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Phrases for an Irish Gaelic Christmas

Snow in Ireland

 Nollaig shona dhuit! (Happy Christmas!/Merry Christmas!)
Pronounce it something like /Null-eg hunna ghwitch/

There you go, I have just wished you a happy Christmas.

Do you prefer to hear that being said? Take our Christmas Irish lesson. Bitesize Irish members have access to this full lesson, with pronunciation recordings.

The “dhuit” literally translates to “to you”. It’s like we’re wishing a happy Christmas ‘towards you’.

That’s for speaking with one person, but to address two or more people in the Irish language:

Nollaig shona dhaoibh! (Happy Christmas to you [to two or more people])
/Null-eg hunna gheev/


This little word “Nollaig” means Christmas.

If you have signed up for our online lessons, this word may already look familiar.

In Lesson: Seasons and months you’ll learn that Nollaig is also used to mean December.

You’ll often see “Month of December” written in Irish:

Mí na Nollag (Month of December)
/Mee nah Null-og/

(If you noticed the missing “i” from “Nollaig”, that’s not a mistake. It’s due to grammar.)

Before moving to the next Irish expression, do you want to learn how to wish someone a Happy Christmas? Check out this pronunciation video!

How To Say – Happy Christmas in Irish Gaelic

Happy New Year

Here’s how to say Happy New Year:

Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit (Happy New Year)
/Ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah ghwitch/

That’s when you’re speaking with one person. To wish two or more people a happy new year in Irish Gaelic, you can say:

Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhaoibh (Happy New Year)
/Ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah gheev/

Irish Gaelic Christmas 2016 & 2017

Thanks to Liam (Bill) for suggesting this translation. To say “2016” and “2017” in the Irish language, say:

Dhá mhíle is a sé déag (2016)
/Ghaw vee-leh is ah shay jay-og/

Dhá mhíle is a seacht déag (2017)
/Ghaw vee-leh is ah shokht jay-og/

Literally, we are saying “two thousand and fourteen”.

Bitesize Irish Gaelic members can access these lessons for learning how to count in Gaelic:

Bitesize Irish members have access to this full lesson, with pronunciation recordings.

Wrap up (or unwrap?)

Nollaig shona dhuit, agus athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit
/Null-eg hunna ghwitch, ogg-us ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah ghwitch/
= Happy Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

And may we take this chance to wish you and your family Nollaig shona, from Eoin and Sasa at Bitesize Irish Gaelic!

11 thoughts on “Phrases for an Irish Gaelic Christmas”

  1. Alma Rosa Luján González

    I’m quite interested in learning this difficult and beautiful language!! I´m Mexican, my name is Alma Rosa (alma means “soul” and Rosa means “pink”)… I´m an English teacher and I live in a small town called Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos (50 mins from Mexico City). I was born in Mexico City, I love big cities!! but now I have to be here…
    I love culture so I think we’ve to expand our knowledge, don’t you think? Thank you for this opportunity! Best regards, Alma

  2. Alma Rosa Luján González

    There’s a teacher here, an Irish teacher, called Tom Doyle, he is a very kind person… and now I’ll be able to say NOLLAIG SHONA DHUIT, AGUS ATHBHLIAIN FAOI MHAISE DHUIT! Well, I’ll try… Lots of letters which are not pronounced…. The thing is that I’m learning something new!!. Regards, Alma

  3. Your Christmas blog came just in time for our annual Christmas party at the Irish Cultural Center of New England! Very cool.
    Go raibh mile maith agat!
    Siobhan O Leannachain

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