25 Ways to Say Happy Birthday in Spanish: “Felicidades” & More!

Wishing a latino friend or family member a happy birthday in Spanish is the best way to communicate that you care about their wellbeing and happiness. Spanish speakers all around the world have found equally as fantastical and meaningful ways to wish loved ones a happy birthday. One of the most common ones we’ll review today is one you’re probably already familiar with “feliz cumpleaños”, the direct translation of which would be “happy birthday”.

This article will take a look at the birthday celebratory traditions of one of the world’s happiest and most jovial cultures, and the different ways to say happy birthday in Spanish! 

Happy Birthday in Spanish

The most common ways to say happy birthday in Spanish, are:

¡Feliz cumpleaños! 

This is the most common way to say happy birthday, and literally translates to “happy birthday”.

¡Felicidades!

Felicidades literally means congratulations. It’s used as a more emotional way to say happy birthday. 

¡Feliz cumpleaños a ti!

This can be translated as “happy birthday to you”, which is often used when singing the Happy Birthday song. 

Felicitaciones

Felicitaciones, which can be translated as greetings, is a more formal way of saying “felicidades”.

Source: Pexels

Common Ways to Say Happy Birthday in Spanish

Felicidades

SpanishEnglish
¡Felicidades en tu día!Congratulation on your day!
¡Feliz cumpleaños atrasado!Belated happy birthday!
¡Feliz cumpleaños, amigo!Happy Birthday my friend!
Feliz cumpleHappy Birthday (informal version)
¡Feliz aniversario!Happy anniversary!

Well Wishes

SpanishEnglish
¡Qué tengas un cumpleaños fabuloso!Have a fabulous birthday!
¡Qué todos tus deseos se hagan realidad!May all your wishes come true!
¡Te deseo un maravilloso cumpleaños!I hope you have a fantastic day and a fantastic year to come.
Espero que tengas un día fantástico y un año fantástico por venir.Happy Birthday (informal version)
¡Te deseo que tengas el cumpleaños más feliz de todos!I wish you to have the happiest birthday ever!
Deseándote un día tan especial como el tuyo.Wishing you a day that is as special as you are.
¡Qué tu cumpleaños esté lleno de risas!May your birthday be filled with laughter!
Te deseo todo lo mejor en tu día especial.I wish you all the best on your special day.
Espero que tengas un cumpleaños maravillosoI hope you have a wonderful birthday.

Toasting to the Birthday Pal!

SpanishEnglish
¡Hagamos un brindis por ti, mi querido amigo!Let’s raise a toast to you, my dear friend!
¡Por tu felicidad!To your happiness!
¡Te quiero! ¡Feliz cumpleaños!I Love you! Happy Birthday!
¡Qué tengas un dia especial!Have a special day!
¡Feliz cumpleaños, amigo!Happy Birthday my friend!
¡Qué cumplas muchos más!I hope you have many more.
Source: Pexels

Common Birthday Vocabulary In Spanish

Here are common birthday Spanish words that will be useful at your next birthday party!

SpanishEnglish
CumpleañosBirthday
Fiesta de cumpleañosBirthday Party
RegaloPresent/gift
PastelCake
VelasCandles
GlobosBallons
Tarjeta de cumpleañosBirthday Card
DeseosWishes
BrindisCheers
Cumpleañero Birthday boy
CumpleañeraBirthday girl

Writing a Birthday Card in Spanish

Craft a heartfelt birthday message for your loved ones using the example below:

Querida Amiga, (Dear Friend)

¡Feliz cumpleaños a ti! (Happy birthday to you!)

Que cumplas muchos más viajes alrededor del sol y que todos tus deseos se hagan realidad. (I hope you have more great birthdays, and that your wishes come true!)

Te quiero, (I love you)

Ana

Source: Pexels

Latin American vs Spanish Culture Birthday Traditions

As stated previously, many cultures worldwide have birthday traditions that are quite similar, however part of what makes us so interesting as a species are the various and distinct differences between our cultures. Some of these differences are born from historical events, some from superstitions and others from amalgamations of the two, understanding where these traditions stem from means taking a deeper look into the complex and interesting history of these regions and countries.

Celebrating Birthdays in Latin America

  • For many usually, the birthday spectacle begins in the early hours of the morning with what is known as the morning serenade or “Las Mañanitas”. Although many Spaniards stick to the well known “Feliz Cumpleaños”, Latin Americans usually sing “Las Mañanitas” or have it performed by a mariachi band in the early hours of the morning as well as during the cake cutting portion of the celebration.
  • The smacking of a piñata with a stick is another important event. Originally holding deep religious significance for both Spaniards and Mexicans, today the hitting of the piñata with the designated stick has become more synonymous with Mexican celebratory culture. However, both cultures still embrace this oldest of traditions by battering the piñata with the assigned stick, signalling that love destroys all sin with the candy raining out symbolising the start of a new beginning for the birthday boy or girl.
  • Food plays an important role in many cultures, in Latin American culture its birthday based calling card is the Tres Leches cake, with its history rooted in England the cake has since been adopted by Latin Americans worldwide as the official birthday cake of its nation.

Celebrating Birthdays in Spain 

  • In Spain as well as Mexico birthdays are considered days of love to be spent with those closest to you so the aim might not be to have a huge party as one would expect. Actually, there is more importance placed on the time spent with friends and loved ones and sharing this love, conversation and as well as generally having a good time together.
  • Often another way of showing appreciation is the giving of gifts, however in the Spanish culture thoughtfulness is the order of the day, and less so the monetary value of the gift. Usually, the more personal a gift is the more appreciated it is.
  • Most people take out their friends or family to eat, for their birthday. But in Spain, the birthday girl or boy has to pay for the cost related to their big day. If a Spanish birthday celebrations takes place in a restaurant, then the birthday girl or boy has the honor of paying for their guests. 

Shared Traditions:

  • Although both Spanish cultures have traditions that are specific to their regions are also many that are celebrated across the board, one of these include the tradition of the Quinceañera, this is a party thrown to signify the coming of age for the birthday boy/girl. A significant tradition, this celebration occurs once the child in question turns 15. This party generally begins with a religious ceremony in a church and ends in a banquet hall in a huge celebration with friends, family and plenty of food.
  • Another shared tradition is the completion of the la mordida ritual. Usually, the birthday boy/girl has their hands tied or held behind their back while their face is shoved into a tres leches as the family chants “Mordida! Mordida!” while they take the first bite of the birthday cake.
Source: Pexels

How to Sing Happy Birthday in Spanish

SpanishEnglish
Spain
“Feliz Cumpleaños (x2) 
Te deseamos todos Cumpleaños feliz ¿Cuántos años tienes? 
¿Qué? ¿Qué? ¿Qué? ¿Qué?”
Spain
“Happy birthday (x2)
We all wish you happy birthday how old are you?
What? What? What? What?”
Latin America
Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David, 
Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,
Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció, 
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió. 
Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte, 
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte, 
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio, 
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.”
Latin America
This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint’s
day we’re singing it for you
wake up, my dear, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set.
How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you all came here with joy and pleasure to congratulate you morning is coming now,
the sun is giving us its light get up in the morning,
Look it is already dawn.

Listo Para Celebrar? – Ready to Celebrate?

Being able to celebrate a birthday with a loved one is something we could all appreciate a lot more. Through this deep dive into Spanish and Latin American cultures and traditions we hope that you’ve learned a few more thoughtful and meaningful ways to convey your sincere feelings to the people in your life. The Spanish language offers speakers boundless methods to express themselves in a deeper way. Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the traditions that make Spanish and Latin American celebrations so special and has interested you in learning more about the cultures, people and languages celebrated under this umbrella of warmth and love. Connect with Spanish tutors at AmazingTalker 

If you’ve enjoyed this post, make sure to check out others we’ve posted like: Happy birthday in Korean or the Zodiac signs in Spanish!

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