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How to Say Happy Birthday in Chinese

Posted by Julia Song on August 9, 2016

I miss you in Chinese

Birthday is the day of a person was born. It is a happy thing in our life, and also a kind of best wishes for coming to this world. In that day we will say "happy birthday" to the people for his\her best wish. Now we will learn how to say "happy birthday in Chinese" together!

1. How to say "happy birthday" in Chinese.

The first wishes for birthday is "生日快乐 [shēng rì kuài lè]" (Happy birthday!)

生[shēng], it means" give birth to, or survival".

日[rì], it means "day".

So 生日[shēng rì] means the day you was born.

For example, we can make a sentence like:

jīntiān shì wǒ de shēnɡrì。今天是我的生日。(Today is my birthday.)

快乐 [kuài lè], it means "happy".

For example, we can make a sentence like :

wǒ hěn kuàilè。

我 很 快乐。

(I'm very happy!)


wǒ shì yí ɡè hěn kuàilè de rén。

我 是 一 个 很 快乐 的人 。

(I'm a happy person!)

2. Some other birthday blessing in Chinese

Besides"生日快乐 [shēng rì kuài lè]", you also will say some other birthday blessings to people.

Here are some for your reference

shēntǐjiànkānɡ 身体健康 (good health)

wànshìrúyì 万事如意 (Everything goes well)

shìyèyǒuchénɡ 事业有成 (successful career!)

xīnxiǎnɡshìchénɡ 心想事成 (may all your wishes come true)

3. About some Birthday culture in China

In general, Chinese people will pay more attention to elderly birthday in China, every year's birthday is a very important meeting of the family, so a birthday can be seen as a family holiday. In old time, there are only children and elderly can celebrate birthday, but it is influenced by cultural exchange, many Chinese view of birthday has been westernized.

For thousands of years, the Chinese birthday recording methods are different with western. The Chinese New Year began on the first day of the lunar New Year, that is mean, after the New Year's eve, everyone is older. In Chinese New Year, there is a very famous word is "辞旧迎新 cíjiùyínɡxīn" , it means "ring out the Old Year and ring in the New Year". So in this word, it also have a meaning of the growth of age. And most of Chinese will using the lunar calendar. So since republic of China, each person can have two birthday, a lunar calendar and a solar calendar. Because the Chinese lunar calendar is a kind of revised calendar, associated with the moon's orbital period, so every year the lunar birthday calendar dates are not the same with solar calendar. In general, each person's 19, 38, 57, 76 and 95 years old birthday, there are always a few times, the solar calendar will be consistent with the lunar calendar, but not everyone's 19th birthday will be on the same day of solar calendar and lunar calendar, maybe it will before or after that day, or it will never overlap in their whole life.

In addition, we have some very impotent birthday in our life, when the age refers to the single digits of 0, for example,1, 10, 20, 30, 40 years old, and so on. In china, we call them "整生日 [zhěng shēng ri]". Normally in that birthday, all of the family should be together and to celebrate it. It must be a big thing in China. By the way,all the relative should give this birthman a red packet containing money as a gift for best wishes.

4. Videos about how to say happy birthdy in Chinese

About The Author

Julia Song

Julia Song is a Chinese learning teacher at Hanbridge Mandarin. Julia Song excels at linguistic pedagogy and one-on-one instruction with 8 years teaching experience and her cheerful attitude and close attention to her students' progress make her an excellent Mandarin teacher for students of all levels.

Learn Chinese online with Julia Song>>

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