How to Wish Merry Christmas in Different Languages

Christmas

Christmas is an annual festival that belongs to the religion of Christianity. The Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and they observe it on December 25th. It is preceded by the Advent season.

Millions and billions of people celebrate this festival religiously all over the globe. It is a public holiday, and the event is also celebrated culturally in some ethnicities.

Origin of Merry Christmas

There are many theories about how the term was initiated as a greeting to others. The phrase was initially “Happy Christmas” and there are people who still greet this way. So, it is not old-fashioned completely.

It is also important to note that the royal and higher class is still clung to ‘Happy Christmas’ and the ‘merry’ is for the laymen.

Still, the ‘merry’ is particularized for the festival of Christmas. There are no other occasions that have this word in the greetings. The phrase is not new, however. It is in use since 1534.

The term is there in the old letters of the kings and other authorities. According to the historians, the word ‘merry’ in the greetings was added back in 1534 when Bishop John Fisher sent the letter to Henry VIIIs chief minister Thomas Cromwell.

As the historians report, the English Carol also stated “We wish you a Merry Christmas” in the 16th century, and it was a popular greeting back then even in the 1500s.

The phrase was caught in action in around 1843 too when the poem of Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ was published.

Merry Christmas for some reason was not accepted worldwide and in some parts of the world, it is ‘Merry Christmas’ while in others it’s Happy Christmas.

The Celebration of Christmas Around the Globe

There are different traditions regarding Christmas and the practices people celebrate all over the world. Most of the customs and traditions are quite similar in the UK, Italy, France, Netherlands, Poland, and Mexico.

The traditional meal served is mostly turkey or ham with cranberry sauce. Many eastern European families prefer turkey with trimmings, cabbage dishes, and soups. Some Italian families go for the lasagna.

People in the USA often like to use the popcorn threaded string to decorate the Christmas tree. The gingerbread houses are also common to make and binge eat during Christmas. The traditional Christmas drink in the USA is Eggnog.

Many people like to go to churches to celebrate Jesus’s birth. The churches organize special carol services and events. The Fathers there also narrate the story of Jesus Christ.

There are Christmas shops which sell the decoration stuff of the Christmas throughout the year. People also decorate their houses and main doors with Santa Claus and snowmen. It’s a tradition to serve cookies and a glass of milk to Santa on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas in Different Languages

There are around 6500 languages that are spoken worldwide. Every one of these refers to separate cultures and lifestyles, making the world more diverse. People wish their friends, family, and acquaintances a Merry Christmas in their languages and style.

Here are the translations of the phrase Merry Christmas in different languages, with brief details of the Christmas practices in the particular region.

English

The term ‘Merry Christmas’ belongs to the language of English and is famous worldwide. This comes naturally to the people during the Christmas festival who speak and understand English. 

French

French is one popular language. It is loved by one and all for all the right reasons. Christmas is celebrated in France with full zeal and enthusiasm. There is a tradition of decorating the house with a nativity crib in France. These have clay figures. There are shops and fairs where shopkeepers start selling the nativity figures.

The biggest market in Europe is set in northeastern France, Strasbourg. They call it “Christkindelsmarik” in Alsatian.

The phrase Merry Christmas turns ‘Joyeux Noël’ in the French. The people in Brittany, Northern France wish it as ‘Nedeleg Laouen’, in Corsican it’s ‘Bon Natale’ and people in Alsace speak it as ‘Egüeti Wïnâchte’ in Alsatian. 

German

The Germans celebrate advent as the major part of the celebrations. There are advent calendars which they keep at home. Other cards are made of wreaths for Fir trees, with decorated bags and boxes inside.

Each box contains a present. One of the types is also known as ‘Advent Kranz’ and it has the ring of fir branches which has four candles.

The German people are very much fond of the Christmas tree. The history of the Christmas trees goes back to the Middle Ages. The tree is formally and traditionally brought on Christmas Eve.

Germany is famous for its Christmas markets. The German people wish Merry Christmas as ‘Frohe Weinachten’.

Spanish

Christmas Eve is Nochebuena in Spain. The families have their meal on Christmas Eve. Traditional Spanish Christmas dinner consists of ‘Pavo Trufado de Navidad’.

It is a stuffed turkey with truffles (mushrooms) or Pularda asada (a roasted young hen). These are traditional meals consumed rarely now. People of west Spain, who live near water and sea, mostly consume seafood.

This could be different kinds of seafood, mollusks, shellfish, lobster, and other edible crabs.

Spanish is one of the most important languages in the world. The Merry Christmas is ‘Feliz Navidad’ in the Spanish. People also speak Galician in Spain and it’s ‘Bon Nadal’ in Galician.

Italian

The Christmas festivities in Italy are world-famous. Naples city in Italy is popular all over the world for its Nativity scenes. The first time Nativity scenes in Naples happened dates back to 1025 in a church of S. Maria del presepe.

It was even before St Francis and his nativity scene practices. The old Italian custom includes the children going out and signing the carol and playing songs on the pipes and wearing the shepherds’ style sandals and hats.

It is a tradition to not eat meat and dairy on Christmas Eve. Usually, people prefer to have seafood and the variety of the food may vary with the region.

The Italians celebrate Christmas and enjoy the festivities of the event by wishing each other as ‘Buon Natale’.

Arabic

Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates. It is an Islamic country, so Christmas is not official there. 13% of the population are Christian. There are different Christmas decorations such as Santa and Christmas trees in public places such as hotels, shops, and malls.

Most of the festivities are in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The five-star Emirates palace hotel in Abu Dhabi has the most expensive Christmas tree. It is decorated with stuff worth millions of dollars.

Merry Christmas in Arabic is ‘Eid Milad Majid (عيد ميلاد مجيد)’. It refers to a lavish birth feast.

Portuguese

In Portuguese, the presents are brought on Christmas Eve. They keep them under the Christmas tree. People in Portugal also believe that the baby Jesus brings the presents and not Father. ‘Consoada’ is a traditional meal in Portugal.

It is a salted cod and served with green vegetables, boiled potatoes, and eggs. Other Christmas foods are roasted Turkey and cakes with cookies and nuts.

Portuguese is the language of Portugal mainly. Many people celebrate Christmas there and wish their Christian fellows as ‘Feliz Natal’

Dutch

Dutch is an important language of Belgium, and many people also speak it in other parts of the world. It’s a custom of Christmas in Belgium that children put their shoes in front of the fireplace. They believe Sinterklaas will come and leave presents for them.

It is important to note that Sinkerlass’s visit is a separate occasion. Christmas is a more religious festival in Belgium.

There are three official languages of Belgium. A Belgium version of Dutch is called Flemish. The Merry Christmas is ‘Vrolijk kerstfeest’ in the Dutch language.

Romanian

The Christmas and winter celebrations last from 20th December to 7th January in Romania. If people have pigs at home, it is a tradition to kill one of these by the head of the family. The meat then is used in the preparations of the Christmas food. Christmas eve in Romania is called ‘Ajunul Craciunului’.

Romanian love to wish Merry Christmas as ‘Crăciun fericit’ in their local language.

Polish

The advent is a sign of Christmastime in Poland. The people try to be peaceful and calm. People in Poland engage themselves in religious activities and detox their bodies. They try not to have much food and try to sacrifice their favorite food.

People start taking care of the household chores. There is a tradition of keeping the 12 dishes on the table. Each of these is taken as good luck for 12 months. Everyone has to taste these dishes. There is a tradition of using no meat in this food.

The merry Christmas is ‘Wesołych świąt’ in Poland.

Swedish

The celebration of St Lucia’s Day on December 13th is the biggest even before Christmas. The celebration started with the influence of stories that told about the Monks who came to Sweden with Christianity.

St Lucia day is commemorated in the memory of the young Christian girl who was killed in 304 for her religion. Swedish people love Christmas and the festival gets celebrated there with warmth and enthusiasm.

People go to churches on Christmas morning. Christmas Eve is very important as this is the time when the people have the main meal. It’s a ‘julbord’ and it’s a buffet which Swedes eat at lunchtime. Cold fish is an important item of the julbord.

In Gavle city a huge straw goat is presented every year to kickstart the season of Advent. It is usually around 13m/43ft tall and they take two days to properly put up. The presents are brought up by Santa as per the children’s belief.   

‘God Jul’ are their words to wish Merry Christmas.

Czech

Czech is an important country in Europe and the Christmas festivities are worthwhile during the Christmas season. Children get excited on 5th December, which is called St Nicholas Eve.

The children wait impatiently for St Nicholas to arrive. He comes with the angels as well as the devils. He asks the children about their conduct the whole year and rewards them accordingly.

The main celebration starts in the evening. Some people also fast on the day to receive signs of good luck. The Czech traditional Christmas dinner often has a fish soup and fried carp on the menu.

‘Veselé Vánoce’ are the right words to wish Christmas in Czech.

Read Also: Japan restaurant bans couples on Christmas Eve

Final words

Christmas is an important festival that Christians celebrate around the world. People celebrate it culturally as well as religiously. The term Merry Christmas came into use after 1534.

There are different translations of Merry Christmas in different languages. People from all over the globe have their traditions and norms to celebrate Christmas and pre-Christmas time.

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