Today’s first character is 年, nián meaning year.
年 Nián was one of the first words we learnt in connection with Chinese New Year.
We have also seen it in the phrase 新年快樂 – xīn nián kuài lè – Happy New Year.
Today’s second character is 糕, gāo meaning cake. gāo is also suggestive of prosperity.
Together 年糕, nián gāo means a special New Year cake made from sweet finely ground rice flour.
Nián is pronounced ni-yen, with a 2nd or rising tone.
gāo is pronounced gow to rhyme with cow. It has a1st or high, level tone.