How do you say merry Christmas in German? Let’s find out!
“Feliz Natal” in Portugal, “Nadolig Llawen!” in Wales, “Joyeux Noel!” France and “Buon Natale!” in Italy. There are many Christmas sayings around the world, each with its own special meaning to those who use it, and Germany is no different.
Christmas time is drawing near and everyone around the world who observes this holiday is getting excited, and getting ready to have a feast with their family and close friends. If you’re a language learner, and you’re learning German now is the best time to learn all the different ways to say merry Christmas in German, as well as some other holiday season greetings used in Germany.
In this article, we’ll look at how to say merry Christmas in German, as well as some unique and wonderful traditions honoured throughout the country during Christmas in Germany.
12 Ways to Say Merry Christmas in German
In German, there are quite a few different ways to wish someone a merry Christmas, or a happy holiday season. Below we have a list of 12 ways in which to wish someone merry Christmas and a happy holiday season in German. German pronunciation can be quite tricky if you’re new to the German language, and for that reason, we have provided audio clips with each phrase to help you get the hang of the pronunciation.
Frohe Weihnachten / Merry Christmas
This phrase is the most common way to wish someone a merry Christmas in German. The word “Frohe” translates to happy, and the word “Weihnachten” means Christmas, the phrase is directly translated to happy Christmas.
Fröhliche Weihnachten / Merry Christmas
This is another common phrase used to wish someone a merry Christmas in German. The word “Fröhliche” means joyous or happy, and the word “Weihnachten” means Christmas, so the phrase translates to joyous or happy Christmas.
Ein gesegnetes Weihnachtsfest | A Blessed Christmas
This phrase is mostly used among close family and friends to wish each other a blessed Christmas. The phrase translates directly to a blessed Christmas party.
Frohes Weihnachtsfest | A Joyous Christmas Celebration
This is yet another phrase used in Germany to wish family and friends a merry Christmas. This phrase translates directly to a happy Christmas party, as the word “Weihnachtsfest” means Christmas party.
Ein frohes und besinnliches Weihnachtsfest | A Merry and Contemplative Christmas
This particular phrase is my favourite, it is a truly German way to wish someone a merry Christmas. The phrase translates to a happy and contemplative Christmas.
Frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch | Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
This phrase is more applicable when wishing someone, you likely won’t see again between Christmas and New Year’s, a merry Christmas, then you wish them both a merry Christmas and happy new year to cover all your bases.
Frohe Weihnachten für Dich und Deine ganze Familie (Colloquial) / Merry Christmas for You and Your Whole Family
This phrase is used when wishing your friend, and their family members a merry Christmas from you and your family. This phrase perfectly captures how important family is during this time of year in Germany. This is the colloquial form of the phrase, below is the formal form.
Frohe Weihnachten für Sie und Ihre ganze Familie (Formal) | Merry Christmas for You and Your Whole Family
This is the formal form of the abovementioned phrase. This phrase can also be used with friends, but is probably more used when wishing someone like your boss and their family a merry Christmas.
Ein frohes Fest | Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays
The phrases below are often used to wish friends and family, who don’t observe religious holidays, a happy holiday season. This phrase is used to mean both season’s greetings and happy holidays.
Frohe Festtage | Happy Holidays
This is another phrase used in Germany to wish friends and family a happy holiday season, who don’t observe religious holidays.
Schöne Feiertage | Happy Holidays
This phrase is also used when wishing someone a happy holiday season. The word “Schöne” translates to lovely in English, so the phrase directly translates to lovely holidays.
Feiert schön (Colloquial) | Have an Awesome Celebration
This phrase is used in a more informal setting, as it is a colloquial form of the phrases above. The words “Feiert schön” directly translates to celebrate beautifully, but it makes more sense to say “have an awesome celebration.”
Below is a video with some more pronunciation guides to the most popular holiday greetings used in Germany:
Christmas Traditions in Germany
There are plenty of Christmas traditions honoured in Germany that are popular with both, locals and tourists. From Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets) to Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread) and Glühwein (Mulled Wine) there are plenty of unique and wonderful traditions to observe during Christmas in Germany. Let’s take a quick look at some of these traditions:
German Christmas markets offer a wide variety of snacks, drinks, ornaments and even clothing for you to buy. Vendors sell beeswax candles, ornaments, wooden toys, Christmas cookies and winterproof clothing items. So if you’re looking for the perfect souvenir to send back to your loved ones at home, this is the place to get it.
Aside from the wonderful items for sale at these markets, the atmosphere is another great quality of these markets, the streets are decorated and illuminated giving off quite a magical and truly festive vibe.
This is a popular drink also sold at Christmas markets, made from red wine, sugar and a variety of spices, this drink is good for keeping you warm while you stroll through the Christmas market in the cold weather.
3. Christmas Decorations
Christmas trees, decorations and ornaments are an absolute must in German households during Christmas time. Christmas trees are decorated in a more minimalistic way, when compared to the way it’s decorated in other countries. There are plenty of ornaments made of glass, and decorated with glitter you can see put up on Christmas trees, some families put chocolates, homemade cookies or homemade ornaments on their trees too. Another decoration that you’ll see in almost every German household is the, Weihnachtsengel (Christmas Angel) most families don’t just have one or two of these, but a whole parade of them lined up every year during Christmas.
Among the Christmas decorations you’ll also find a Räuchermännchen (Little Smoking Man), these are incense smokers, often depicting Santa or a nutcracker. The last decoration of note that you’ll see is the Weihnachtspyramiden (Christmas Pyramids), this decoration consists of a pyramidal outer-frame, containing spots for about four tea candles, and a pyramid-shaped, decorated carousel with a rotor on top. The rotor is driven by the warm air that rises when the candles are lit, thus causing the rotor to start spinning slowly.
4. Christmas Cookies
Weihnachtsplätzchen (Christmas cookies) are another absolute must during Christmas time in Germany. These sweet treats come in different shapes, sizes and flavours. Some families even have their own recipes that are handed down from generation to generation (my family has one!). Another favourite during Christmas is Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread), often sold at supermarkets and Christmas markets, these biscuits are heart- or star-shaped and filled with sweet jam.
FAQs About Merry Christmas in German
The most popular phrase, and probably the one you’ll hear most to wish someone a merry Christmas in German is, Frohe Weihnachten!
This phrase means happy or joyous Christmas and is another way to wish someone a merry Christmas in German.
Christmas day in Germany is called Erster Feiertag which translates to, the first celebration day.
The word for Santa in German is known as Weihnachtsmann.
Say Merry Christmas in German Out Loud and More!
Season’s greetings! I hope that this article has taught you some valuable phrases and vocabulary to use during this coming festive season, as well as some unique German Christmas traditions to experience or even try out at home if you don’t want to travel. If you’re planning to travel to Germany during this festive season, you might want to look at the best ways to learn German, to make your experience more meaningful.
If you’re looking to learn how to say Merry Christmas in French, or how to say Merry Christmas in Spanish, look no further! Go check out AmazingTalker now to start your language-learning journey today.