Happy Birthday Song Lyrics in Chinese and How to Celebrate

Happy Birthday Song Lyrics in Chinese and How to Celebrate

Growing up, most of my birthdays were spent in Toronto with my Chinese relatives.  Although our celebrations were simple, hearing the Happy Birthday song lyrics in Chinese makes me nostalgic for my family.

Since I’m currently teaching my kids Chinese as a second language, I typed up the Happy Birthday song lyrics in Chinese and Pinyin which you can download in this post.

In addition to the song lyrics, I’ll share fun facts about birthday celebrations in Chinese culture. I hope your family enjoys learning about birthdays in Chinese!

How do you say “Happy Birthday” in Chinese?

It depends! The pronunciation and spelling vary depending on your region.

  • In China and Singapore where simplified Chinese characters are used, “Happy Birthday” translates to “生日快乐”.
  • In Taiwan where traditional Chinese characters are used, “Happy Birthday” translates to “生日快樂”.

Phonetically in Pinyin, the romanization system for Mandarin Chinese, Happy Birthday would sound like “shēngrì kuàilè”.

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How do you sing Happy Birthday lyrics in Mandarin Chinese?

Want to learn this Chinese song? Here are the Happy Birthday song lyrics in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Pinyin, and English.

祝你生日快乐 / 祝你生日快樂
(Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè)
Happy Birthday to You

祝你生日快乐 / 祝你生日快樂
(Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè)
Happy Birthday to You

祝你幸福, 祝你健康
(Zhù nǐ xìng fú, zhù nǐ jiàn kāng)
Here’s to your happiness, Here’s to your good health

(Zhù nǐ qián tú guāng míng)
May your future be bright

祝你生日快乐 / 祝你生日快樂
(Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè)
Happy Birthday to You

祝你生日快乐 / 祝你生日快樂
(Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè)
Happy Birthday to You

祝你幸福, 祝你健康
(Zhù nǐ xìng fú, zhù nǐ jiàn kāng)
Here’s to your happiness, Here’s to your good health

有个温暖家庭 / 有個溫暖家庭
(Yǒu gè wēn nuǎn jiā tíng)
Here’s to your family

Download Chinese Happy Birthday song lyrics

To help your family learn how to sing Happy Birthday in Chinese, I typed up the lyrics in big font. This will make it easier to follow along with the music video below. Click on the button to download the Chinese Happy Birthday lyrics.

Happy birthday song lyrics and video in Mandarin Chinese

If you’re more of a visual and auditory learner, this Chinese YouTube video teaches how to sing the birthday song in Mandarin.  Start the video at 0:30 to get right to the Happy Birthday song.

Chinese Happy Birthday song learning activities

Chinese writing worksheets

Free printable Happy Birthday Lyrics and Writing Worksheets; Chinese Pinyin English

For children who are learning to write, here are free Chinese worksheets for tracing practice!

Copywork with song lyrics has been one of the most effective strategies for my daughter to learn how to write Chinese.

Since I’m learning Chinese with my daughter, I print a copy of the writing grids for me to practice as well.

Teaching tip: before diving into Chinese worksheets, consider using the Chinese stroke order flashcards to learn pre-writing skills.

Chinese birthday song lyrics puzzle

Chinese Happy Birthday Song Word Puzzle

Here’s a fun way to learn how to read the Happy Birthday song lyrics in Chinese! After tracing the Chinese characters, cut up the writing grid and turn it into a jigsaw puzzle!

For beginners, I recommend providing a complete copy of the lyrics to serve as a control.  This way a young learner can feel relaxed about focusing on the characters without worrying too much about memorizing from the onset.

Teaching tip: it’s important to trace the Chinese characters before cutting up the lyrics.  When you or your child writes over each word, the Chinese characters will be easier to read and remember.

Fun facts about celebrating birthdays in Chinese culture

While we haven’t been able to keep up with all Chinese traditions, we enjoy learning about special traditions that have endured through generations! For example, did you know that ages that end with a 9 for women and 0 for men are considered major milestones?

What is the best birthday gift to give for Chinese culture?

Lucky Chinese red envelopes 红包 (hóngbāo) are important gifts for all special Chinese occasions, including birthdays.

Chinese red envelopes are usually filled with cash, and lucky amounts include:

  • $88 because 八 (bā / 8) sounds like 发 (fā) as in 发财 / 發財  (fācái / wealth).
  • $99 because 九 (jiǔ / 9) sounds like 久 (jiǔ / everlasting).

For more gift ideas, check out the Ultimate Chinese Gift Guide For Kids: Cultural, Educational, & Fun Toys.

What do Chinese birthday cakes look like?

Birthday cake with flowers and Chinese word "寿 longevity" for elderly person

My birthday cakes in Toronto were always from a Chinese bakery.  In contrast to American cakes, our Chinese birthday cakes were often adorned with fresh fruit.

The birthday message on the cake was always written in red, a bold color which signifies good fortune in Chinese culture.

For my grandfather’s birthday celebrations, I remember seeing the Chinese character 寿 / 壽 (shòu) on his birthday cake.  This word means longevity, which is a positive wish for someone’s birthday.

What is the best food to eat for birthday celebrations in Chinese culture?

long noodles symbolize long life in Chinese culture

While cultural details tend to be hazy after my parents passed away, I’ll never forget about the tradition of eating long noodles.

Because noodles are long, eating them on birthdays represents having a long life. According to Chinese culture, the longer the noodles, the more auspicious the meal!

Fun Chinese Happy birthday activities for kids

Here are my children’s favorite birthday crafts and activities from years past:

More Mandarin Chinese songs for children

Happy celebrating, friends!

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