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The phrase is comparable in sentiment to the Romance language expression “Vive, Viva”, and the Japanese exclamation Banzai. It has carries various meanings including "may you live", "cheers", "welcome", and "hurrah".
The expression is mostly used for toasts during gatherings and parties, and is used as a cry of adulation towards individuals or concepts at rallies and political conferences. A more modern appropriation of the greeting is its use in the local hospitality industry to welcome guests. Alternatively, the Spanish ¡Viva! survives in mostly religious contexts, specifically in shouts of praise directed at a patron saint or to the Deity during fiestas and assemblies (e.g., "¡Viva Señor Santo Niño!")