Italian Holiday Words to put you in the Christmas Spirit

It’s that time of year when salespeople and signposts scream “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” from every street corner, crook and cranny throughout the US. Here in Italy, we have our own holidays greetings and soon enough they’ll be strung across our streets and whispered among friends.

If you want to get into the Italian holiday season, here are five fun, easy-to-remember (and pronounce!) Italian words to add to your holiday greetings list.

1. Buon Natale (Pronounced: Bwohn Nah-TAH-lay)
Literally: Good Christmas, but used in Italy in place of Merry Christmas!

2. Buone Feste (Pronounced: Bwohn-ay Fest-ay)
Again with the “buon,” meaning “good,” this greeting is more general and means Happy Holidays!

3. Auguri (Pronounced: Ow-GOO-ree)
You may have heard this one before as it is used to express Wishes! to people for everything from holidays, such as Christmas or Easter, to personal birthdays and Saint Days and even celebrations, such as a wedding, graduation or the birth of a child.

4. Buon Capodanno (Pronounced: Bwohn Kah-poh-DAHN-noh)
Buon Capodanno literally means good “good head of the year,” but refers to New Year’s Day and thus, means Happy New Year!

5. Auguri di un Buon Anno (Pronounced: Ow-GOO-ree dee oon bwoh-NAHN-noh)
Think you can put this one together? Auguri … meaning “wishes,” Buon … meaning “good,” and Anno, meaning “year,” this expression means Wishes for a Good Year and is another way to say Happy New Year!

What are some of your favorite Italian Holiday greetings? Be sure to come back next week when I list my five favorite Christmas / Holiday words.

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Photo: work4net

4 Responses
  1. Roseann

    I learned ‘Auguri’ about 5 years ago spending that Christmas in Roma.

    I use it all the time and it always seems to delightfully surprise any native Italian I’m speaking to.

    I love it, too. Of course, I’ll about multi-tasking and no Italian word does that quite like “auguri!”

  2. I’ve not YET been fortunate enough to spend the Christmas holidays in Italy, but have used the above words on cards to friends & relatives. Along with those I usually add un abbraccio forte (a big hug). And, I guess it’s the American in me, but I tend to super-size auguri into auguroni a lot 🙂

    Buon Natale e Buon Capodanno a voi!

    There’s nothing wrong with a little super-sizing. I LOVE how easy it is to do in Italian!

  3. Imani

    My favorite word, any time of the year, is “mangia!” Heartfelt thoughts of you, Peppe, and baby-yet-to-be-born during these holidays! Buone feste. 🙂

    Imani and Alby

    Grazie tanto, Imani!

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