What are you doing on New Year’s Eve? Eating 12 grapes, counting down with a sparkly disco ball, yelling “Rabbit, rabbit!” or something else entirely? Every culture has a unique tradition to welcome in the new year, from what they do to what they say.
For example, in Brazilian Portuguese, the celebration is known as “Réveillon” (yes, that’s French!). Brazillians usually wear all white clothing and some even head to the beach at midnight, where they might throw flowers into the ocean or skip the first seven waves with their right foot for good luck. In Czech, each day on the calendar corresponds to a saint’s name, so people celebrate both their birthday and their name day. December 31st is the feast of Saint Silvestr—so in Czech, you’d wish someone a Happy Sylvester! In German, most people wish each other a “good slide” into the new year on the days leading up to January 1 by saying, “Guten Rutsch (ins neue Jahr).” And that’s just the beginning!
If you want to surprise your friends and family at midnight with a fancy, multilingual toast, we’ve asked everyone from our teaching experts to our multilingual coworkers how to say “Happy New Year,” in 16 different languages!
How to say “Happy New Year” across the globe
|Language||New Year’s Toast||Translation|
|Arabic||!عام سعيد||Happy New Year!|
|Chinese||新年快乐 (formal) or 新年好 (informal)||Happy New Year!|
|Czech||Veselý Silvestr||Happy Sylvester!|
|French||Bonne Année||Happy New Year!|
|Gaelic||Bliadhna Mhath Ùr||A good New Year.|
|German||Frohes neues Jahr||Happy New Year.|
|Hindi||नव वर्ष की शुभकामनाएँ||Have a blessed new year.|
|Italian||Buon anno!||Happy New Year!|
|Japanese||明けましておめでとう!||Happy New Year!|
|Korean||새해 복 많이 받으세요||May you have good fortune in the new year.|
|Portuguese||Feliz Ano Novo!||Happy New Year!|
|Romanian||Un An Nou fericit!||A happy new year!|
|Russian||С Новым Годом! С новым счастьем!||Congratulations on the New Year! Congratulations on new happiness!|
|Spanish||¡Feliz Año Nuevo!||Happy New Year!|
|Swahili||Heri njema ya mwaka mpyaa||Happy New Year!|
|Swedish||Gott Nytt År!||Happy New Year!|
Of course, there are thousands more New Year greetings and traditions across the globe, not to mention the regional differences and unique family traditions! Share with us on social @Duolingo and let us know how you plan to ring in 2022!