How to Say “Happy Holidays” in 18 Different Languages

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By Sabah Karimi

Want to do something different for the holidays this year? Send some holiday greetings to friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members in a different language!

Even though ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Season’s Greetings’ are much more common outside of the U.S. than ‘Happy Holidays’ (especially in Western Europe), you can still greet the rest of the world in true American style with some simple translations.

Whether you’re heading off on a round of Christmas caroling or writing up holiday cards for friends and family, share your global holiday spirit by saying ‘Happy Holidays’ in any of the following languages:

Say Happy Holidays! In French: Joyeuses Fêtes!

Say Happy Holidays! In Spanish: Felices Fiestas!

Say Happy Holidays! In Swedish: Trevlig Helg!

Say Happy Holidays! In Portuguese: Boas Festas!

Say Happy Holidays! In Turkish: Mutlu Bayramlar!

Say Happy Holidays! In Romanian: Sarbatori Fericite!

Say Happy Holidays! In Mandarin: Jie Ri Yu Kuai

Say Happy Holidays! In Catalan: Bones Festes!

Say Happy Holidays! In Japanese: Tanoshii kurisumasu wo! (Have a happy Christmas)

Say Happy Holidays! In Italian: Buone Feste!

Say Happy Holidays! In South African (Xhose): Ii holide eximnandi

Say Happy Holidays! In German: Forhe Feiertage

Say Happy Holidays! In Dutch: Prettige feestdagen

Say Happy Holidays! In Hawaiian: Hau’oli Lanui (pronounced how-oh-lay la-new-ee)

Say Happy Holidays! In Gaelic: Beannachtaí na Féile

Say Happy Holidays! In Slovenian: Vesele Praznike

Say Happy Holidays! In Indonesian: Selamat Hari Raya!

Say Happy Holidays! In Croatian: Sretni praznici!

Saying Happy Holidays in different languages isn’t always easy because the English word ‘holiday’ has a literal translation of a vacation or day off in most parts of the world. It’s also important to note that many countries celebrate the holidays right on through Epiphany on January 6, so you can get away with saying or sending holiday greetings for a few days after the calendar New Year.

If you’re traveling abroad, greeting someone with the literal translation of a holiday may get you some puzzled looks, and in some cases, it’s safe enough to say Happy New Year or Merry Christmas to honor the season. However, you can still learn how other cultures talk about parties or religious events, you’ll be much closer to the actual translation of the ‘holiday season’ when greeting your friends, neighbors and family members this year.

Spread some holiday cheer and surprise a few people on your holiday gift card list or party by greeting them in any of the languages above!