), you will hear a fairly steady stream of "新年快乐"s. It is most definitely a very normal thing for Chinese people in China say to one another. If you are looking for a greeting specifically, some of the things rwei suggested like ...
"Happy (快乐)" is not a traditional greeting. I believe that it came to the Chinese language with English greetings such as "happy new year" and "happy birthday", which the majority of younger people adopted as the standard greeting of virtually all special days. When it comes to the oral noun, "Spring Festival (春节)" is definitely said more often than "new ...
Because 新年快乐 is such a standard form of saying it, sometimes it may make it feel you don't have the enthusiasm when you say it. A more cheerful and upbeat form of saying it may be 恭喜发财！(may you be prosperous), or even a form of 恭喜！恭喜！恭喜发财！ for the warmth and enthusiasm.
Yes. 新年=New Year, while it does not specify whether it's the new year of the Chinese calendar(农历) or the Gregorian calendar(公历). So it's ok to say 新年快乐 in both cases. And normally we'll interpret it based on the context. If you wish to be more specific, you can use 元旦 for 公历新年 and 春节 for 农历新年. Edit: My personal opinion about the usage of 快乐 in greetings ...
Yes, mainlanders say this. At the very least, my wife says this to other mainlanders and she is from 黑龙江. She seems to vary between 春节快乐 and 新年快乐. Mainland expats at my work have been saying 新年快乐 to me all day too, but I haven't heard a 春节快乐 yet :-)
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