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How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in Cantonese

How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in Cantonese!

Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

Table of Contents

  1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
  2. Cantonese Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
  3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
  4. How Can CantoneseClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

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1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in Cantonese? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million Cantonese words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

  1. funny - 有趣 - yǒuqù
  2. joke - 开玩笑 - kāi wánxiào
  3. sneaky - 鬼鬼祟祟的 - guǐguǐ suìsuì de
  4. prankster - 恶作剧的人 - èzuòjù de rén
  5. prank - 恶作剧 - èzuòjù
  6. play a joke - 开玩笑 - kāi wánxiào
  7. humor - 幽默 - yōumò
  8. fool - 傻瓜 - shǎguā
  9. deceptive - 欺骗性的 - qīpiànxìng de
  10. April 1st - 四月一日 - Sìyuè Yī Rì
  11. lie - 撒谎 - sāhuǎng
  12. surprise - 让人惊讶 - ràng rén jīngyà

2. Cantonese Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

Cantonese Phrases for April Fools' Day

Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in Cantonese to prank your favorite Cantonese speaking friend or colleague!

  1. All classes for today got canceled.
    • 今天所有的课都取消了。
    • Jīntiān suǒyǒu de kè dōu qǔxiāo le .
  2. Someone has just hit your car.
    • 刚才有人撞了你的车。
    • Gāngcái yǒu rén zhuàng le nǐ de chē .
  3. I’m getting married.
    • 我要结婚了。
    • Wǒ yào jiéhūn le.
  4. You won a free ticket.
    • 你赢得了一张免费票。
    • Nǐ yíngdé le yì zhāng miǎnfèi piào .
  5. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
    • 对不起,我刚刚弄坏了你最喜欢的眼镜。
    • Duìbùqǐ, wǒ gānggāng nòng huài le nǐ zuì xǐhuān de yǎnjìng .
  6. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
    • 他们在大楼前赠送免费礼物卡。
    • Tāmen zài dàlóu qián zèngsòng miǎnfèi lǐwù kǎ.
  7. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
    • 一位美丽的小姐让我把这个电话号码给你。
    • Yí wèi měilì de xiǎojiě ràng wǒ bǎ zhège diànhuà hàomǎ gěi nǐ .
  8. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
    • 你能到楼下来吗?我给你准备了惊喜。
    • Nǐ néng dào lóuxià lái ma ? Wǒ gěi nǐ zhǔnbèi le jīngxǐ .
  9. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
    • 谢谢你今天早上的情书。我从不知道你的感情。
    • Xièxiè nǐ jīntiān zǎoshàng de qíngshū . Wǒ cóngbù zhīdào nǐ de gǎnqíng .
  10. I saw your car being towed.
    • 我看见你的车正被拖走。
    • Wǒ kànjiàn nǐ de chē zhèng bèi tuōzǒu.
  11. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
    • 一个帅哥在外面等你。
    • Yígè shuàigē zài wàimiàn děng nǐ.
  12. I learned Chinese in 1 month.
    • 我学了一个月的中文。
    • Wǒ xuéle yīgèyuè de Zhōngwén.

Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

Choose Bad or Good

Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in Cantonese, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

Cockroach prank

1- Infestation

This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

3- Something Weird in the Restroom

At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

Funny Face

4- Call Me Funny

Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - XXX XXXXXXX - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

5- Minty Cookies

This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

6- Wild Shopping

At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

8- Sneeze On Me

Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

9- Word Play Repairs

Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

10- Scary Face

Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

11- Wake Up To Madness

Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

Computer Prank

12- Computer Prank

This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

13- Monster Under the Cup

This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

Door Prank

14- Prank Door

Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

4. How Can CantoneseClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

If you happen to visit China, or if you work for any Cantonese speaking company, knowing the above Cantonese prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core Cantonese words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in Cantonese - bone up your Cantonese language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, CantoneseClass101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

Thank you for helping CantoneseClass101! We’re serious about making learning Cantonese fun.

How to Say Happy New Year in Cantonese & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Cantonese New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join CantoneseClass101 for a special Cantonese New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Cantonese

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Cantonese? Let a native teach you! At CantoneseClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Cantonese New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in China
  2. Must-Know Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Cantonese
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn Cantonese

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Cantonese New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in China

How to Celebrate New Year

Let’s talk about New Year’s Eve, or 除夕 in Cantonese.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

Every 31st of December, countdown celebrations are held throughout Hong Kong. Many countdown events are held in shopping centers, but the government’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department also organizes the countdown carnival, which is 嘉年華 in Cantonese. Usually, families spend the New Years’ events and celebrations together in Hong Kong. A lot of people also host private parties at restaurants and clubhouses on New Year’s Eve.

Among the many countdown celebrations held in Hong Kong, the most popular is fireworks on Victoria Harbour. Fireworks are called 煙花 in Cantonese. This event attracts a lot of people to the shores.

In Hong Kong, there are three major outdoor New Year countdown events. “Countdown” in Cantonese is 倒數. The first is the Apple Countdown, which is held at Times Square in Causeway Bay. The concept of this countdown was inspired by the New Year countdown held in Times Square in New York. The second takes place on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, where famous celebrities perform and count down the coming of the New Year along with the public. The third is at Lan Kwai Fong in Central. During New Year’s, every bar, restaurant and nightclub in these areas is packed, and the streets are filled with people. The roads around those areas are blocked for the day and become “pedestrian zones”, or 行人專用區 in Cantonese.

Crowded events such as these often lead to outbreaks of disorderly behavior, so fights and accidents during the countdown events are reported almost every year. The most serious accident reported was the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy of 1993. In this accident, 21 people died and 63 people were injured due to a stampede that resulted from overcrowded streets. It is recorded as the worst stampede in Hong Kong’s history. Ever since then, the Hong Kong Police Force, or 香港警務處, have implemented crowd control in all crowded areas to prevent joyous events from turning into tragic disasters.

On New Year’s Eve, most public transportation, or 公共交通工具, offer overnight services, called 通宵服務 in Cantonese. These services allow participants in New Year’s events to return home safely after the celebrations.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, most people call or send instant messages to their friends and relatives. Because there is such a heavy demand on phone network services at this time, it‘s no surprise when calls or text messages don’t go through.

Happy New Year!
新年快樂!
san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!

2. Must-Know Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year


nin4

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in China could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

午夜
ng5 je6

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

元旦
jyun4 daan3

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

派對
paai3 deoi3

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

跳舞
tiu3 mou5

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

香檳
hoeng1 ban1

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

煙花
jin1 faa1

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

倒數
dou3 sou2

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

新年假期
san1 nin4 gaa3 kei4

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

五彩碎紙
ng5 coi2 seoi3 zi2

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

新年前夕
san1 nin4 cin4 zik6

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

敬酒
ging3 zau2

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

新年大計
san1 nin4 daai6 gai3

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

巡遊
ceon4 yau4

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At CantoneseClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Cantonese New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Cantonese word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at CantoneseClass101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Cantonese friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

讀多啲書。
duk6 do1 di1 syu1.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Cantonese in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Cantonese language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

陪屋企人多啲。
pui4 uk1 kei2 jan4 do1 di1.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

減肥。
gaam2 fei4.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

儲錢。
cou5 cin2.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to CantoneseClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

戒煙。
gaai3 jin1.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

學新嘢。
hok6 san1 je5.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

飲少啲酒。
jam2 siu2 di1 zau2.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

定時運動。
ding6 si4 wan6 dung6.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

食得健康啲。
sik6 dak1 gin6 hong1 di1.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Cantonese with CantoneseClass101

用CantoneseClass101.com學廣東話
jung6 CantoneseClass101.com hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Cantonese, especially with us! Learning how to speak Cantonese can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. CantoneseClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Cantonese new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Cantonese, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Cantonese incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with CantoneseClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Cantonese could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Cantonese - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Cantonese - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with CantoneseClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Cantonese! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that CantoneseClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Cantonese at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Cantonese that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Cantonese with CantoneseClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Cantonese

How to Say Merry Christmas in Cantonese

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Cantonese? CantoneseClass101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Cantonese Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Cantonese speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, CantoneseClass101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Cantonese!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Hong Kong
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Hong Kong

Christmas Words in Cantonese

Let’s see how Hong Kong people celebrate Christmas!

Now, before we go into more detail, I’ve got a question for you-

Can you guess how much a Christmas dinner usually costs at a hotel in Hong Kong?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

Hong Kong has a nice Christmas atmosphere, with everyone busy getting ready for all kinds of parties. At these parties, as is typical of Christmas celebrations in most cultures, gifts are exchanged. Exchanging gifts is 交換禮物 in Cantonese. Everyone has to go shopping for gifts beforehand to have something to exchange. All the shops in town have bargain sales, or 減價, to encourage people to buy more than they need to increase profits.

Do you know which places in Hong Kong are most popular and beautifully decorated during the Christmas season? The most popular places are Harbour City, 1881 Heritage, and the Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui; Times Square in Causeway Bay; the Statue Square in Central; and Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island.

Many buildings and skyscrapers next to Victoria Harbour put up Christmas light displays, or 燈飾 in Cantonese. If you want to see the light displays, ride the Star Ferry or 天星小輪 in Cantonese, and see the marvelous night-time scenery on both sides of the harbor.

The biggest difference between Christmas in Hong Kong and in Western countries is the Christmas dinner. Rather than enjoying it at home, most people in Hong Kong eat at restaurants and hotels, or have food catered in. Catering is 到會 in Cantonese. All the restaurants and hotels promote set menus or buffet services with Christmas themes. These meals are called 聖誕大餐. It’s very difficult to get a seat if you don’t make a reservation weeks in advance.

It never snows in Hong Kong, so some shopping malls provide fake snow, fake snowmen, and icy displays to fabricate a Christmas environment to attract customers. Because of the hot weather, there are no outdoor ice-skating rinks in Hong Kong, but you can find several indoor ice rinks. In Cantonese, ice rinks are called 溜冰場. Those who want to enjoy Christmas on ice can visit these spots.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

Do you know how much a Christmas dinner usually costs at a hotel in Hong Kong?
The average cost for Christmas dinner at a hotel in Hong Kong is 650 Hong Kong dollars per person, which is roughly 85 US Dollars.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

聖誕快樂!
sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Cantonese? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

寬扎節快樂!
fun1 zaat3 zit3 faai3 lok6!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

新年快樂!
san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

光明節快樂!
gwong1 ming4 zit3 faai3 lok6!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

希望你有一個好好嘅寒假!
hei1 mong6 nei5 jau5 jat1 go3 hou2 hou2 ge3 hon4 gaa3!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

下年見!
haa6 nin2 gin3!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

溫馨嘅祝福! 溫馨嘅祝福!
wan1 hing1 ge3 zuk1 fuk1!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Cantonese Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

假期愉快!
gaa3 kei4 jyu6 faai3!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Cantonese, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

享受你嘅假期!
hoeng2 sau6 nei5 ge3 gaa3 kei4!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Cantonese, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

祝你喺新嘅一年萬事如意!
zuk1 nei5 hai2 san1 ge3 jat1 nin4 maan6 si6 jyu4 ji3!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Cantonese! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At CantoneseClass101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

聖誕節
sing3 daan3 zit3

This is the Cantonese word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Cantonese will include this word!

2- Snow


syut3

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

雪花
syut3 faa1

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

雪人 (n)
syut3 jan4

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

火雞
fo2 gai1

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

花圈
faa1 hyun1

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

紅鼻馴鹿魯道夫
hung4 bei6 seon4 luk2 lou5 dou6 fu1

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

聖誕老人
sing3 daan3 lou5 jan4

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

小精靈
siu2 zing1 ling4

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

紅鼻馴鹿魯道夫
hung4 bei6 seon4 luk2 lou5 dou6 fu1

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

北極
bak1 gik6

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

雪橇
syut3 hiu1

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

禮物
lai5 mat6

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell


zung1

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

煙通
jin1 tung1

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

火爐
fo2 lou4

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

聖誕日
sing3 daan3 jat6

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

裝飾
zong1 sik1

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

聖誕襪
sing3 daan3 mat6

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

冬青
dung1 cing1

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

姜餅屋
goeng1 beng2 uk1

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

士的糖
si6 dik1 tong2

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

槲寄生
huk6 gei3 sang1

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Cantonese, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Cantonese! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. CantoneseClass101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit CantoneseClass101!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Cantonese for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Cantonese, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, CantoneseClass101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Cantonese. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in CantoneseClass101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

How to Start Thinking in Cantonese

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Cantonese

Going through Cantonese lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Cantonese, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Cantonese. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Cantonese and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Cantonese vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in Cantonese

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through CantoneseClass101.com.

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Cantonese Language from the Beginning!

1. Surround yourself with Cantonese

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with Cantonese constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Cantonese radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of CantoneseClass101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Cantonese words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Cantonese.

CantoneseClass101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Cantonese.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in Cantonese not only gets you in the mindset of Cantonese, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With CantoneseClass101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Cantonese speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but CantoneseClass101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with CantoneseClass101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that CantoneseClass101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

Learn Cantonese With CantoneseClass101 Today!