If you’re planning to spend the Winter holidays in Romania and want to impress locals with your knowledge of the language (swearing doesn’t count!), you might want to know how to say Merry Christmas in Romanian, or maybe how to wish somebody a Happy New Year.

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about all these winter-greetings and you’ll quickly improve your knowledge of the Romanian language. We did a similar article in the past when I taught you how to say I love you in Romanian and hopefully you haven’t forgotten since!

So, getting to today’s topic, let’s learn some winter greetings and other holiday-related words in Romanian!

How to say “Merry Christmas” in Romanian

Craciun Fericit! A tongue twister for most foreigners, but don’t worry about getting it perfectly. Romanians will appreciate you trying and still understand what you’re saying.

If somebody wishes you “Craciun Fericit” and you want to say “Merry Christmas to you too”, that would be: Craciun fericit si tie! (although just “Craciun Fericit” would work as well)

How to say “Happy new Year” in Romanian

This one’s easier: Un an nou fericit! (Is it really easier?) You can also follow it with a greeting that’s normally used during one’s birthday: La multi ani! (which basically means “live many years”!).

So if you want to really impress, you can say: Un an nou fericit si la multi ani! The same goes if you want to go for another tongue twisting swirl.

Here are some more winter and holiday-related words in Romanian:

snow: zapada
It’s snowing: ninge
Santa Claus: Mos Craciun
Mulled Wine: Vin fiert (can’t have a winter without it)
I’m getting tipsy: Ma ametesc (just in case)
I’m cold: Imi este frig
I’m happy: Sunt fericit
Christmas: Craciun (I’m sure you had this figured out already)
I love Christmas: Iubesc Craciunul
Christmas carols: Colinde de Craciun
Happy Holidays: Sarbatori fericite
Christmas tree: Brad de Craciun

And this would be it in terms of Christmasy-words. Did I miss any? Let me know in the comment section below and I’ll gladly translate them for you.

And, of course, Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year! Yes, Romania is not yet part of the “politically correct” revolution and we wish everybody a merry Christmas, not happy winter holidays or anything like that.

When it comes to Christmas in Romania, if you want more than greetings, you should know that it is customary to offer gifts to your loved ones. Santa Claus usually arrives on the 24th (before kids go to bed), but in some cases, if the family accepts it, the gifts can be found on the 25th in the morning, under the Christmas tree.

We don’t have the tradition of giving Christmas cards (although nobody is upset if they receive one), nor to leave milk and cookies for Santa. Also, the Christmas stockings are not a tradition here in Romania, so expect most gifts to come in boxes or bags and the stockings to be found… nowhere.

All in all, it doesn’t really matter how you celebrate Christmas and enjoy the winter holidays. It’s easy to adapt and most important is, in my opinion, to welcome them all with an open heart.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Calin, you sound very upbeat and festive for the holidays. Hope you and your family have a wonderful season. Craciun Fericit si un an nou fericit!

    (How’d I do?)

  2. Been hitting the vin fiert a little early, have we? Le doresc tuturor Craciun fericit, un an nou fericit si la multi ani!

    – Santa Claus: Mos Craciun – Yep, that’s what I told everyone who wanted a hand-out: “Nu sunt Mos Craciun!” – I’m not Santa Claus!

    • Haha, just saw that I wrote “mullet wine” instead of “mulled wine”. Oh, well… these things happen :))

      And nice approach with the “I’m not Santa” thing. Still has to be used, unfortunately.

  3. Calin:
    ¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo!
    Curious about malls in Romania… Are they becoming dinosaurs
    as they are in the USA? So many are closed or closing. I guess
    it’s the “Amazon effect.”
    Best,
    ~Teil

    • Hello Teil,

      I had no idea that malls are starting to close in the US. Here, they’re just getting started and new impressive ones are just opening in the major cities. In mine, we only have one relatively small mall and it’s doing really well.

      Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you too!

    • Craciun fericit, Teil!
      I’m willing give you my limited observations regarding the malls: Here in Brasov there is a rather new, large and robust mall in the Tractorul area. This one is full of modern fashion stores, a movie theater, food court, huge grocery store, and seems to be a center for many community events. There are a couple of other malls that are older and not quite up to the same standards, but don’t seem to suffer from the “Amazon Effect” so much as that it’s hard for them to compete with the newer one in Tractorul. I’ve also gone a few times to a HUGE mall in Bucharest. This one would be worthy of writing home about! It is several stories tall filled with the newest, most ostentatious, and, dare I say, expensive merchandise Romania has to offer. On the roof of this mall are restaurants and bars, is landscaped like a park and offers a splendid view of the city. This place is thriving! My personal opinion for what may be a big factor regarding the success of these retail locations is that they offer a plethora of parking, which throughout most of the country seems to be at a premium. I think many Romanians seem to embrace their ability to enjoy the nicer things that Europe and the US take for granted. Also, I’m not sure the average Romanian has fully embraced the concept of online purchasing. It’s done, but many here seem pretty skeptical of newer ways. So, I believe that malls are still viable in this country. I’m sure Calin can offer an even more accurate impression, but this is how it appears to this newby expat.

      • Hello Jim,
        Thank you for your response! The same
        good wishes to you!
        I am glad you are enjoying your new home.
        I am still hoping to make a move, too.
        (Looking at Oradea.)
        I’ll be over 62, so I am hoping there’s another
        way besides setting up a company. (I am
        a terrible businessman!;-))
        Take care!
        ~Teil (USA)

        • Just ahead of you, I’m currently 62. Teil. Nobody says you have to be a good businessman! 😉 I got to move here because my wife is Romanian. Even then, there was a complicated ordeal to obtain my Permis De Sedere. We succeeded, however, and now I get to relax and enjoy this beautiful country. Good luck and keep following your dream.

      • I agree with everything you said, Jim! Malls are still relatively new in Romania and even though online shopping is booming here as well, it will take many years before malls are no longer preferred as they are main meeting spots for many people.

  4. Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!
    Love this language lesson! I did come here looking for “Happy Holidays” as that is my favorite saying to everyone because it is all encompassing :-). I hope you and the family have a wonderful one and that the new year is even better for all of us!

    • Ah, I really forgot about that one, right? I’ll add it right away, but the generic thing (similar to “Happy Holidays” is Sarbatori fericite).

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too, Kemkem!

  5. Craciun Fericit si un an nou fericit, C!

    I’ve just found your wonderful blog recently, and it has helped me learn a lot about Romania. Thank you!

    I have this dream of celebrating Christmas in Europe where people really do Christmas (I’m from Thailand, you see.) and now I’m thinking about doing that in Romania. Would it be worth fighting with the cold and snow and everything?

    We don’t have proper winter here and people start shivering at 20c degree so when I read somewhere on the internet that your winter is around 2c or lower degree I couldn’t even imagine how cold would that be. I’ve travelled around quite a bit but the coldest I have ever been was about 9c degree only. How would you dress to get warm and don’t stand out or look like a tourist?

    Happy new year to you and your family! I’m looking forward to your next entry

    • Hello Anne,

      Thank you for the nice wishes! Happy New Year!

      Regarding your questions, I have to say that until today, it was uncommonly warm and in many places in Romania (like my city near the Danube), it didn’t snow yet. But there were days with temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius, so definitely cold by your standards (and mine, to be honest). But if you want snow and go to a mountain resort for example, you will have plenty of that and cold weather too.

      Regarding what to wear, you will definitely have to buy dedicated clothes for the occasion, including a solid jacket and winter pants and most likely a hat and scarf to put around your neck. You will have to dress in layers – if it somehow gets too hot, you can take one or more down – for example, when you get inside a restaurant or something, where it is much warmer than inside. Supermarkets for example keep a temperature inside of over 20 degrees, and it’s quite a shock when you get in, wearing tons of clothes 🙂

      You won’t stand out – this is how people dress for the winter and even though you will undoubtedly see some brave ones sporting a thin jacket and sneakers, many others will look like they came from a Polar expedition. Each person feels the cold differently (I overdress, for example, because I don’t like it), so it wouldn’t be a problem. Just make the plans in advance and take the leap. The worst that can happen is you needing a bit more clothes than you anticipated 🙂

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