Christmas is coming soon – a time of gifts, meetings, and greetings. How to make Christmas cards or greetings different and more interesting this year? Maybe you should express them in another language and add a few words from the bottom of your heart (in your language;)) How to do that?

We prepared a list of Christmas greetings „Merry Christmas” in foreign languages. But before we move on to this long list, we invite you on a short journey around Asian Christmas traditions.

Christmas in China

For Chinese people, the festive season isn’t connected with a day off from work or school. The exception is Hong Kong due to its status as a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. The characteristic element of the Chinese Christmas tradition is handing each other an apple. The pronunciation of the Chinese name for Christmas Eve (Píng’ān yè) includes a fragment which sounds very similar to the word ‘apple’ (píngguǒ). While gift-giving, you need to remember certain rules concerning the wrap color and number of things inside the present. You can read more about Christmas in China here.

Christmas in Japan

In Japan, none of the Christmas Days is a day off from work or school. Until very recently, the day before Christmas Eve was considered a holiday due to the birthday of the former emperor. This holiday, however, was moved to the 23rd of February. At Christmas, the Japanese eat chicken, especially from KFC. Their tradition is also eating special festive cakes – kurisumasu ke-ki. Christmas decorations are gone the next day; they are replaced with New Year’s decorations because in Japan New Year is a much more important holiday than Christmas. You can read more about Christmas here.

Christmas in Singapore

Christians who live in Singapore celebrate Christmas by keeping religious traditions, but those who don’t profess Christianity also celebrate. For them, it’s an opportunity to have fun, go shopping and eat delicious food. While the Chinese and Japanese work at Christmas, in Singapore the 25th of December is a day off. Due to the huge interest in Christmas, this festive time is also used for charity purposes; Santa Run For Wishes is a family marathon organized annually since 2013.

Every year at Christmas, Orchard Street, a popular arcade, turns into a truly snowy land illuminated by fairy lights and all the Christmas decorations. Gardens by the Bay turn to Christmas Wonderland, being decorated similarly to Orchard Street. You can participate in various games and events there, meet Santa Claus and admire installation lights.

Christmas in Laos

Christmas was brought to Laos mainly by the immigrants, but the local community adopted it as an opportunity to have a nice time, fun, and exchange gifts. Christmastime is not associated with the days off work so all the bars, restaurants, shops, and other places are opened. For Laotians, December is a time to rest and celebrate after a lot of hard work connected with farming in the rainy season. For about two weeks at this time traditional costumes, bullfighting, and buffalo fighting are common as well as special dishes prepared for many days just for this time.

Christmas in the Philippines

The celebration of Christmas in the Philippines begins nine days before Christmas and every day starts with Christmas Novena, a mass celebrated at 4 am, called also the Rooster Mass. On Christmas Eve, the mass is celebrated at 10 pm and the firework display starts at midnight. Around the festive season, Filipinos organize fiestas which last four nights with short breaks. People living in the villages party with loud music and spend time together. Filipinos love Christmas decorations and in the festive season, their houses look like American houses, being covered with lots of decorations. The decorations are so beautiful that the poverty in smaller, poorer villages is not visible. Also, it’s a tradition to decorate a road and make a colorful gate.

Although the Philippines is one of the most Catholic countries in Asia, only the 25th of December is a day off from work.

Christmas in South Korea

The 24th of December is a day of huge parties, intended for spending time with friends, significant others, or coworkers. The 25th of December is a day off from work and school; Koreans rest, spend time with family, and those who are Christian go to church. In South Korea, you can meet Santa Claus wearing blue. When it comes to gift-giving, Koreans are very practical, and frequently they give each other money. A popular Christmas gift for those who have just moved out from their parents or just changed their place of living is toilet paper. The gift-giver can be sure that the present will be useful.

Christmas in Indonesia

The 25th of December is a day off from work, and Christmas is commonly called Natal (from Portuguese). Popular Christmas treats are cookies; for example, nastar – filled with pineapple, or kastengel – cheese cookies sprinkled with icing sugar. Celebrating Christmas in Indonesia isn’t easy because it’s almost entirely Muslim, although officially there is freedom of six religions.

Those who celebrate try to do their best. They decorate Christmas trees, however, it doesn’t always look like ours. Christians in Indonesia create Christmas trees from all kinds of available materials, even from old tires, bottles, or wire. In Bali, it’s popular to see Christmas trees decorated with feathers of the domestic fowl.

Christmas in Vietnam

In Vietnam, Christmas Eve is celebrated more than Christmas Day, as it is in other Asian countries. Although Christians represent a small fraction of the society, the Vietnamese like attending midnight service to watch Nativity play and listening to Christmas music. Because Vietnam was once a part of Indochina, you can still see French influences in Christmas traditions, for example, some of Christmas treats. One of the treats is bûche de Noël – sponge chocolate cake in a log shape. You can learn more about Vietnam in our courses.

Christmas in Malaysia

The 25th of December is a day off from work in Malaysia, however, for many people, it’s just a usual day. Christmas Eve is more celebrated than all other Christmas Days. At midnight, the sky is full of fireworks. Instead of the gifts, Malaysians give each other red envelopes with money.

Merry Christmas in different languages

Language Written form Pronunciation
Albanian Gëzuar Krishtlindjet Gesuar krishtlindyet
Amharic መልካም ገና Malkam gana
Polish Wesołych Świąt Vesolih Sviat
Arabic ميلاد مجيد Millad majid
Bengali শুভ বড়দিন shubha baṛadin
Belarusian З Нараджэннем Хрыстовым Z naradzeniem hristusovim
Bulgarian З Божым нараджэннем Z bozim narodzeniem
Chinese 圣诞快乐 Shengdan kuaile
Croatian Sretan Božić sraytan bowzic
Czech Veselé Vánoce vaysaylay vanozay
Dutch Glædelig Jul Gled yule
Esperanto Gajan Kristnaskon  
Estonian Häid Jõule
Philippine Maligayang Pasko
Finnish Hyvää Joulua
French Joyeux Noël zhwayeu noel
Greek Καλά Χριστούγεννα Hala hrestuyana
Georgian შობას გილოცავთ Shobas gilotsavat
Hebrew חג מולד שמח Hag molad sameah
Hindi क्रिसमस की शुभकामनाएँ Krismas ki shubkamnay
Spanish ¡Feliz Navidad!
Indonesian Selamat Natal
Irish Nollaig Shona
Icelandic Gleðileg jól Gleoileg yol
Japanese メリークリスマス Meri- Kurisumasu
Khmer រីករាយបុណ្យណូអ៊ែល Rik reai bon noel
Korean 메리 크리스마스 Meri Krismasu
Lithuanian Linksmų Kalėdų Linksmu kaledu
Latvian Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus Precigus ziemasvetkus
Macedonian Среќен Божиќ Sreken bozik
Malayan Selamat hari Natal Selamat hari natal
German Frohe Weihnachten Froye wayhnahten
Norwegian God jul God yul
Armenian Շնորհավոր Սուրբ Ծնունդ Shnorhaeor surb tsnund
Portuguese Feliz Natal
Russian Рождеством Христовым Rozdistum hristovim
Romanian Crăciun fericit Krachun ferichit
Serbian Срећан Божић Shrechan bozich
Slovakian Veselé Vianoce
Slovenian Srečen Božič
Swahili Heri ya Krismas Heri ya krismas
Swedish God Jul God jul
Thai สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส Suk san wan krismas
Turkish Mutlu Noeller
Ukrainian З Різдвом Христовим Z rizdvom Khristowym
Uzbek Rojdestvo bilan
Hungarian Boldog Karácsonyt Boldog korachont
Vietnamese Chúc Mừng Giáng Sinh Ciuk mung zang sinh
Italian Buon Natale

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