In “A Season of Sharing,” we talk about how to spread the holiday spirit through more than just gift-giving. Exploring old traditions, creating new ones with family and friends, and learning how to express holiday greetings in different languages can help us all share a little more this year.
Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, and Blythe Yule to you and yours! We at Harry & David love the holidays so much, we want to shout greetings from the rooftops — and we just did in English, French, and Scottish, respectively.
We hope you’ll join us (wrapped in an ugly Christmas sweater sipping hot cocoa or eating a sweet and juicy festive pear) this season, too. Whether you’re traveling during the holidays or staying home, learning how to say “Merry Christmas” in different languages is fun for the whole family.
The origin of “Merry Christmas”
The greeting “Merry Christmas” is simple, but its history is anything but. The first documented use of this festive phrase came in 1534, when bishop John Fisher sent a letter to Henry VIII’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell and signed off with a “Merry Christmas”. Around the same time, the popular carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was making itself known around the English countryside. The greeting gained more followers after the publication of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in 1843 — the same year “Merry Christmas” first appeared on a commercially sold Christmas card.
Although “Merry Christmas” has its origins in England, you won’t hear many Brits using those exact words today. Queen Elizabeth II opted for “Happy Christmas” during her first Christmas broadcast in 1952. “Happy” took on the connotation of being higher class than “merry,” which came to be associated with the rowdy lower class. The phrase spread across the U.K. and remains the preferred greeting during the holiday season.
Whatever your traditional holiday greeting is, it’s always fun to learn how to share festive cheer in other languages. Explore the world with us as we learn how to say “Merry Christmas” in Croatian, Hawaiian, Swedish, and many more!
How to say Merry Christmas in 45 different languages
- In Albanian, Gëzuar Krishtlindjet
- In Belarusian, Z Kaliadami
- In Catalan, Bon Nadal
- In Cornish (England), Nadelik Lowen
- In Croatian, Sretan Boži?
- In Czech, Veselé Vánoce
- In Danish, Glædelig Jul
- In Dutch, Vrolijk Kerstfeest
- In Estonian, Häid Jõule
- In Faroese, Gleðilig jól
- In Finnish, Hyvää joulua
- In French, Joyeux Noël
- In German, Frohe Weihnachten
- In Greenlandic, Juullimi Pilluarit
- In Hawaiian, Mele Kalikimaka
- In Hungarian, Boldog karácsonyt
- In Icelandic, Gleðileg jól
- In Irish Gaelic, Nollaig Shona
- In Italian, Buon Natale
- In Latvian, Priec?gus Ziemassv?tkus
- In Lithuanian, Linksm? Kal?d?
- In Luxembourgish, Schéi Chrëschtdeeg
- In Macedonian, Streken Bozhik
- In Manx (Isle of Man), Nollick Ghennal
- In Polish, Weso?ych ?wi?t Bo?ego Narodzenia
- In Portuguese, Feliz Natal
- In Sami (spoken in parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia), Buorit Juovllat
- In Scottish Gaelic, Nollaig Chridheil
- In Scots, Blythe Yule
- In Slovak, Veselé Vianoce
- In Slovenian, Vesel Boži?
- In Spanish, Feliz Navidad
- In Swedish, God Jul
- In Swiss German, Schöni Wiehnachte
- In Romanian, Cr?ciun fericit
- In Romansh (Switzerland), Bellas festas da Nadal
- In Serbian, Sre?an Boži?
- In Turkish, Mutlu Noeller
- In Walloon (Belgian), djoyeus Noyé
- In Welsh, Nadolig Llawen
How to say Merry Christmas in sci-fi and fantasy languages
- In Klingon (Star Trek), toDwI’ma’ qoS yItIvqu’ (Our Savior’s birthday you-enjoy!)
- In Mando’a (Star Wars: The Mandalorian), Briikase Oya’tuur
- In Quenya (The Lord of the Rings), Alassë a Hristomerendë (Joyous Feast of Christ)
- In Sindarin (The Lord of the Rings), Mereth Veren e-Doled Eruion (Joyous Feast of the Coming of the Son of God)
- In Dothraki (Game of Thrones) Zalak Vitteyqoyi Davra (We Wish You a Merry Christmas)