Merry Christmas in Italian with Happy New Year and More!

merry christmas in italian

Tis the season to be jolly! Christmas is a big celebration in Italy so learning how to say Merry Christmas in Italian is a no-brainer.

The best way to learn Italian is by immersing yourself in the culture, whether you’re dressing a tree in tinsel, standing under the mistletoe, or breaking ciabatta with family so throwing in a few Christmas sayings will make the yuletide all the sweeter. In this article, we will figure out all the ways to say merry Christmas in Italian. You will surely be on Santa’s nice list.

Buon Natale GIF - Buon Natale Buone Feste Minions GIFs merry christmas in italian

Ways to Say Merry Christmas in Italian

Buon Natale / Merry Christmas

This is the most simple and efficient way to say merry Christmas in Italian. It is a direct translation of Merry Christmas in English. Buon is the short form of the word ‘Buono’ which means good while Natale is Italian for Christmas. Natale used to mean birthday but with the Christian recurrence, Natale became the official name for Christmas in Italy. This phrase can be used in several contexts such as exchanging presents, toasting the festive season, and a way to say goodbye to someone during the holidays.

Buon Natale a tutti / Merry Christmas to all

This translates to ‘Merry Christmas to all’. It can be used to send your wishes to groups of people or families. Whether you’ve just walked into an Italian home for the holidays or face timing your nonna with all the cousins in the background, using this phrase works as a catch-all for everyone in the vicinity. This will make you sound more like a pro and will come across as using a bit more extra thought than just Buon Natale.

Buone feste / happy festivities

If merry Christmas in Italian doesn’t fully encapsulate all your well wishes for the holidays then we suggest you go for Buone Feste. Translating to English it means ‘happy festivities’. This is a valuable expression you can hear or find written on Christmas cards that bundle Christmas and New Year into one phrase. It can also be pretty helpful if you are not sure of the religious background of the person you are sending wishes to.

Buone feste a tanti auguri / happy holidays and best wishes

Buone Feste a Tanti Auguri translates to ‘happy holidays and best wishes’. We’ve established that Buone feste means happy holidays. Tanti Auguri means best wishes so by adding those two phrases together we create a phrase that is used as a common way to wish someone a happy Christmas and the holiday season in general. Auguri is a common word in Italian used to send good wishes to someone that hopes for a good outcome. You can also use it in the same way you would say ‘congratulations’ or ‘all the best’.

Auguro a tutti Voi un Natale Sereno / I wish you all a Merry Christmas

If you’re looking for a more complicated, slightly formal phrase to say Merry Christmas in Italian then we would suggest saying Auguro a tutti Voi un Natale Sereno. If you translate it into English it means “I wish you all a Merry Christmas“. Again, this is a slightly more formal phrase; you would see it more written in cards than said out loud. This is perfect if you’re looking for the right phrase to add to your festive season Christmas cards.

Buon Natale Babbo Natale Vigilia Di Natale Regali Gatti GIF - Happy Christmas Santa Claus Christmas Eve GIFs

Buon Anno Nuovo / Happy New Year

So you’ve made it through Christmas and now the end of the year is approaching, what do you say? If you’re looking to bring in the new year in Italy then Buon Anno Nuovo is the phrase to use. A direct translation in English would be ‘Happy New Year’. Simple and to the point. This phrase is pretty self-explanatory but it should be noted that it is not a substitute for any Christmas pleasantries. When the countdown hits zero, scream at midnight while toasting a freshly opened bottle of Prosecco with friends, family, and strangers.

Buon Anno / Have a Good Year

This may seem redundant to Buon Anno Nuovo but there are subtle differences that change the vibe of this saying. Buon anno in English means “good year” as in “Have a Good Year!” This is a very simple way to send your good wishes. If a kind person wishes you a happy new year and you want to say thank you in Italian an appropriate response would be “Grazie, buon anno anche a te!” which translates to “Thank you, happy new year to you too!” another more concise response would be “Grazie, altrettanto!” which simply means “Thank you, same to you!”

Auguri per un felice (2022) / Best wishes for a Happy (2022)

if you want to sound even more happy in Italian This saying evokes a warm feeling that is both joyful and precise. Auguri per un felice translates to “Best wishes for a Happy” if you add on 2022 which is the current year it would mean “Best wishes for a Happy 2022!” of course the celebration for the 2022 new year has passed us so instead for the upcoming new year you would bellow, “Auguri per un felice 2023!” meaning “Best wishes for a Happy 2023!” if you want to be a bit fancy then say “Auguri per un prospero anno nuovo” which translates to “best wishes for a prosperous new year” however no one is going to win points for putting on fancy pants so “Auguri per un felice 2022/2023” is perfectly acceptable and well received.

Source: Pexels (pexels-rodnae-productions-6517753)

Christmas in Italy and Christmas Vocabulary in Italian

Like every culture, some traditions and superstitions surround the holidays and Italy is no different, although that might differ from those to which you might be accustomed. Before we get onto arguably the most important part of Italian culture (food) if you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself in Italy for Christmas,

Christmas traditions have some quirky activities such as the festive season officially starting on December 8 through until January 6. It’s also incredibly common to hear bagpipe music by musicians, known as zampognari. it is traditional for skiers to hit the slopes at midnight on Christmas Day.

It’s traditional to eat a variety of fish dishes instead of meat on Christmas Eve as you are supposed to ‘eat lean’ and purify your body ahead of the holidays. A wide range of desserts is also commonly consumed. Instead of Santa, you can expect a visit from la Befana which translates to ‘the good witch’.

Christmas Cake Dessert GIF by Loison Pasticceri merry christmas in italian

If some of these phrases are unfamiliar to you below is a handy table to layout vocabulary related to Christmas in Italy:

la Befanathe good witch
panettonesweet bread
cepponativity scene
Albero di nataleChristmas tree
Immacolatathe day of the Immaculate Conception
addobbi nataliziChristmas decorations
pranzo di nataleChristmas lunch
Babbo NataleSanta Claus

FAQs for Merry Christmas in Italian

How do you wish Merry Christmas in Italian?

Generally, Christmas greetings are sent a few days before Christmas but The most common way to wish somebody Merry Christmas is Buon Natale, but there are many other expressions you can use to share the love. “Ti auguro un dolce e sereno Natale” means “I wish you a sweet and peaceful Christmas.” If you’re sending your wishes to multiple people you can use “Tantissimi Auguri di Buone Feste a te e alla tua famiglia” which means “Best wishes for the festive season to you and your family.” If you are unable to make it to Italy you can send “Anche se siamo lontani, il mio pensiero ti è sempre vicino. Tanti cari Auguri” which means “Even if we are far away, my thoughts are always with you. Best wishes.”

How do you respond to Buon Natale?

Did someone wish you a Buon Natale? That’s fantastic! It’s appropriate to respond “Grazie, Buon Natale a te!” which aptly means “Thank you, Merry Christmas to you too!” a different but similar way to respond would be “Grazie, altrettanto, buone feste!” meaning “Thank you to you too, happy holidays!” and very simply you can also reply “Buon Natale” if someone wishes you.

What do they call Christmas in Italy?

Christmas is a big celebration in Italy. We’ve established that Buon Natale means merry Christmas which means the Italian translation for Christmas is Natale. Originally meaning ‘day of birth’. Its origin had nothing to do with Christmas but rather birthdays but Natale quickly became the official name for Christmas in Italy thanks to the growing Christian recurrence that happened in Italy.

Wish Your Friends Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Italian!

And a partridge in a pear tree! Bravo! Put on your best skis and sled down into a seafood festival because you’re ready to spend Christmas in Italy. If you’re into globetrotting, learn how to say Merry Christmas in Portuguese or Merry Christmas in French, hop on a plane and in an hour you could be celebrating Christmas at the Eiffel tower. Why stop there? Learn Merry Christmas in Spanish, heck why don’t you learn how to say Merry Christmas in German while you’re at it!

To recap Buon Natale and Buon Anno Nuovo are perfect ways to vocalize your good wishes for Christmas and New Year respectively during the holidays. Improving your language skills with the guidance of a professional tutor accelerates your abilities tenfold. Over 2 million students would agree that AmazingTalker is the gift that keeps on giving.

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