merry christmas in italian lesson

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year in Italian: Key Holiday Phrases to Know around Natale

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For many Italians and Italian-Americans, the Christmas season is full of cherished traditions, delicious food, and meaningful time with loved ones. As you prepare to celebrate with your Italian friends or plan to spend Christmas in Italy, it’s nice to learn a little bit of the language so you can wish others Buon Natale (Merry Christmas) and Felice Anno Nuovo (Happy New Year in Italian). 

The Italian language has many beautiful ways to convey warm holiday greetings for Christmas and the start of a prosperous new year. In this article, you’ll learn key Italian Christmas phrases to use in conversation, on holiday cards, in text messages, and more. Discover how to wish an Italian Buone Feste (Happy Holidays), pronounce Natale (Christmas) correctly, and understand what Buon Natale means. 

We’ll also look at different messages to write in an Italian Christmas card and different ways to say Merry Christmas in Italian, each one with its correct pronunciation.

With this guide, you’ll be able to spread joy this Christmas season by sharing holiday messages in Italian with your family, friends, coworkers, and anyone else you want to impress with your knowledge of Italian greetings. Get ready to explore many festive ways to say Buon Natale in Italian.


how to say merry Christmas in Italian

How to Say Merry Christmas in Italian

Let’s start by looking at the simplest way Italians say “Merry Christmas”. Don’t worry you’ll learn different ways to wish someone Buon Natale later on in this article.

How Do You Say Christmas in Italian

First of all, we must learn what’s Christmas in Italian. It’s a word you’ll use a lot this time of the year. 

Christmas translates to: Natale

Italian SpellingPronunciationTranslation
NataleNa-ta-leNah-tah-lehChristmas
Christmas in Italian translation & pronunciation


Buon Natale in Italian

Now that you know what’s Christmas in Italian, let’s learn how to say Merry Christmas.

Buon Natale


Buon Natale e Buon Anno Best Wishes

If you are going to say Buon Natale, likely, you’ll also wish the other person a Happy New Year. So here’s how to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

To say Merry Christmas in Italian and Happy New Year use this simple sentence:

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo



How to Respond to Buon Natale and Buone Feste

If someone wishes you a Buon Natale, here’s how an Italian would answer. Choose your favorite way and memorize it. 

Anche a te, Nome. – Same to you, Name.

Altrettanto a te, Nome. – Same to you, Name.

Auguri di Buon Natale anche a te. – Happy Christmas Wishes to you too.

Buon Natale anche a te, Nome. – Happy Christmas to you too, Name.

Buon Natale a te e ai tuoi cari, Nome. – Merry Christmas to you and your dear ones.

Passa un bel Natale, Nome. – Spend a beautiful Christmas, Name.

Altrettanto, Nome. Passa delle belle feste. – Same to you, Name. Enjoy the holidays.

Anche a te, Nome. Ti auguro tante belle cose. – Same to you, Name. I wish you great things.

Auguro anche a te un Bellissimo Natale. – I wish you a Beautiful Christmas.

Buon Natale anche a te, e felice Anno Nuovo. – Merry Christmas to you, and a Happy New Year.



Italian christmas wishes other than buon natale

Other Ways to Say Happy Christmas in Italian (all with pronunciation)

The Italian language is full of beautiful, melodic terms that allow you to expand your Christmas vocabulary. You can find fun variations to wish others well not just on Christmas Day, but throughout the whole festive period.

In the list below, you’ll discover new Italian Christmas sayings that range from traditional to modern. If you are looking for a slightly formal phrase to say the same, we’ll cover that too.

You can use this variety of greetings to spread joy and delight to friends, family, coworkers, and more this holiday season!

  1. Tanti Auguri di Natale.
  1. Buone Feste di Natale.
  1. Passa un Bel Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo.
  1. Auguro un Buon Natale a te a tutti i tuoi cari.
  1. Ti auguro un sereno natale in famiglia.
  1. Auguri di Buon Natale e Anno Nuovo.
  1. Auguri per un felice anno nuovo.
  1. Auguro a tutti voi un natale sereno.
  1. I miei migliori auguri per un Natale pieno di felicità.
  1. Vi auguro un natale pieno di amore e felicità.
  1. Ti auguro un natale magico.
  1. Buona stagione natalizia.
  1. Passa un natale pieno di amore, calore, e gioia.
  1. Spero che la magia del Natale sia con voi.
  1. Sinceri Auguri di Buon Natale a lei e la sua famiglia.
  1. Auguroni di buon Natale.
  1. Ti auguro tanta gioia nel cuore questo Natale.
  1. Ti auguro il meglio questo Natale e l’anno prossimo.
  1. Tanti auguri di cuore.
  1. Spero che troverai tante belle cose sotto l’albero e non solo questo Natale, e l’anno prossimo.
  1. Buon natale piccino.
  1. Auguri di Buon Natale davvero sentiti a tutti voi.
  1. Ti ringrazio e ti auguro un Felice Natale.
  1. Vi auguro un Natale all’insegna della generosità, pace e gioia.
  1. Auguriamo un meraviglioso Natale a tutti voi.


buon natale meaning
Italian Christmas GreetingEnglish Translation
Tanti Auguri di Natale.Merry Christmas
Buone Feste di Natale.Happy Christmas Holidays
Passa un Bel Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo.May you spend a beautiful Christmas and a happy new year.
Auguro un Buon Natale a te a tutti i tuoi cari.I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.
Ti auguro un sereno natale in famiglia.I wish you a serene Christmas with your family.
Auguri di Buon Natale e Anno Nuovo.Best Wishes for a Happy Christmas & New Year
Auguri per un felice anno nuovo.Best wishes for a happy new year
Auguro a tutti voi un natale sereno.I wish you all a serene Christmas
I miei migliori auguri per un Natale pieno di felicità.My best wishes for a Christmas full of happiness.
Vi auguro un Natale pieno di amore e felicità.I wish you a Christmas full of love and happiness.
Ti auguro un Natale magico.I wish you a magic Christmas
Buona stagione natalizia.Happy Christmas season
Passa un natale pieno di amore, calore, e gioia.May you spend a Christmas full of love, warmth and joy.
Spero che la magia del Natale sia con voi.May the Christmas magic be with you.
Sinceri Auguri di Buon Natale a lei e la sua famiglia.Sincere wishes for a Good Christmas to you and your family.
Auguroni di buon Natale.Big wishes for a happy Christmas.
Ti auguro tanta gioia nel cuore questo Natale.I wish you lots of joy in your heart, this Christmas.
Ti auguro il meglio questo Natale e l’anno prossimo.I wish you the best this Christmas and next year.
Tanti auguri di cuore.Greetings from my heart.
Spero che troverai tante belle cose sotto l’albero e non solo questo Natale, e l’anno prossimo.I hope you find many beautiful things underneath the Christmas tree but not only, this Christmas and next year.
Buon natale piccino.Happy Christmas little one
Vi auguro un Natale all’insegna della generosità, pace e gioia.I wish you a kind, peaceful and joyful Christmas.
Auguri di Buon Natale davvero sentiti a tutti voi.My heartfelt greetings for a Merry Christmas to all of you.
Ti ringrazio e ti auguro un Felice Natale.Thank you and I wish you a happy Christmas.
Auguriamo un meraviglioso Natale a tutti voi.We wish you all a wonderful Christmas.
25 Ways to Wish a Merry Christmas in Italian




Italian Christmas Wishes from Christmas Eve to La Befana

Italians have specific holiday greetings they use during the season depending on the exact day. As you celebrate from Christmas Eve through the Epiphany, you’ll want to use wishes that fit each occasion.

Buone feste

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo

Buona Vigilia di Natale

Buon Natale

Buon Santo Stefano

Buon Capodanno

Buona Vigilia di Capodanno

Felice Anno Nuovo

Buona Befana

Buona Epifania


GreetingTranslationPronunciationWhen to use it
Buone feste Happy holidaysBwoh-neh feh-stehThroughout the Christmas period
Buon Natale e Felice Anno NuovoMerry Christmas & Happy New YearBwohn Nah-tah-leh eh Feh-lee-chay Ahn-noh Nwoh-vohThroughout the festive period wish someone you are not going to see again before the end of the year.
Buona Vigilia di Natale Happy Christmas EveBwoh-nah Vee-jee-lee-ah dee Nah-tah-lehOn Christmas Eve or just before.
Buon NataleMerry ChristmasBwohn Nah-tah-lehOn Christmas Day but also the week before.
Buon Santo StefanoHappy St. Stephen’sBwohn Sahntoh Stuh-fah-nohOn the 26th December
Buon Vigilia di CapodannoHappy New Year’s EveBwohn Kah-poh-dah-nohOn New Year’s Eve or a day before.
Buon CapodannoHappy New YearBwoh-nah Vee-jee-lee-ah dee Kah-poh-dah-nohOn New Year’s Day.
Felice Anno NuovoHappy New YearFeh-lee-chay Ahn-noh Nwoh-vohOn New Year’s Day but also the week before and after.
Buona BefanaHappy Christmas Witch DayBwoh-nah Beh-fah-nahOn the 5th January
Buona EpifaniaHappy EpiphanyBwoh-nah Eh-pee-fah-nee-ahOn the 6th January
Italian Holiday Greetings for specific days (pronunciation as read by an English reader)



happy christmas in Italian

Let’s Practice: Italian Christmas Greeting Examples with Conversations

Now that you’ve learned proper Italian holiday greetings, put them into practice with these example Christmas conversations.

See how native Italian speakers wish each other well among friends, family, coworkers, and in everyday interactions during the festive season.

Conversation 1: At work/ When meeting an acquaintance

A: Buona Serata, Marco. Passa un bel Natale e tanti auguri di buon anno a te e alla tua famiglia.

Good evening, Marco. May you spend a beautiful Christmas, and best wishes for the new year to you and your family.

B: Grazie Alessia, altrettanto anche a voi.

Thanks, Alessia, same to you.

A: A presto.

See you soon.

With a family member at the end of a pre-festive dinner hosted by one of the parties in the dialogue.

A: Marisa, grazie della bellissima cena. Abbiamo passato davvero una bella serata.

Marisa, thanks for the gorgeous dinner. We really had a beautiful evening.

B: Figurati Chiara. Vi auguriamo tante belle cose questo Natale e l’anno prossimo

Nothing, Chiara. We wish you great things this Christmas and in the new year.

A: Mi raccomando, ci vediamo presto. La prossima volta, a casa nostra.

Listen, let’s meet up soon. Next time, at our house.

B: Sicuramente, ciao.

Sure, bye.

Quick Christmas Greeting to someone passing by.

A: Ehi Federica, tutto bene?

Ehi Federica, everything good?

B: Si, si bene. Spero anche tu.

Yes, yes good. I hope it’s the same for you.

A: Tanti Auguri a te e famiglia.

My greetings to you and your family.

B: Altrettanto. Ciao Fabrizio.

Same to you. Bye Fabrizio.

Christmas Greeting in a professional setting using the third person.

A: Auguri di Buone Feste Sig.re Ventura.

Happy Holidays, Mr Ventura.

B: Altrettanto a lei, Sig.ra Pastore. A presto.

Same to you, Mrs. Pastore. See you soon.

Christmas Greeting in a public setting.

Auguriamo Buone Feste a tutti i nostri clienti.

Happy Holidays to all our clients.


Italian christmas messages to write on your card

Italian Christmas Messages to Write on a Christmas Card

Writing something heartfelt in Italian makes a Christmas card extra special.

Use these touching Italian Christmas messages as inspiration for what to write to family, friends, co-workers, and more.

For Mum & Dad From a Child with Partner or From Siblings

Cara Mamma e Papà,

Vi Auguriamo un Buon Natale, pieno di gioia e amore, e un felice anno nuovo con tanta salute e belle cose.

Da Nome & Nome

xxx

Translates to: Dear Mum and Dad, We wish you a Merry Christmas, full of jou and love, and a happy new year with health and beautiful things. From Name & Name.

For Daughter/Son

Cara Nome/figlia/figlio

Ti auguriamo un Felice Natale e un anno di salute e amore. Speriamo che ti porti tutto ciò che il tuo cuore desidera.

Da Mamma e Papà

xxx

Translates to: Dear Name/daughter/son, We wish you a happy Christmas and a new year full of health and love. We hope that it brings you all your heart desires. From mum and dad.

For wife/husband

Caro amore mio,

Spero che questo Natale ti porti tanta gioia nel cuore. Ti auguro un anno pieno di salute e successo, e che tu possa raggiungere tutti i tuoi obiettivi. Non vedo l’ora di trascorrere un altro anno insieme a te, viaggiando e alla scoperta di nuove cose.

Grazie di tutto quello che fai per noi.

Nome.

xxx

Translates to: My dear love, I hope this Christmas brings you lots of joy in your heart. I wish you a year full of health and success. May you be able to reach all your goals. I can’t wait to spend another year with you, travelling and discovering new things. Thanks for all you do for us. Name, xxx.

A general message for acquaintances

Cara Nome,

Auguro a te/lei e la tua/sua famiglia un Felice Natale e un Anno Nuovo con tanta salute e prosperità. 

Da Nome/Nome & Nome

Translates to: Dear Name, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year full of health and prosperity. From Name/Name & Name

A warmer message for acquaintances

Cari Nome & Nome,

Un pensiero caloroso a voi e alle vostre famiglie.

Tanti Auguri di Buon Natale, e felice Anno Nuovo.

Nome & Nome.

Translates to: Dear Name & Name, A warm thought goes to you and your families. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Name & Name.


Italian Christmas Vocabulary

Learning key Italian Christmas words and phrases is essential to fully celebrate the holidays like an Italian.

This extensive list covers everything related to Natale from greetings and wishes to food, decor, and Christmas characters.

Use this Italian Christmas glossary to help you understand and participate in the season’s traditions and customs.

Babbo Natale & Other Christmas Words in Italian

Feste – Holidays

Vacanze di Natale – Christmas holidays

Periodo Festivo – Festive period

Periodo Natalizio – Christmas period

Avvento – Advent

Natale – Christmas

Augurio di Natale – Christmas greeting

Anno – Year

Augurio – Greeting

Babbo Natale – Santa Claus

Cartolina di Natale – Christmas card

Tradizioni di Natale – Christmas traditions

Feste di Natale – Christmas holidays

Dell’Anno Nuovo – New year’s

Cena di Natale translates to Christmas dinner, but in Italy, we usually have a Christmas lunch, which translates to Pranzo di Natale.

christmas markets in italian and other christmas words in Italian

Mercatini di Natale – Christmas markets

Prosecco – Sparkling wine

Regali di Natale – Christmas gifts

Panettone – Italian Christmas Cake with dried fruits

Pandoro – Italian Christmas Cake in a star shape and covered with powdered sugar

Cioccolatini – Chocolates

Albero di Natale – Christmas tree

Luci di Natale – Christmas lights

Presepe – Nativity scene

Ghirlanda di Natale – Christmas wreath

Stella di Natale – Christmas star

Case/strade illuminate – Houses/streets lit up

Cenone – Big dinner referring to New Year’s Eve dinner

Decorazioni or Addobbi – Decorations

Candela – Candle

Palline di Natale – Christmas baubles

Acquisti di Natale – Christmas shopping

Obiettivi – Goals

Piani – Plans

Futuro – Future

L’anno prossimo – Next Year

Preparazioni – Preparations

Famiglia – Family

Parenti – Relatives

Casa – Home

Carta da regalo – gift wrapping

La Befana – Christmas Witch

Calza di Natale – Christmas stocking

Vischio – Mistletoe

Useful Verbs in Italian to use around Natale

Invitare – To invite

Ospitare – To host

Festeggiare – To celebrate

Brindare – To toast

Impacchettare – To wrap

Decorare – To decorate

Comprare – To buy

Cantare – To sing

Ballare – To dance

Augurare – To wish

Mangiare – To eat

Visitare – To visit

Abbracciare – To hug

Baciare – To kiss

Italian Christmas Expressions:

Addobbare l’albero – Decorate the tree

Decorare la casa – Decorate the house

Fare acquisti di Natale – Do the Christmas shopping

Preparare il Pranzo di Natale – Cook Christmas dinner

Augurare Buone Feste – Wish happy holidays

Incartare i regali – Wrap the gifts

Visitare i parenti – To go visit relatives

Fare la lista dei regali – Compile a list of gifts

Fissare nuovi obiettivi – Set new goals

Lo spirito di Natale – Christmas spirit

L’atmosfera Natalizia – Christmas vibe

Visitare i parenti – To visit relatives

Giochi da tavola – Table games

Learn more Italian Christmas words in this article about Christmas traditions.



Italian Christmas Songs that Wish Tanti Auguri

What better way to practice saying Merry Christmas than by listening to classic Italian Christmas songs?

Below you’ll find three beautiful songs that incorporate this greeting, sung by famous Italian singers.

Buon Natale in Allegria by the Piccolo Coro Antonelliano (listen here)

Buon Natale (se vuoi) by Eros Ramazzotti (here)

Buon Natate by Enzo Iacchetti (here)

Here’s a remix including different Italian singers

Listen to Italian singers wish a Happy Christmas in Italian



Italian Christmas Sayings 

Expand your cultural knowledge with these common Italian Christmas proverbs and sayings. Learn the deeper meaning behind these Italian holiday phrases to keep the conversation going.

Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi.

Christmas with your family, Easter with whoever you want.

Chi fa Natale al sole, fa Pasqua al fuoco.

If you spend Christmas with the sun, you’ll spend Easter in the heat.

Chi per Natale non ammazza il porco, tutto l’anno resta col muso storto.

Whoever doesn’t slaughter the pig for Christmas, remains grumpy all year (meaning he’ll regret it).

L’Epifania, tutte le feste porta via.

The Epiphany takes away all feasts.

Anno Nuovo, Vita Nuova.

New Year, New Life.



Christmas in Italy facts to share

Italian Christmas Facts To Share with Your Friends and Family

Amaze those around you by sharing these fascinating tidbits about Italian Christmas traditions.

  1. St. Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene in Naples
  2. Shepherds playing the bagpipe in the streets are popular street musicians during the festive period. They are called zampognari.
  3. In Italy, we don’t just have Christmas Father to bring us gifts. Read about the other three gift bringers here.
  4. There are two types of panettone – the original one (called panettone), which is higher, and the low-risen one (called panettone basso). The first was invented in Milan while the second originated in Piedmont. The panettone market has a value nearing 300 million euros.
  5. In Italy, La Befana and the Epiphany are the last feasts that end the holidays. Read more about them here.


Spread the Joy of the Season in Italian

You can now share holiday cheer in Italian in many ways:

Now that you know how to say Merry Christmas in Italian, share your holiday spirit with Italian greetings this season. Express warm wishes to those around you with a cheerful “Buon Natale!”

But don’t limit yourself to just “Buon Natale” – use the many wonderful Italian Christmas phrases you learned about. Spread kindness, connection, and joy through your thoughtfulness.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year surrounded by loved ones. As we look forward to 2024, my wish is that next year we’ll have a more peaceful Christmas throughout the world.

If you want to continue enjoying the magic of Italian Christmas in Italy, check out this article about Italian Christmas traditions. It mentions many tasty traditional Christmas dishes you likely don’t know about!

Buone Feste.


FAQ: Christmas and the Italian Language

How do you wish for Merry Christmas in Italian?

The most common Italian phrase for Merry Christmas is “Buon Natale.” This directly translates to “Good Christmas” or “Happy Christmas.”

How do you respond to Buon Natale? 

There are many ways to respond to “Buon Natale” in Italian:

– “Buon Natale anche a te” – Merry Christmas to you too

– “Grazie, altrettanto” – Thank you, same to you

– “Auguri anche a te e famiglia” – Best wishes for a Christmas to you and your family

How do you say Merry Christmas in Sicilian?

In Sicilian, Merry Christmas is “Bonu Natali.” This comes from the island’s regional language. 

How do you say Merry Christmas in Neapolitan?

The Neapolitan phrase for Merry Christmas is “‘bon Nàtale

What is Christmas called in Italy?

In Italy, Christmas is called “Natale.” This comes from the Latin word “Natalem” meaning “birth day.”

What does a Natale mean?

“Natale” means Christmas in Italian. The word comes from Latin and corresponds to the English “natal” meaning related to birth.

Is Natale an Italian name?

Yes, Natale is an Italian name derived from the word for Christmas. It’s a boy’s name meaning “born on Christmas day.” 

Do Italians say Buon Natale? 

Yes, “Buon Natale” meaning Merry Christmas is a very common Italian greeting during the holiday season. Italians wish family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances Buon Natale.

What language is Natale? 

Natale is an Italian word, coming from the Latin word “natalem” meaning birth or birthday. It is the standard Italian name for Christmas.

Is Natale masculine or feminine?

In Italian, Natale is a masculine word. The article is “il Natale.”

How do you spell Natale?

The Italian spelling of Christmas is “Na-ta-le” – pronounced “nah-TAH-leh.”

What name means Christmas in Italian?

Natale is an Italian name that means “born on Christmas” or “born on Christmas day.” It comes from the Italian word for the holiday.

What is the Italian word for Noel? 

The Italian word for Noel is “Natale.” Noel comes from French while Natale is the native Italian term. 

What do Italian children call Santa?

In Italian, Santa Claus is called “Babbo Natale” which means “Father Christmas” or “Christmas Father.”

How do you say Santa in Italian? 

Santa Claus is “Babbo Natale” in Italian. “Babbo” means father or daddy, while “Natale” is Christmas.

Where do people say Buon Natale?

“Buon Natale” is said in Italy and Italian-speaking communities worldwide. It’s a common Christmas greeting in the Italian language and culture. 

What do Italians say instead of Merry Christmas?

Common Italian alternatives for Merry Christmas include “Buon Natale,” “Buone Feste,” and “Felice Anno Nuovo” (Happy New Year).

How did Christmas in Italy begin? 

Christmas traditions in Italy originated in the 4th century AD after Christianity became the official religion. Families celebrated Christ’s birth with elaborate feasts.

When is Christmas in Italy?

Christmas in Italy is celebrated on December 25th. However, the main holidays extend until January 6th for the Epiphany celebration. 

When does Christmas in Italy start? 

Christmas celebrations traditionally start in Italy on December 8th for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, kicking off weeks of festivities.

When does Christmas in Italy end?

Christmas in Italy ends on January 6th with the feast of the Epiphany. This day marks the end of the holiday season.

When is little Christmas in Italy?

In Italy, we don’t have an equivalent of the term Little Christmas. While the Irish celebrate Little Christmas on the 6th, we Italians celebrate the Epiphany on that same day.

What is Christmas in Italy like? 

Christmas in Italy involves elaborate meals with family, midnight mass, no meat on Christmas Eve, and regional traditions. Italians exchange gifts on Christmas day, but hang their stockings on January 5th for the Befana.

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