Aug 16, 2019

Birthday greetings around the world

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A birthday is a special day each year. But it need not be the only special day. Every year people around the world come together to celebrate the birthdays of those they know and care about. When they're unable to express their best wishes in person, they send a birthday greeting.

From family and friends to business associates, everyone enjoys receiving personalized birthday greetings. Birthday wishes traditionally take the form of greeting cards or more modern forms of communication, such as text messages and emails. Birthday cards are especially important in German- and English-speaking countries.   

Here, the standard greetings are a must when wishing someone a happy birthday: 

"Happy Birthday!" or "Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!"

The English birthday greeting, "Happy Birthday", is known internationally. Even birthday wishes in Spanish ("feliz cumpleaños") and French ("joyeux anniversaire") are quite well known. But what about other, more exotic languages? 

How do you say "Happy Birthday" in Hindi, Korean or Chinese? 

To make birthday cards and message a bit more personal, birthday wishes can be expressed in the native language of the birthday boy or girl. Not only is this creative, but it also gives the message a personal touch which the recipient is guaranteed to appreciate. Especially if the language that is not very common. 

International birthday wishes in over 60 languages! 

Birthdays around the world.  

How to say Happy Birthday in different languages: 

Albanian - gëzuar ditëlindjen 

Arabic - aid milad said 

Armenian - tsnounde shnorhavor 

Azerbaijani - ad gununuz mubarek 

Basque - zorionak zuri 

Belorussian - З днём нараджэння (Z dniom naradzhennia) 

Bengalese - subho janmadin 

Bosnian - sretan rođendan 

Bulgarian - честит рожден ден 

Burmese - mwe nay mingalar pa 

Catalan - feliç aniversari 

Chinese (Cantonese) - sang yut fai lok 

Chinese (Mandarin) - sheng ri kuai le

Corsican - felice anniversariu 

Croatian - sretan rodjendan 

Czech - všechno nejlepši 

Danish - tillykke med fødselsdagen 

Dutch - gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag / gelukkige verjaardag 

English - Happy birthday 

Estonian - palju õnne sünnipäevaks 

Finnish - hyvää syntymäpäivää 

Flemish - gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag 

French - joyeux anniversaire 

Friesian - lokwinske mei dyn jirdei 

German- Alles Gute zum Geburtstag oder Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag  

Greek - na ta ekatostisis / chronia polla / xronia polla 

Haitian - jwayé zanivèsè / bon anivèsè 

Hawaian - hau'oli la hanau 

Hebrew - yom huledet sameakh 

Hindi - janamdin mubarak ho 

Hungarian - boldog születésnapot kívánok 

Icelandic - til hamingju með afmælið 

Indonesian - selamat ulang tahun 

Irish - lá Breithe shona dhuit 

Italian - buon compleanno 

Japanese - o tanjôbi omedetô (gozaimasu) (etwas förmlische mit "gozaimasu") 

Korean - saeng-eel-chook-hah-hahm-nee-dah 

Kurdish - rojbuna te piroz be 

Laotian - souksaan van kheud 

Latin - felix dies natalis / felix sit natalis dies 

Latvian - apsveicu dzimšanas dienā 

Lithuanian - su gimtadieniu 

Luxembourgish - E schéine Gebuertsdag 

Macedonian - sreken rodenden 

Maltese - xewqat sbieħ għal għeluq sninek 

Maori- ra whanau koa 

Mongolian - tursun udriin bayar hurgeye (Tєрсєн єдрийн баяр хvргэе) 

Norwegian - gratulerer med dagen gratulerer med fødselsdagen 

Persian - tavallodet mobârak 

Polish - wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji urodzin 

Portugese - feliz aniversário / parabéns 

Romanian - la mulţi ani 

Russian - С днем рождения (S dniom rojdeniya) 

Samoan - ia manuia le aso fanau 

Sardinian - bonos annos (logudorese) / bonus annus (campidanese) 

Scottish - co-latha breith sona dhuibh 

Serbian - srecan rodjendan 

Slovak - veselé narodeniny / všetko najlepšie k narodeninám 

Slovenian - vse najboljše 

Spanish - feliz cumpleaños 

Swahili - kumbukumbu njema [nndjema] / pongezi kwa siku ya kuzaliwa 

Swedish - grattis på födelsedagen 

Swiss (German)- Vöu Glöck zom Gebortstag 

Tagalog - maligayang kaarawan 

Tahitian - ia ora te mahana fanaura'a 

Thai - สุขสันต์วันเกิด (souksaan wankeud) 

Turkish - dogum gunun kutlu olsun / nice yillara / iyiki dogdun 

Udmurt - vordiśkem nunalenyd 

Ukrainian -  днем народження (Z dnem narodzhennya) 

Uzbek - tug'ilgan kuningiz muborak bo'lsin 

Vietnamese - chúc mừng sinh nhật 

Welsh - penblwydd hapus

To keep you from having to search for birthday greetings in different languages each year, we've put together a downloadable PDF which lists greetings in every language. Simply click the link below to save the PDF to your computer for all your international birthday needs.

Business birthday greetings — nurturing relationships in business

Whether for CRM (customer relationship management) or for professional relationships, birthday greetings are a much-loved and effective way to maintain and strengthen relationships with business partners,  colleagues and customers. 

Combining birthday wishes with a few personal words of your own goes a long way to showing the recipient that you care and has the added positive effect of fortifying your business relationship. And thanks to greeting cards and emails, this small-yet-powerful gesture is both easy and inexpensive to make. And sending birthday messages in the native language of the recipient is a guaranteed way to get someone's attention and ensure they remember you.  

Birthday Traditions around the Globe — How the World Celebrates:

Everything from gift giving,  birthday wishes and birthday songs to eating and drinking together are done differently around the world. And some birthday traditions can only be found in specific countries or regions.   

The information below provides an interesting glimpse into the birthday customs in different countries and the cultural differences between how people celebrate around the globe. You might even find an idea or two to help jazz up an upcoming birthday celebration or put a special smile on the birthday boy or girl's face. A great way to do this is to incorporate common birthday traditions from the person's home country into your celebrations.

Denmark and Norway wave flags on their birthdays! 

In these Scandinavian countries, the national flags are hoisted out front when it's someone's birthday. In Denmark, gifts are also placed around the bed of the birthday boy or girl. In Norway, schoolchildren dance in school on their birthday while their classmates sing.

Flowers in Russia 

Russian girls are traditionally given flowers on their birthday. If it's a man's birthday, it is customary to present flowers to his mother. The 40th birthday is not usually celebrated in Russia, since it is believed to bring bad luck.  

Colorful paper-maché and candy: the piñata! 

In Mexico and Latin America, the piñata is a must at all birthdays. These paper maché figures are filled with sweets and fruit. While blindfolded, the birthday child attempts to strike the animal or comic-book hero-shaped piñata, which is hung from a branch or beam, until the sweets inside fall out. In Mexico,Uruguay,and Argentina, girls' 15th birthdays are honored with the "Quinceañera", which celebrates the transition from girlhood to womanhood. 

Long ears bring good luck! 

A birthday tradition in Brazil is to pull the person's ears once for every year they are turning. InHungary and Russia, too, the ears are pulled upwards, which is meant to help the person grow. This tradition was especially widespread among earlier generations. 


Birthday traditions in the English-speaking world

One beloved birthday custom is a cake with candles marking the age of the birthday child. The birthday child must blow out the candles and make a wish. This birthday tradition is also widespread in Germany and in other parts of Europe. There is, however, a difference: English birthday cakes contain a  charm which brings good luck to the person that finds it in their mouth. Americans let their children destroy the cake at "cake smash parties" while in South Africa, the birthday boy or girl is given a symbolic key on their 21st birthday, which is supposed to open the door to a responsible future. 

The longer the noodle, the longer the life! 

Birthday traditions in Asia vary from country to country. In Vietnam, all birthdays are celebrated together on New Year's Day. There are no individual celebrations on specific birth dates. In China, noodles are essential on birthdays and promise a long and fulfilling life. So-called "Long Life Noodles" are traditionally eaten on birthdays. 

Whatever custom is used to celebrate someone's birthday, the most important thing is to make the day truly special. 

Surprisingly, however, birthday parties are not a very old practice: 

Common folk began celebrating birthdays in the 19th century. Before that, birthday celebrations were reserved for the nobility, especially for kings and lords. Luckily, that's now changed. Today, most people know when and where they were born and can celebrate their birthday properly. 

The most important birthday in Christendomis Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ. Click here to find international Christmas greetings in every language.

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