December 30, 2023 | Време читања: 4 минута

How to wish happy holidays in Serbian and other European languages

How to wish happy holidays in Serbian and other European languages

The arrival of the holidays at the Аcademic Center of Knowledge signifies not only the approach of New Year’s and Christmas but also a specific atmosphere in our city, and consequently in our classrooms. Many from the diaspora, along with their guests from abroad, come to Serbia, bringing their joy and sometimes, uncertainty in their knowledge of the Serbian language. In our desire to help them warmly congratulate the New Year and Christmas, we have organized a series of promotional courses in conversational Serbian language for foreigners.

New Year

The New Year holds special significance in many cultures around the world. It often roots itself in the symbolism of a new beginning, an opportunity for change and renewal of life. Many people see this time as a chance to set new goals, make decisions about life changes, and leave bad habits behind. The date from which one starts a diet or quits smoking is, traditionally in most countries, the 1st of January.

However, in many cultures, the start of something new holds a magical significance. It can inspire a sense of hope, optimism, and belief in positive changes. Different communities have their customs for celebrating the New Year. In China, they give red envelopes, in Iceland, they eat chocolate and gift books, while major cities around the world are lit up with more beautiful and wondrous fireworks at midnight.

In Serbia, New Year is a time for gathering with family and friends. “Within the family circle” is a common response to how New Year is celebrated. However, as we are a nation that loves gatherings, it’s hard to find a free spot in a pub or restaurant during this period.

At midnight, rounds of greetings and best wishes begin, and if you wish to avoid sending generic stickers, here’s how you can properly wish someone a Happy New Year.

If you wish to congratulate the holiday, write it like this: “Srećna Nova godina!” (Happy New Year!)

However, if you’re talking about the upcoming year as new, then write in lowercase: “Želim ti sve najbolje u novoj godini!” (I wish you all the best in the new year!)

Christmas Greetings

Apart from the rhymed greetings circulating on the internet, the common greeting in Serbia for Christmas is:

Srećan Božić! Hristos se rodi!” (Merry Christmas! Christ is born!), followed by a response.

Vaistinu se rodi! Srećan Božić!” (Indeed He is born! Merry Christmas!)


We believe this is how our people who travel across Europe for the holidays and visit their relatives and friends express their wishes. With this article, we aim to assist people from Serbia on how to wish Merry Christmas in various European languages during their travels.

Let’s not forget that within the diversity of European languages, unity for celebration and connection among people throughout Europe can still be found. After all, we all smile in the same language – the universal language of love.

Ahead of us is a Christmas greeting in many European languages:

Albanian: Gëzuar Krishtlindjet

Basque: Eguberri on

Belarusian: З Калядамі or з Божым Нараджэннем

Breton: Nedeleg laouen

Bulgarian: Весела Коледа or Честито Рождество Христово

Catalan: Bon Nadal

Croatian: Sretan Božić

Czech: Veselé Vánoce

Danish: God jul or Glædelig jul

Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest

English: Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas

French: Joyeux Noël

Estonian: Häid jõule

Finnish: Hyvää joulua

Galician: Bo Nadal

German: Fröhliche Weihnachten or Frohe Weihnachten

Greek: Καλά Χριστούγεννα

Hungarian: Boldog karácsonyt

Icelandic: Gleðileg jól

Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit (singular) or Daoibh (plural)

Italian: Buon Natale

Latvian: Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus

Lithuanian: Linksmų Kalėdų

Luxembourgish: Schéine Chrëschtdag

Macedonian: Среќен Божиќ or Христос се роди

Maltese: il-Milied it-Tajjeb

Norwegian: God jul

Northern Sami: Buorre juovla

Romanian: Crăciun fericit

Occitan: Bon Nadal

Polish: Wesołych Świąt (Bożego Narodzenia)

Portuguese: Feliz Natal

Russian: С Рождеством (Христовым)

Scottish Gaelic: Nollaig Chridheil

Serbian: Срећан Божић or Христос се роди

Sardinian: Bona Pasca de Nadale

Slovak: Veselé Vianoce

Slovenian: Vesel božič

Spanish: Feliz Navidad

Swedish: God jul

Turkish: Mutlu Noeller

Ukrainian: З Різдвом (Христовим)

Welsh: Nadolig Llawen

Learn Serbian language with us

As the end of another year approaches, so does the traditional making of New Year’s resolutions. If one of them involves learning a language – especially our beautiful Serbian language, whether as a foreign or heritage language – we have an exceptional opportunity for you. We invite all readers of our blog to join a free conversational course in Serbian language and literature for foreigners and natives alike. This course can serve as a bridge in attempting to connect with the country you originate from, strengthening cultural ties, and discovering our rich traditions.


Everyone is welcome! Applications are available through this link.


Author: Marko Radulović, Professor of Literature and Serbian Language