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)