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.
My personal opinion about the usage of 快乐 in greetings (...
A few suggestions for you:
恭喜發財 gung1 hei2 faat3 choi4 新年快樂 san1 nin4 faai3 lok6
-- All purpose happy new year.
身體健康 san1 tai2 gin6 hong1 龍馬精神 lung4 ma2 jing1 san4
-- Mostly for older people (and health-conscious people), wishing them good health.
快高長大 faai3 gou1 jeung2 daai6 學業進步 hok6 yip6 jeun3 bou6
-- For children and students respectively, ...
Usually Chinese can say "新年快乐" and "新年好" on both January 1st and Chinese new year(Spring Festival).
But "过年好" is only used at Chinese new year.
Also "新春快乐" is used at Chinese new year only,but it is for written or formal occasions.
At least in northern China,恭喜发财！is not used frequently I guess.Maybe businessman like to say that?I'm not sure.
Cantonese and Chinese new year greetings are actually written the same. The only difference is about the accent. Here are some of the most popular new year greetings.
心想事成 (xīn xiǎnɡ shì chénɡ) - Whatever you dream of comes true.
万事如意 (wàn shì rú yì) - Everything goes your way.
六六大顺 (liù liù dà shùn) - Everything goes smoothly.
年年有余 (nián nián yǒu yú) - May ...
Here are some ways to say happy new year (in Mandarin and Cantonese):
新年快乐 / 新年快樂 Happy New Year in Chinese
'New Year happiness!'
In Mandarin: Xīnnián kuàilè /sshin-nyen kwhy-ler/
In Cantonese: San1-nin4 faai3-lok6 /sen-nin feye-lor/
新年好 / 新年好
'New Year goodness!' (like "Good day.")
In Mandarin: Xīnnián hǎo /sshin-nyen haoww/
In Cantonese: San1-nin4 ...
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 :-)
"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 ...
恭喜 (congratulations for joyous occasion) : "Bless you" is the standard opening for giving good wish to others, for example: 恭喜你大學畢業(congratulations on graduation from university), 恭喜你新居入伙 (congratulations on moving in to a new home). So "恭喜发财" (congratulations on getting rich) is just one of many things you can bless people with, no more ...
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 "...
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.
A note of context: 恭喜發財 (gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4) actually means "congratulations on making money". This probably has connections to Guangdong's commercial past, where many people work in trade and business.
This would be generally fine, but could be slightly awkward if the other party is e.g. a governmental official (this might be taken as mildly suggestive ...
Hm, Chinese New Year is not just between BF and GF, all Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year. I think this is the reason why someone voted down this question, but never mind, there is something much more important.
Since you asked. and there must be related with Chinese New Year, greetings, GF. I think you can say... ok, here we go.