Christmas is one of the most important celebrations in the world. Each country has its own traditions but all share the same atmosphere, the feeling of togetherness and love. Let’s see, then, what happens around the world and learn how to pronounce Merry Christmas in different languages. Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Italian
If you want to wish Merry Christmas when you are in Italy, you have to say Buon Natale. It is difficult to define which are the main traditions in the so-called Bel Paese (beautiful country), since every region has its own. Still, the Christmas tree, the Presepe (or Presepio), Panettone, and Pandoro, reign all over the peninsula. According to Catholic tradition, on Christmas Eve nobody should eat meat, but fish should be preferred. Nowadays, though, this Catholic tradition is not so well preserved anymore. One thing you can be sure: on Christmas Day food is no limits: Christmas lunch will be rich and sumptuous, following the best Italian traditions. Buon Natale a tutti!
Merry Christmas in different languages: French
Merry Christmas translated into French is Joyeux Noël. Christmas celebration in Marcel Proust and Paul Cézanne's country can be different from region to region, but St. Nicholas (on December 6th) and Père Noël (on December 24th) behave the same way everywhere in France. They bring presents to all children... or something like that. St. Nicholas actually delivers only to the well behaved children, while his assistant, Père Fouettard, brings lumps of coal to the naughty ones. Joyeux Noël à tout le monde!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Spanish
In Spain, Merry Christmas becomes Feliz Navidad. Christmas, in the land of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and Antoni Gaudí, is a huge celebration which reaches its peak during the Nochebuena, Christmas Eve (literally, good night in Spanish). A sumptuous dinner will be served, usually at the grandparents’ house, where the whole family will be seated around a magnificent table setting. Feliz Navidad a todos!
Merry Christmas in different languages: German
Merry Christmas in Germany is Fröhliche Weihnachten. For Germans, Christmas is really a big event and it is not surprising if we consider that the Christmas tree fashion started right here, centuries ago: the first decorated tree appeared in 1750. All started because of German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He once visited Strasbourg, in France, during Christmas, where the first Christmas tree appeared in the early 17th century. He wrote about it in his novel The Sorrows of Young Werther and suddenly everybody in German was decorating a Christmas tree. Fröhliche Weihnachten!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Portuguese
Merry Christmas in Portugal is Feliz Natal. By tradition, Christmas is the most important celebration of the year in the country where José Saramago and Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa were born. On Christmas Eve, a traditional dinner will be cooked and served to the family. The menu will be: cod, potatoes, and vegetables. Once dinner is finished, during the night, the spirits of the dead will come to visit and enjoy the food leftovers. Feliz Natal!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Brazilian Portuguese
Merry Christmas in Brazil is Feliz Natal, like in Portugal. In the land of writers such as Paulo Coelho and Jorge Amado, Christmas happens to be in summer and, due to the season, the traditional Christmas dishes have become lighter and more suitable to the hot climate. The Christmas tree, though, is still the festivity focal point. In 2014, in Rio de Janeiro was set the largest floating Christmas tree in the world, with millions of lights. Tourists came from all over the world to see the gigantic Christmas tree which earned the Guinness World Record in its category. Feliz Natal!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Polish
Merry Christmas in Poland is Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia. In this country, where the poet Wisława Szymborska wrote her most touching poems, during Christmas Eve, children stare at the sky and, as soon as they spot the first twinkle of a star, they all go to sit around the table: dinner starts. Before eating, the whole family share a piece of the traditional Opłatek: a light wafer on which the nativity scene is depicted They all receive a piece of it as a symbol of love and friendship. And an opłatek piece is served also to the house pets. Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Czech
Merry Christmas in Czech Republic is Veselé Vánoce. Here, the big celebration is Christmas Eve dinner with the traditional breaded carp and potatoes. It is a must to keep a carp scale as a lucky charm for the oncoming year. Veselé Vánoce to everybody!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Romanian
In Romania, Merry Christmas is Craciun Fericit. Here, the Christmas spirit is kept alive by the colinde, the traditional Romanian Christmas carols. On Christmas Eve, children will sing while walking from house to house, and they will receive fruits, nuts, and a slice of colaci (typical Christmas sweet bread), in return. Craciun Fericit!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Slovak
Merry Christmas in Slovakia is Veselé Vianoce. The traditional celebration include some dishes known to bring good fortune if eaten on Christmas Eve: for example, waffles with honey will preserve love and harmony in the family, garlic will guarantee good health. Speaking about money, tucking some coins under the tablecloth will bring wealth and prosperity. Veselé Vianoce!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Hungarian
Merry Christmas is Hungarian is Kellemes Karácsonyt. According to tradition, the Christmas tree must be decorated on Christmas Eve by the parents, while the children will stay in their room waiting for Baby Jesus to deliver their presents. Kellemes Karácsonyt!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Greek
In Greece, Merry Christmas is Kala Christouyenna. In this beautiful and sunny country, between Christmas and Epiphany, kallikantzaros are believed to appear during the celebrations. They are hideous creatures which live underground for the rest of the year and should come alive during the Christmas season. They are supposed to tease and annoy everybody. Kala Christouyenna
Merry Christmas in different languages: Swedish
In Sweden, Merry Christmas is God Jul, as in others Scandinavian countries. Here, Christmas season starts celebrating Saint Lucia, on December 13. Saint Lucia brings presents to children and she is also the patron saint of the blind, since she lost her sight defending her faith. God Jul to everybody!
Merry Christmas in different languages: Finnish
In Finland, Merry Christmas is Hyvää Joulua. In this freezing country, Christmas Eve has it all: Christmas tree, light decorations, good food… and sauna. What a nice idea to celebrate the most stressing celebration of the year relaxing in a warm sauna! Hyvää Joulua!