10 Japanese Phrases for Holidays, Christmas, New Years

Hello Junkie!

How would you say Merry Christmas in Japanese?

Or have a Happy New Year in Japanese?

Read this ’til the end. This will take you 3 minutes!

In the spirit of the season, you’re going to learn the Top 10 Japanese Holiday Phrases! Yes, that includes Christmas, the New Year, Kwanzaa AND Happy Hanukkah in Japanese. It’s not too hard either. You’ll need these phrases for the Holiday season if you’re a Japanese learner.

These come with:

  • Romanization or Romaji versions
  • Meanings, Translations and Explanations

1. Merry Christmas in Japanese – メリークリスマス!

This is an easy one. You’ll find (if you listen to the audio above) that the pronunciation is VERY CLOSE to English.

  • Meri- kurisumasu!


You should also listen and hear real Japanese – Press play below. Try this free Free Audio Lesson form JapanesePod101.com (click here to visit). You will hear the pronunciation for all of the Japanese holiday greetings.


Now that you know how to say Merry Christmas in Japanese, here’s another good Christmas phrase for you to know. Well, especially for the guys!

  • I want a girlfriend by Christmas!
    • クリスマスまでには彼女つくらなきゃな!
    • Kurisumasu made ni ha kanojo tsukuranakya!

merry christmas in japanese

2. Happy Kwanzaa! クワンザおめでとう!

  • Kuwanza omedetou!


3. Have a happy New Year! (before the year ends) 良いお年を。

  • よいおとしを。
  • Yoi o toshi o.

This is a very common way Japanese people wish others a Happy New Year before the New Year begins. That’s right. You can only say this before the clock strikes January 1st, 12:00AM.

That means there’s a second way to say “Happy New Year” in Japanese, right after it becomes a new year.


4. Have a happy New Year! (after the new year begins) 明けましておめでとう!

  • あけましておめでとう!
  • Akemashite omedetou!

The first word comes from the verb, 明ける (akeru – to open), so you’re essentially congratulating them the opening of the New Year. And thus, this is used when the New Year begins, to wish people to have a great new year.

  • Bonus Slang: You can say あけおめ or Ake-ome amongst your friends as this is more of a casual/slangy way to use this phrase.


5. Happy Hanukkah! ハヌーカおめでとう!

Want to know how to write and say Happy Hanukkah in Japanese? Here you go.

  • Hanu-ka omedetou!


6. Have a great winter vacation! 良い冬休みを!

  • いいふゆやすみを!
  • Ii fuyu yasumi wo!


7. See you next year! また来年!

  • またらいねん!
  • Mata rainen!


8. Happy holidays! 良い休暇を!

  • いいきゅうかを!
  • Ii kyuuka wo!


9. Enjoy the holidays! 休暇を楽しんでね!

  • きゅうかをたのしんでね!
  • Kyuuka wo tanoshinde ne!


10. Best wishes for the new year! 新年が良い年でありますように。

  • しんねんがよいとしでありあすように。
  • Shinnen ga yoi toshi de arimasu you ni.


Now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Japanese. And, you also know other holiday greetings like how to say Happy New Year in Japanese.

Note: This lesson comes from JapanesePod101.com – where you can learn Japanese online with lessons and apps.

Be sure to share these when the time comes! Learning holiday greetings in Japanese is pretty important and these simple phrases are a quick way to simply know more Japanese.

What do you think?

Did I miss any phrases? Leave a comment below!

– The Main Junkie

P.S. I highly recommend this for Japanese learners. If you REALLY want to learn Japanese with effective lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning!– The Main Junkie


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The topic partical (は) should use the romaji: “wa”. Otherwise, very helpful.