Happy Birthday In Greek: 5+ Easy Ways

What better way to surprise your girlfriend than to wish her a Happy Birthday in Greek? Showing her that you’re learning her native language is the best way to show you care about her! Learn here how to say it!

Greek people are known for being very warm and generous. They are some of the kindest people in the world, and when you deal with them, you’ll feel that they would bend over backward to make your stay in their country all the better!

If they are like this when you only speak in English, imagine what your interaction with these incredible people would be if you manage to drop some Greek words in between your sentences, such as Happy Birthday! You’d see their faces completely light up, and big smiles come out of them! I can guarantee you that knowing a few essential words of Greek will not only bring joy and happiness to a population that completely deserves it but also bring you a sense of connection with the locals and the Greek culture.

Imagine this: your friend’s birthday is coming up, and you don’t know how to surprise her. You got her that present that she really wanted for a long time, but you feel like that’s not enough. You really want to show her how happy she makes you feel. The answer is Χρόνια πολλά (Xronia polla) which is “Happy Birthday” in Greek!

This is only one of the many ways you can wish someone a happy birthday in Greek. Keep reading this article and learn more about Greek!

How Are Birthdays Celebrated In Greece?

Happy birthday in Greek

This is where Greek traditions start to become different and interesting: Traditionally, Greeks don’t celebrate their birthdays (suspense queue) – they actually celebrate Name Days! Let me explain…

First of all, you must know that it is a tradition in Greek culture to name the newborn after their grandparents to strengthen and prolong the family name. This is why you’ll see several repeated names among family members in a family. Additionally to this, it is also customary to name children after Christian Saints. These two factors are the main reason that Greece is considered to be the country with the least amount of name variations in the world, so if you know any Greeks, it is highly probable you know someone with the same name!

Second, in Ancient Greece, birthdays were never celebrated because of their lack of reliability. In fact, birthdays were so neglected that in older generations, some people don’t even know their own birthday! 

Because of this, people started celebrating Yiorti or Name Day, the day that the patron saint a Greek person is named after is commemorated. For example, if your name is Mary, Marie, or any other version of this name, you’d celebrate your name day on August 15th, when the Dormition of the Virgin Mary is celebrated!

Another tradition is funnier to the party guests than to the birthday person himself: the person whose birthday or name day it is is responsible for paying for the celebration! Not funny if you have a big family or group of friends!

How To Say Happy Birthday In Greek Then?

greek art

To wish someone Happy Birthday or Name Day, you say Χρόνια πολλά (Xronia Polla), which translates means “many years.” When wishing someone in Greek, you want them many more years to live and pay for their name day celebrations!

Other ways you can wish happy birthday in Greek are:

Happy birthdayχαρούμενα γενέθλιαHarumena yenethlia
May you reach 100 years oldΝα τα εκατοστήσειςNa ta eka-tos-ti-sis
May you reach 1000 years oldΝα τα χιλιάσειςNa ta hil-ia-sis
I wish for all your dreams to come trueΌ,τι επιθυμείςOh ti epith-ee-mis
Happy belated birthdayΧρόνια πολλά, έστω και καθυστερημέναHronia pola esto ke kathi-ster-ee-mena
I wish you many happy yearsχρόνια πολλά και ευτυχισμέναHronia pola ke efti-his-mena

Although some of these phrases are not really used in English, it is very common to hear some of these sentences in Greek. For example, the phrase “may you reach 100 years old” is very common when someone is celebrating their birthday and their name day.

As if Greek traditions were not interesting enough, here is another fun fact: as reaching 100 years is becoming more and more common, the Greeks started to say, “may you reach 1000 years.”

How To Sing Happy Birthday In Greek

Saying Xronia Polla is not enough to cause an impression on your Greek friends. However, singing the Happy Birthday song in perfect greek will give you extra credit among them.

In Greek, the lyrics for this song are:

“Να ζήσεις name και χρόνια πολλά,

μεγάλος/μεγάλη να γίνεις με άσπρα μαλλιά.

Παντού να σκορπίζεις της γνώσης το φως

και όλοι να λένε να ένας/μία σοφός.”

You probably noticed that some words are highlighted. This is because the Happy Birthday song has different versions according to the genre of the person to whom you’re singing it. You use μεγάλος (megalos) and ένας (enas) if the person is male and μεγάλη (megxali) and μία (mia) if the person is female.

The pronunciation of the song is as follows:

Greek (Pronunciation)English (Translation)
“Na zisis *name* ke hronia pola megalos/megali na yinis me aspra mal-ah pa-du na skorpi-zis tis gno-sis to fos ke oli na lene na enas/mia sofos”“May you live *name*, for many years! May you become old with white hair. May you spread the light of knowledge everywhere, And may everyone say, here is a wise one.”

Learn Greek With Ling App

“What an interesting and unique way of wishing someone a happy birthday. If only there were a place where I could learn more about the Greek language….” Hey! Pssst, I have some news for you! I have the perfect place for you to increase your linguistic knowledge!

Let me present you the Ling App – an excellent language-learning app that will help you master not only Greek but 50 other languages worldwide. This application is equipped with unique and practical activities and quizzes that make learning a new language a hassle-free experience. It was developed for eager language learners like you that want to master Greek and rise to the level of a native greek speaker.

Invite friends, and all come to learn more words in this beautiful and ancient language!

Download it on App Store or Google Play and start learning Greek today!

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