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Chinese New Year 2015: Tips and Phrases for the Year of the Goat

As the start of the Year of the Goat draws closer, Chinese people are preparing to celebrate the New Year and the Lantern Festival.

This year has its own special phrase, as well as several other greetings that people say to each other every Chinese New Year.

“San Yang Kai Tai” (Three Goats Bring Bliss)

Three goats. (Image: Mona Song)
Three goats. (Image: Monica Song/Vision Times)

At the start of the Year of the Goat, people greet each by saying “San Yang Kai Tai.” This auspicious phrase welcomes the new year, the return of spring, and a surge of good luck.

The actual Chinese characters for “San Yang Kai Tai” are “Three Yangs Bring Bliss,” but three goats and three yangs are pronounced the same, so when writing the words you can use either to send good luck and kind wishes.

The idiom of “San Yang Kai Tai” originated from the 64th chapter of the ancient Book of Changes. It refers to the beginning of spring, and is commonly used to bless the start of the year, and wish each other well.

As winter gives way to spring, yin ebbs and yang flows, bringing everything back to life.

“Kai Tai” symbolizes everything going well with good luck on its way.

Chinese New Year Greetings

恭喜发财 Gongxi Facai – “May you have good luck and profit.”

Many Westerners learn this phrase. It’s the most popular New Year greeting. You can say this when receiving gifts or lucky money during Chinese New Year.

年年有余  Niannian You Yu – “Be profitable for the whole year.”

吉祥如意  Ji Xiang Ru Yi – “Good luck and success.”

生意兴隆  Shengyi Xinglong – “May your business be prosperous.”

万事如意  Wan Shi Ru Yi – “May good luck be with you.”

工作顺利  Gongzuo Shunlì – “May your work be successful.”

事业有成  Shiye You Cheng – “May your career have success in the Year of the Goat.”

This Year’s Tips for Goats

A toy goat. (Image: Monica Song)
A toy goat. (Image: Monica Song/Vision Times)

Chinese people use their year of birth or “Ben Ming Nian” to refer to their zodiac animals, and each animal goes through a 12-year cycle.

According to ancient Chinese mythology, during one’s Ben Ming Nian, Tai Sui the god of age is offended, and people will have bad luck during that year. The best way to avoid this is by wearing a red gift from someone else.

For people born in the Year of the Goat, they should wear a red belt, socks, or underwear for at least 15 days, starting from the eve of Chinese New Year til the end of Lantern Festival. If you can, you should wear a red belt all year.

People born in the Year of the Goat should avoid traveling in a southwesterly direction as it counteracts their Ben Ming NIan. It is also advisable to take frequent walks.

Goats should avoid wearing green, blue, and black clothes, and wooden ornaments as these bring bad luck. They should also avoid spicy and oily foods, and opt for green foodstuffs and light meals to stay calm with good health.

Translation by Billy Shyu

Monica Song
Born and bred in China, Mona keeps an ever watchful  eye the Chinese news headlines that are worth translating into English for Vision Times readers.

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