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Crossword Puzzle Challenge: Chinese New Year

In light of Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, we wanted to do something a bit different to get everyone into the holiday spirit, so we created this fun crossword puzzle, about all things Chinese New Year!

Be sure to download it, print it out, and give it a try yourself. As an added bonus, we included an extra “Chinese Character” challenge - give it a try to see how you do!

Right click to save the image above, or download a .pdf file of the crossword puzzle here.

*PRINTING TIP: Make sure to select "Fit" on your printer settings:

We hope you’ll enjoy this fun way to review some Chinese New Year-related vocabulary, and pick up some new words along the way!

Want to see how you did?

Scroll down for the answers!

Crossword Puzzle Answer Key


1. nián nián yǒu yú
3. chūn jié
5. gōng xǐ fā cái
7. tāng yuán
8. nián gāo


2. jiǎo zi
4. shǔ
6. běn mìng nián
7. tuán yuán fàn
9. hóng bāo
10. guò nián
11. yú
12. duì lián

Chinese Character Bonus Challenge Answer Key:


1. 年年有余
3. 春节
5. 恭喜发财
7. 汤圆
8. 年糕


2. 饺子
4. 属
6. 本命年
7. 团圆饭
9. 红包
10. 过年
11. 鱼
12. 对联

Cultural Notes
The term 年年有余 (nián nián yǒu yú) means “Hope you have an abundance every year!”. 

Like when you double the word 天 (tiān), or “day”, to form the word 天天 (tiān tiān), meaning “every day”, 年年 (nián nián) also means “every year”. 有 (yǒu) means “to have” or “there is/are”, and finally 余 (yú) means “surplus”. So, we have “year year have surplus”! 

Ever wonder why Chinese people ALWAYS have fish when they have their 团圆饭 (tuán yuán fàn), or “Chinese reunion dinner”, during the new year? Well, the word 鱼 (yú), meaning “fish”, sounds exactly like 余 (yú), or “surplus”. 

So, having fish every year, 年年有 “鱼” (nián nián yǒu “yú”) signifies the idiom 年年有余 (nián nián yǒu yú), having a surplus (wealth, prosperity, etc.) every year!

Pro Tip: If you’re ever having fish with a Chinese family for the Chinese New Year, make sure you do NOT finish eating the fish completely - otherwise, there will be no “surplus” of fish, 鱼 (yú) - or prosperity, 余 (yú)!

Chinese New Year Essential Vocabulary

春节 (chūn jié) - Spring Festival
过年 (guò nián) - to celebrate the New Year
团圆饭 (tuán yuán fàn) - reunion dinner
年年有余 (nián nián yǒu yú) - Hope you have an abundance every year!
红包 (hóng bāo) - red envelope
鱼 (yú) - fish
饺子 (jiǎo zi) - dumplings
汤圆 (tāng yuán) - tangyuan (lit. ‘soup balls’)
年糕 (nián gāo) - niangao (lit. ‘year cake’ - type of glutinous rice cake)
本命年 (běn mìng nián) - the year of the zodiac one was born in
属 (shǔ) - to be born in the year of...
对联 (duì lián) - rhyming couplets
恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) - Wishing you prosperity!

Learn More

Want to learn more about Chinese New Year? Check out this lesson from our Upper Intermediate Course!

Just getting started learning Chinese? Check out the first 20 lessons of our Beginner Conversational Course for FREE here!