How to Say Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year in Finnish

If you want to impress those around you and wish them happy holidays in Santa Claus’ native language, then you’ve got to learn how to say Merry Christmas in Finnish. And since we’re here, we’re also going to learn how to say A Happy New Year in Finnish.

Even though Finns are very much conversant in English, they will be undoubtedly impressed that you made the effort.

(Same goes for Santa – he will definitely understand your greeting in any language of the world!)

But it sure is fun to know these greetings in the Finnish language, so let’s start with the most festive winter celebration and learn how to impress friends and family with a suitable greeting!

How to Say Merry Christmas in Finnish

Hyvää Joulua!

If you aren’t familiar with Finnish letters, don’t be intimidated. Merry Christmas in Finnish is Hyvää Joulua and it sounds like “hevva-yowl-wa” when enunciated.

merry Christmas in Finnish

Don’t be too stressed with the pronunciation though, the people here are sure to get it. But it would help if you had a friend pronounce it once for you to hear and imitate.

Yes, it is a bit more difficult than saying Merry Christmas in Norwegian or even in Swedish, but after a bit of practice, you will be able to say it just right!

Now that you’ve begun loosening your tongue, let’s move on to the New Year’s celebrations and greetings!

How to Say Happy New Year in Finnish

Onnellista uutta vuotta!

You might need a little practice on this one, I won’t lie. It’s not the easiest thing to say, but it has a melody to it that makes sense with a bit of practice.

Saying Happy New Year in Finnish is Onnellista uutta vuotta and it sounds like “Onnelista-uwta-ota” said in one sweeping word.

how to say a happy new year in finnish

It might be a bit of a tongue twister at the end but as you repeat, enunciating becomes easier.

And while it won’t help much with your pronunciation, make sure you that you reward yourself by listening to Loituma’s Ievan Polkka.

It has nothing to do with Winter Celebrations, but it’s an amazing song you should hear, probably the most famous ever in the Finnish language. (I have to admit that I love it and I miss no chance to recommend it).

Now that we’ve gotten the most important winter holiday greetings out of the way, here are some variations of the holiday greetings that you might hear over the season.

Hyvää vuodenvaihdetta! – Season’s greetings!

Hyvää talvilomaa! – Have a great winter vacation!

Lämpimiä toiveita! – Warm wishes!

Menestyksekästä uutta vuotta – Prosperous New Year!

Hyvää juhlakautta! – Happy holidays!

People in Finland love to celebrate Christmas, so you don’t have to consider it a necessity to be politically correct here and go with a more formal “Happy Holidays”.

I’ve never met or heard of a woman from Finland (or a man, that is) that got offended for being wished a Merry Christmas. On the contrary, they were all impressed with me trying to get it right in their native language.

But if you do want to be politically correct or you simply want to have some alternatives, the ones above are great choices.

Christmas celebrations in Finland

To further improve your Christmas vocabulary in Finnish, here’s a list of words relevant to the season and the winter holidays in particular.

Joulu – Christmas

Joulupäivä – Christmas Day

Santa Claus – Joulupukki

Lumi – Snow

Lahja – Present/Gift

Seppele – Gift

Poro– Reindeer

Piparkakkutalo – Gingerbread house

Mistelinoksa – Mistletoe


Now you know everything about the winter holiday greetings in Finnish. You can wish somebody a Merry Christmas, as well as a Happy New Year, just like the locals do.

That’s definitely going to be impressive, no matter if you’re talking to friends, strangers or even Santa Claus himself!

I’ve added a solid bunch of extras in case you really want to go the extra mile with your Finnish language knowledge and I am sure that all the words in the article – although a bit difficult to pronounce if you’re a complete beginner with the Finnish language – will make these winter holidays special.

And speaking of winter holidays… why not continue by reading about Finland’s neighbors and learn how people celebrate Christmas in Norway?

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment