Ho, ho, ho, Christmas decorations are appearing in the highways of France, people are in a festive mood and also Christmas shopping is in full swing.

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But just how do you speak “Merry Christmas” in French? and also while we’re in the holiday spirit, exactly how do you to speak “Happy new Year” or “Happy Hanukkah” in French? How about “Season’s Greetings”?

Let’s uncover out!


The classic “Merry Christmas”

Joyeux Noël is the most common means to say “Merry Christmas” in French. If you break it down, it literally equates to “Joyful Christmas” – so, merry or Happy Christmas for fellow Anglophones.

You’ll find this expression on most cartes de vœux (greeting cards) and can use it v everyone.

The “Happy Hanukkah”

Happy Hanukkah in French is “Joyeux Hanoukka”. But as in English, there can be part spelling variations, so girlfriend might also see Joyeux Hanoucca, Joyeux Hanouka, Joyeux Hannukah, and for this reason on.

But before you usage this greeting, be an extremely careful of the context. For one thing, as is the situation for many Jewish communities around the world, Hanukkah in France is a fairly minor holiday. And there’s also the truth that the French Jewish ar tends to be very discreet. So if you aren’t absolutely specific that who is expecting a Hanukkah greeting or desires to have it recognized that lock celebrate, it’s ideal to stick v something neutral.

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The standard “Happy brand-new Year”

Bonne année is “Happy brand-new Year” in French. This is the many typical means to great someone a happy new Year and can be provided with everyone.

You can add the year come it if you want to it is in specific: Bonne année 2021 !

The typical brand-new Year’s wish

You might hear a joyful French person greet you with Bonne année, bonne santé. “Happy/Good Year, an excellent health”. This is slightly less formal than merely saying Bonne année but is still it s okay for most situations and also people. It may also come off together a little cheesy or cliché, relying on the company.

The “Happy Holidays” because that everyone

If girlfriend aren’t certain which holiday(s) someone celebrates, or if you simply want to great them a cumulative “Happy Holidays”, Joyeuses fêtes or the contempt less typical Bonnes fêtes is the perfect phrase. 

The word fête normally way “party” or “celebration”, but when that said throughout the holiday season, it’s understood to average les fêtes de fin d’année (the end-of-year holidays).

The formal “Happy Holidays”

If you desire – or need – to gain a tiny bit much more formal through your holiday greetings, you deserve to use the phrase Je vous souhaite d’excellentes fêtes de fin d’année.

Literally “I great you excellent end of year celebrations”, this greeting can be supplied at work or with human being you don’t know well.

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The “Season’s Greetings”

Meilleurs vœux is a true chameleon. When it method “best wishes” for most of the year, that turns right into “Season’s Greetings” in December and early January as human being celebrate Christmas and also the brand-new Year.

You deserve to use it on its very own – you’ll regularly see it choose this top top greeting cards, because that instance. Or it have the right to be component of a sentence. For example:

Meilleurs vœux pour la nouvelle année. (Best wishes for the new year.)

Meilleurs voeux to water l’année 2021. (Best wishes for the year 2021)

A distinct French holiday greeting

As in English, this French holiday greetings are perfectly acceptable and also usually evaluate – unless you run right into a French Scrooge!

But if you want to it is in a little much more original, here are some means to carry out that:

• add Je vous souhaite un très before a common holiday greeting. This amps it up a little, and also makes it a small fancier, too. Because that instance, Joyeux Noël would walk from continuous “Merry Christmas” to Je vous souhaite un très joyeux Noël – ns wish friend a an extremely merry Christmas.

• Use unexpected expressions and also adjectives. If you feel confident in your French abilities and also vocabulary, girlfriend can try to mix things up. For instance, rather of Bonne année, why no say Je vous souhaite une année 2021 magique. (I great you a magical 2021.). 

Keep in mind the in many cases, you’ll have to use a sentence; girlfriend can’t just replace a word in a common French vacation phrase. Because that example, the phrase I just suggested works, but just Magique année (Magical year)would be confusing – just as it would certainly in English.

• Look online for an ext examples and inspiration.

To begin with, this article is a an excellent source that longer and unique holiday phrases in French.

You have the right to find much more ideas by inputting a timeless French vacation greeting plus the word original (which in this context way “unique”) right into a find engine.

Note that part results might be really long -maybe castle intended for civilization who should send out holiday cards. Yet the corresponding image find should present you brief greeting alternatives.

Voilà, you now know exactly how to great a funny Christmas and also Happy new Year in French – and a couple of other an excellent options, besides!

Still in the vacation spirit? inspect out our posts on French Christmas vocabulary and French Christmas traditions.

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Have you ever commemorated Christmas in France? What to be it like?


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Alysa Salzberg is an American writer, worrier, teacher, and cookie enthusiast who has actually lived in Paris, France, for much more than a decade. She has actually taught English and also French for much more than ten years, most notably as an assistante de langue vivante for L"Education Nationale.She recently published her first novel, Hearts at Dawn, a "Beauty and also the Beast" retelling the takes place throughout the 1870 Siege the Paris. You have the right to read around her adventures here, or feel cost-free to avoid by her website.