|A wish for lots of business opportunities.|
Fortune-related greetings in business settings include:
- 步步高升 (bu bu gao sheng), or 'rising higher with each step taken',
- 财源广进 (cai yuan guang jin), or 'may riches enter in huge volumes', or 财源滚滚 (cai yuan gun gun), 'may riches gush in',
- 工作顺利 (gong zuo shun li), 'may your work go smoothly',
- 鸿运当头 (hong yun dang tou), 'may fortune find you',
- 马到成功 (ma dao cheng gong), 'instant success',
- 年年有餘/年年有馀 (nian nian you yu), 'surpluses every year',
- 平步青云 (ping bu qing yun), 'an easy path to a meteoric rise'
- 升官发财 (sheng guan fa cai) get a promotion and a raise',
- 生意興隆/生意兴隆 (sheng yi xing long), or 'may the business thrive greatly',
- 事业有成 (shi ye you cheng) 'success in what you're working on' ,
- 新年进步 (xin nian jin bu), which means 'making progress in the new year',
Greetings can also involve the animal for the year, such as ___年大吉 (___ nian da ji), 'great fortune in the year of the x', and ___年行大運/___年行大运, 'great luck in the year of the ___' depending on which animal whose year it is. It is the year of the dog in 2018, pig or boar in 2019, and the rat in 2020 - just substitute the underlined character with the appropriate animal.
|Maxi-Cash in Singapore wishes all an abundance of prosperity in the new year, using the word 旺 to do so.|
|Giordano featured dogs on its Chinese new year collection and had a logo of two dogs behind a gold ingot with 旺财, (wang cai or 'great fortune') on the ingot.|
|An advertisement at the Jem Mall. The saying 十全十美 (perfection, literally 10 complete, 10 beautiful) has been converted into a pun, 十犬十美 (10 dogs, 10 beauties).|
Brands often relate festive greetings to the animal of the year. For 2018, the year of the dog, the word 旺, which has connotations of abundance and prosperity, is common in festive decor as it sounds similar to the sound a dog makes, 汪. In 2017, the year of the chicken, drinks manufacturer Pokka wished everyone 吉祥如意 (ji xiang ru yi) - all the happiness and prosperity that you hope for, but with a pun on 鸡, which sounds similar, and another on 翔, which sounds like 祥, but means to 'soar' in keeping with the avian theme.
2015 was the year of the goat (or sheep), and there are a few festive greetings that take advantage of how the word for goat, 羊 (yang), is a homonym found in various Chinese idioms. 阳光灿烂 (yang guang can lan) is a wish for bright sunlight or a bright future; 喜气洋洋, converted to 喜气羊羊 (xi qi yang yang) for the year, refers to happiness everywhere; while 羊羊得意, really 洋洋得意 (yang yang de yi), is a wish that the recipient will get whatever he or she wants, in the best way possible.
马到成功 is especially apt in the year of the horse (most recently, 2014), as the character for horse, 马, begins the greeting, but it can be used at any other time as well.
|The lohei platter before the lohei starts. Each ingredient has an auspicious meaning, including the raw salmon (abundance) in the middle, and the crackers (money).|
These greetings are also recited at traditional Chinese new year banquets in Malaysia and Singapore, during the lohei (撈起) part which precedes the meal proper. Loheis can start weeks before Chinese new year and are available until the 15th day.
A platter of yusheng (鱼生), a raw fish* salad, is first brought to the table after which toppings are ceremoniously added individually, accompanied by auspicious sayings. Specific toppings are associated with specific sayings. The sweet sauce is typically poured while saying 甜甜蜜蜜 (tiantian mimi, a wish that life will be sweet) and the fish or seafood component arranged on the salad while saying 年年有余 because 余, yu or surplus, sounds like 鱼, yu or fish.
Once complete, diners mix (lo) the salad with chopsticks while calling out greetings as wishes for the coming year. The higher the salad is raised (hei), the better the luck for the coming year.
If you can't remember too many greetings, don't worry - a simple 'happy new year' is fine. The whole idea is to start off the year right, and it's traditional to hope for fortune, prosperity and success. Just stay away from anything negative. 万事如意 (wan shi ru yi), 'may all things be as you wish'!
*Various chefs have experimented with different takes on the salad. The raw fish component can be replaced by smoked salmon, sliced abalone or lobster for example, while the salad may be replaced by fruit. Fancier toppings such as gold flakes or caviar have also appeared in recent years.