How to Say Happy Birthday in Chinese Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Culture, Vocabulary

Yesterday, we celebrated a friend’s birthday with a delicious sushi dinner and fancy cocktails with live music.  Tomorrow, we’ll be celebrating both my country’s and sister’s birthdays.  As such, I figured now was as good a time as any to do a blog post about birthdays in Chinese.

"Happy Birthday" in Chinese

A very Chinese cake.

Your birthday (生日 – shēng rì) comes but once a year, and it gives you a chance to celebrate with family and friends as you get one year older.  Many people like to have a birthday party (生日派对 – shēng rì pài duì) or simply have a casual get-together (聚会 – jù huì) in a restaurant or bar. If you’re having a party, you’ll need to think about who to invite (邀请 – yāo qǐng).  Of course, if you’re attending a party, you should probably buy a gift (礼物 – lǐ wù) or at least a birthday card (生日卡 – shēng rì kǎ).  For the party, you also probably want to buy some balloons (气球 – qì qiú) and the all-important birthday cake (生日蛋糕 – shēng rì dàn gāo).  The birthday boy or girl should blow out the candles (吹蜡烛 – chuī là zhú) on the cake while others sing “Happy Birthday.”  In Chinese, it goes something like this…

Wish to you a happy birthday

祝你生日快乐 – zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè

Learn how to sing “Happy Birthday” in Chinese with this easy video.


Here are some questions for you to answer about your birthday (in Chinese, of course):

When is your birthday?
nǐ de shēng rì shì jǐ yuè jǐ hào


How old are you this year?
jīn nián nǐ duō dà


How do you plan to spend your birthday?
nǐ dǎ suàn zěn me guò nǐ de shēng rì


Don’t forget we can help you learn a new Chinese word every day!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.

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