Kung Hei Fat Choy / Gong Xi Fa Cai 2024 Greetings

Well, folks, it’s official – say goodbye to the wild ride that was the Year of the Water Rabbit 2023, and get ready to hop into the Year of the Dragon 2024.

After a year filled with unexpected twists, turns, and plenty of drama, it’s time to kick back, relax and let the bunny vibes flow.

The approaching Chinese New Year in 2024, also known as the Spring Festival, will commence on February 10, ushering in fresh energies. According to the ancient Chinese calendar, the Dragon years are renowned for their tranquility, optimism, and inspirational vibes. So, if you’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the tumultuous nature of the preceding year, fear not—2024 promises to be a much smoother journey.

Anticipate a year filled with greater harmony, equilibrium, and stability during the Year of the Wood Dragon. It’s a period to prioritize self-care, nurture relationships, and construct a firm footing for the future. So, prepare to cozy up with a warm cup of tea and allow the Dragon’s serene and steadfast energy to guide you through the year. It’s time to embrace the peace and positivity that the Year of the Dragon holds in store for us all.

As we prepare to welcome Lunar New Year 2024 with enthusiasm and jubilation, it’s time to break out the enthusiastic cries of “Kung Hei Fat Choy!” Whether you’re reconnecting with old friends, spending quality time with family, or even encountering strangers on the street, this Cantonese expression is the ultimate way to extend wishes for a joyful and prosperous new year.

Throughout the Lunar New Year festivities, “Kung Hei Fat Choy” stands as the preferred greeting for bestowing good fortune, affluence, and happiness upon those in your midst. It’s an occasion to release the past, embrace the present, and look ahead to the future with open arms.

So, when you’re out and about, spreading warmth and ringing in 2024, don’t hesitate to infuse your greetings with some vivacity. Offer a “Sum nin fai lok, gong hei fa choy 2024!” to everyone you encounter, and witness as positivity and prosperity flow abundantly. This is the moment to celebrate, revel in the festivities, and let the good times roll!

The precise origin of the “Kung Hei Fat Choi” greeting remains somewhat obscure, as it is a traditional Chinese salutation handed down through the ages. However, it likely emerged during the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), a period when Chinese New Year was observed as a harvest festival. During this era, people made offerings to deities and ancestors while exchanging greetings and well-wishes for the upcoming year. Over time, the phrase “Kung Hei Fat Choi” became a customary way to extend wishes for a happy and prosperous new year during Chinese New Year celebrations.

To employ this greeting, you can simply say “Kung Hei Fat Choi” to convey your wishes for a joyful and prosperous new year to someone. You can also employ it in written form, such as in cards or letters. For example, you might write, “Kung Hei Fat Choi! Wishing you a joyful and prosperous new year.”

Kung Hei Fat Choi is a traditional Chinese New Year greeting, typically used in the Cantonese dialect of Chinese. However, if you want to say this greeting in Mandarin, which is the most widely spoken dialect of Chinese, you can say “Gong xi fa cai” (恭喜发财) .

The words “Gong Xi” also mean “congratulations” or “wishes for success,” and “Fa Cai” means “to become wealthy.” Together, the phrase means “Congratulations, and may you become wealthy.

You can use many other Chinese greetings in response to “kung hei fat choi.” Here are a few examples:

  • “Gong xi fa cai” (恭喜發財): This is another common New Year greeting that means “congratulations and be prosperous.”
  • “Xin nian kuai le” (新年快樂): This means “Happy New Year”
  • “gong hei fat choy / gung hay fat choy” which translates roughly to “congratulations on your good fortune/ hope you get rich
  • “Guo Nian Hao” –  Happy New Year!
  • “Xin Nian Kuai le wan shi ru yi Xin”- Happy New Year and may all go well with you.
  • “Xin nian kuaile, he jia xing fu” – Happy New Year and wish you a happy family.
  • Kai gong da ji 2024 – Good Luck in 2024!
  • Bai tian gong 2024 – means “praying to the Heaven God.” The Heaven God refers to the Jade Emperor, the ruler of Heaven in Taoist mythology.

What Is a Song Performed During Chinese New Year?

Many traditional Chinese songs are specifically associated with the New Year. Some of these songs are designed to be sung during New Year’s Eve celebrations, while others are used to celebrate the arrival of the new year and to wish good fortune to friends and family.

One of the most well-known Chinese New Year songs is “Auld Lang Syne,” which is a song that originated in Scotland but has been adopted by many other cultures, including the Chinese. In China, the song is called “Chun jie yan hui” (春节宴会) and is often sung during New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Another popular Chinese New Year song is “Gong xi, gong xi” (恭喜恭喜), which means “congratulations and be prosperous.” This song is often played during New Year’s Eve parties and is also used to greet friends and family during the new year.

In addition to these well-known songs, many other traditional Chinese New Year songs are specific to different regions of China. These songs often have regional melodies and lyrics that reflect the local customs and traditions associated with the new year.

Lunar New Year 2024 Calendar

The Chinese calendar is not like the Gregorian calendar, the first day of Chinese New Year starts with the new moon, which appears between January 21 and February 20, and the last day known as the Lantern Festival celebrated with night lantern displays, ends 15 days later on the full moon.

New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve are celebrated with family. Traditionally, family celebrations were religious affairs given in honor of the household and ancestors.

The most important religious ritual was the sacrifice of the ancestors. Loved ones and dearly departed are remembered with the greatest respect, as they are responsible for the present and future good family fortune.

The family celebration on New Year’s Eve is known as the “surrounding the stove” or weilu. This comprises a dinner arranged for the spirits of the ancestors, together with the living, and represents past and present and one strong community.

The most important New Year custom is for married couples to give lucky money called ‘lay-see’ to unmarried relatives, especially children.

‘Lay-see’ is a red packet containing ‘lucky money’, which people believe will bring luck to both the receiver and giver.

Older family members must also give lucky money to all those who are younger in the family, including those who are married. Kung hei fat choy!

Spring Festival: The 15 days of the Lunar New Year

Day one – February 10, 2024

The first day of the Chinese New Year celebration encompasses the welcoming of the deities.  Most people (Buddhists especially) will refrain from eating meat on this day because they believe it will help ensure longevity.  Campfires and knives are harbingers of bad luck on New Year’s Day, so every piece of food is cooked the day before.  Firecrackers and fireworks are extremely popular but banned in some locations.  To counteract this, many government cities (like Hon Kong) launch large-scale fireworks that can be seen far away to substitute the experience.

Day two :

The second day is for birth parents to be visited by their married daughters.  Chinese New Year traditions give an exception, as these daughters are usually not allowed to see their birth parents.  The Chinese will pray to all their gods and ancestors on this day and show exceeding kindness to all dogs (since the second day is believed to be the birthday of all dogs).  Business people (though only of the Cantonese dialect group) will hold a prayer called “Hoi Nin”, which is believed to bless all with good luck.

Days three and four are generally not good days to visit relatives or socialize with friends since it is known as “chi kou”, or the day of “red mouth” or “the God of Blazing Wrath”. 

The fifth day is the birthday of the Chinese god of wealth.  It is also a part of the Chinese New Year tradition to shoot off firecrackers to gain Guan Yu’s attention, which will bring good fortune and favor for the year. 

Days six to ten: The Chinese can now visit their loved ones and pray for good fortune in the temples.

The seventh day is the common man’s birthday, and it is on this day many Chinese people get together to toss colorful salads and wish for prosperity and wealth.

Day eight: Prayers are sent at midnight from the Fujian people to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.

Day nine: Offerings are made to the Jade Emperor.

Days 10 to 12: Invites are sent to friends and relatives to visit for dinner.

Day 13: Simple foods are eaten to detox after rich foods from friends and relatives.

Day 14: Time is taken for preparation for the Lantern Festival celebration on the 15th night.

While the daily customs continue to the fifteenth day, almost all Chinese New Year Traditions involve happiness, longevity, and wealth.  Windows and doors are decorated with red color paper-cuts and coupletsFood generally includes chicken, ducks, and pigs. 

Red envelopes are passed as money and small gifts, which are gestures of health and fortune.  The celebration is generally seen as a fantastic way to forgive people of grudges, sincerely wish happiness and peace, and reconcile.

In conclusion, as we bid farewell to the Year of the Water Rabbit and embrace the upcoming Year of the Wood Dragon in 2024, let’s all raise a toast with our favorite Chinese New Year beverages and extend hearty greetings with a resounding ‘Kung Hei Fat Choy’ or ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ to our cherished ones.

Whether your aspirations revolve around amassing greater wealth, basking in prosperity, or simply enjoying some well-deserved tranquility, this Lunar New Year presents a golden opportunity to manifest these desires.

As we step into 2024 with hearts wide open and minds ready to explore, let the spirit of the Dragon fuel our journey. In moments of uncertainty, remember the Dragon’s wisdom: ‘Rise, ignite, persevere, repeat!’

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