Yes, Chinese New Year (Feb 19-Mar 5) is almost upon us and the Lo Hei sessions (eating of yusheng or raw fish) has already long started. For those of you who often have to google for the right auspicious phrases to say – if you don’t have the benefit of a waiter or waitress who can do it for you, that is – here’s a lucky dozen for your easy reference.
(Phrases in italics are in Mandarin; feel free to say it in Cantonese or any other dialect if you so wish!)
1. Gong Xi Fa Cai – Wishing You Wealth – to be said to everyone at the table before the toss
2. Nian Nian You Yu – Wishing You Abundance throughout the Year or Year Year Got Fish – Raw Fish
3. Da Ji Da Li – Big Luck and Prosperity – Pomelo
4. Zao Cai Jin Bao – Wealth and Treasures be Yours – Pepper or Spices
5. Hong Yun Dang Tou – Good Luck Be Upon You – Carrots or Pickled Red Ginger
6. Sheng Ti Jian Kang – Good Health – Green Radish
7. Bu Bu Gao Sheng – Career Advancement – White Radish
8. Cai Yuan Guang Jin – May Wealth Flows In All Directions – Oil
9. Tian Tian Mi Mi – Sweet Honeyed Year – Sweet Plum Sauce
10. Jin Yin Man Wu – May Gold and Silver Fill Your Household – Crushed Peanuts
11. Sheng Yi Xing Long – May Your Business Flourish – Sesame Seeds
12. Pian Di Huang Jin – All Roads Paved with Gold – Crispy Crackers
Remember, the above is just a guide, not a law. You can always yell out other good stuff in English (or any language really) like:
– More Shopping Days!
– More Pay, Less Work!
– 4-Day Workweek!
– No more Transport Fee Hikes!
– More Weekend Getaways!
etc etc etc
Just be careful not to swear or curse by accident in your excitement as you toss the yusheng sky high! :p
Here’s wishing one and all Happy Lo Hei-ing in anticipation of the Year of the Goat!