Recently, I have come across people giving birthday wishes to others using the word 生辰 instead of 生日.

I looked up some online dictionary/translation tools and it turns out 生辰 also means birthday.

So what are the differences between 生辰,生日. By the way, do people also 生天 to mean birthday in Chinese?


  • aswer in dictionaries, e.g. bkrs : 生日 birthday: 生日蛋糕 birthday cake 过生日 keep (observe) a birthday 祝您生日快乐! Happy birthday to you! 她的生日是7月4日。 Her birthday occurs on July 4. 十月三号是我的生日。 My birthday is October 3. 1) 出生之日。亦指每年满周岁的那一天。 2) 指有生之日。 #3315 生辰 [birthday] 生日 生辰八字((2) [horoscope; eight characters in four pairs, with each pair consisting of one 天干 and 地支, indicating the year, month, day and hour of one's birth, used formerly in fortune-telling]∶用天干和地支表示一个人出生的年、 月、 日、 时的八个字, 算命者认为从生辰八个字可推算一个人的命运; 旧时还用于婚配中的算命) 生日,诞生之日。 儒林外史.第四十一回:「国子监的武书,是四月尽间生辰。他家中穷,请不起客。」 – user6065 Aug 2 '18 at 0:10
  • 红楼梦.第十六回:「一日,正是贾政生辰,宁荣二处人丁都齐集庆贺,热闹非常。」 亦作「生朝」。 birthdate #25209 生日thus is the much more common term, 生辰 has astrological connotation – user6065 Aug 2 '18 at 0:12

生辰 can mean either "birthday"(the day one's birth) or 生日+时辰 (birthday + birth time) as in the phrase 生辰八字.

Usually, 生辰 just means birthday, but it's more literary. You can probably only see it's used in a book. For example, 而这一日子恰逢其80岁生辰. Normally, people just use 生日 in spoken, but you can say 生辰 when you try to be more literary.

生天 isn't a correct word for birthday. 生天 in old Chinese is the same as 升天, which means go to heaven.


辰primarily means time of the day. Also could refer to the specific combination of star, moon and sun, i.e. a specific date and time.

生辰 would then first mean the date and time of birth. Usually only used for calculating your fortune, and it's in conjunction with 生辰八字. Nowadays nobody use it for "Birthday". I personally only know one case of "Birthday" from an ancient novel 水浒传.

No, no one would ever say 生天.



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