Ho, ho, ho, Christmas decorations are showing up in the highways of France, people are in a festive mood and Christmas purchase is in complete swing.

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

Let’s discover out!

The classic “Merry Christmas”

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

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

The “Happy Hanukkah”

Happy Hanukkah in French is “Joyeux Hanoukka”. However as in English, there have the right to be some spelling variations, so friend might additionally see Joyeux Hanoucca, Joyeux Hanouka, Joyeux Hannukah, and therefore on.

But prior to you use this greeting, be really careful of the context. For one thing, as is the instance for many Jewish communities around the world, Hanukkah in France is a relatively minor holiday. And also there’s also the fact that the French Jewish neighborhood tends come be an extremely discreet. So if you aren’t absolutely details that who is expecting a Hanukkah greeting or desires to have it known that castle celebrate, it’s ideal to stick with something neutral.


The standard “Happy brand-new Year”

Bonne année is “Happy new Year” in French. This is the most typical way to wish someone a happy new Year and can be used with everyone.

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

The typical new Year’s wish

You might hear a joyful French human being greet you through Bonne année, bonne santé. “Happy/Good Year, great health”. This is slightly much less formal than just saying Bonne année but is still okay for most situations and people. That may also come off together a little cheesy or cliché, relying on the company.

The “Happy Holidays” for everyone

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

The indigenous fête normally method “party” or “celebration”, however when that said during the vacation season, it’s taken to mean les fêtes de fin d’année (the end-of-year holidays).

The formal “Happy Holidays”

If you desire – or need – to gain a small bit much more formal through your vacation greetings, you can use the expression Je vous souhaite d’excellentes fêtes de fin d’année.

Literally “I wish you excellent end of year celebrations”, this greeting deserve to be offered at work or with people you don’t recognize well.


The “Season’s Greetings”

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

You have the right to use it on its own – you’ll frequently see it choose this ~ above greeting cards, for instance. Or it can be component of a sentence. For example:

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

Meilleurs voeux pour l’année 2021. (Best wishes because that the year 2021)

A distinctive French vacation greeting

As in English, this French vacation greetings are perfectly acceptable and usually evaluate – uneven you run into a French Scrooge!

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

• include Je vous souhaite un très prior to a common holiday greeting. This amps it increase a little, and makes it a tiny fancier, too. Because that instance, Joyeux Noël would walk from regular “Merry Christmas” come Je vous souhaite un très joyeux Noël – i wish girlfriend a really merry Christmas.

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

Keep in mind the in most cases, you’ll need to use a sentence; friend can’t just replace a native in a common French holiday phrase. Because that example, the expression I just argued works, however just Magique année (Magical year)would it is in confusing – simply as it would in English.

• Look digital for much more examples and also inspiration.

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

You deserve to find much more ideas by inputting a classic French holiday greeting plus words original (which in this context means “unique”) right into a search engine.

Note that some results can be really lengthy -maybe they’re intended for world who must send out holiday cards. However the matching image search should show you brief greeting alternatives.

Voilà, you currently know just how to wish a merry Christmas and Happy new Year in French – and a couple of other good options, besides!

Still in the holiday spirit? examine out our articles on French Christmas vocabulary and French Christmas traditions.

See more: How Much Does The Star On Top Of The Christmas Tree In Rockefeller Center Weigh

Have friend ever celebrated Christmas in France? What was it like?


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