The phrase "kung hei fat choi" translates to "wishing you to make a fortune" in English. Some people also loosely translate it into "congratulations" and "be prosperous."
In addition to its use as a greeting, "kung hei fat choi" focuses on the actual celebration of the Chinese New Year. Many people often use this greeting during Chinese New Year celebrations with a specific wish of prosperity for the recipient rather than a more generic greeting that means "happy new year." This greeting also falls in line with Cantonese traditions that emphasize the importance of positive thinking and celebrating with food and music.