Romanian language lesson: Christmas and New Year’s greetings

The phrase “Sărbători fericite” (“Happy Holidays”) is used as a generic greeting for the winter holidays.


Christmas greetings




Crăciun (plural: Crăciunuri)

Merry Christmas!

Crăciun fericit!

Christmas eve

Ajunul Crăciunului

“Crăciun” is considered a neutral word in Romanian.

Christmas is the Feast of the Nativity and is celebrated on December 25th.

On Christmas, the most common greeting is:

“Crăciun fericit!” (“Merry Christmas!”)

The word etymology is one of the most discussed etymologies of Romanian language.

Some controversial etimologies have been proposed for this word: lat. “creatio,-onis”, lat. “calationem” or lat. “incarnationem”.

The same word appears in other languages that have been in contact with the Romanian language: Kračon (Bulgarian), Kračun (Serbian), Koročjun (Russian).

“Crăciun” can also be a family name in Romanian.

The Romanian name for Santa Claus is “Moș Crăciun” (“moș” means “old man”).

“Christmas eve” is “Ajunul Crăciunului” and refers to the evening or the entire day that precedes the Cristmas (i.e. 24th of December).

New Year’s greetings



New Year

Anul Nou

New Year’s Eve

Ajunul Anului Nou

Happy New Year

Un An Nou Fericit / La mulți ani

The phrase “La mulți ani” is used in the month of January when we meet our friends / colleagues for the first time in the new year. “La mulți ani!” is also used for “Happy Birthday!”.


Ciorănescu, Alexandru, “Dicționarul etimologic al limbii române”, editura Saeculum I.O., 2005, București

Mona Pologea, PhD. Linguist, ROLANG School Managing Director

Romania Insider
Free Newsletters

Be up to speed with what’s happening in Romania! Choose from our 7 newsletters, covering the entire array of business, social, politics, and entertainment news

Subscribe now