Wishing a latino friend or family member a happy birthday in Spanish is the best way to communicate that you care about their wellbeing and happiness. Spanish speakers all around the world have found equally as fantastical and meaningful ways to wish loved ones a happy birthday. One of the most common ones we’ll review today is one you’re probably already familiar with “feliz cumpleaños”, the direct translation of which would be “happy birthday”.
This article will take a look at the birthday celebratory traditions of one of the world’s happiest and most jovial cultures, and the different ways to say happy birthday in Spanish!
How do you say Happy Birthday in Spanish?
The most common ways to say happy birthday in Spanish, are:
This is the most common way to say happy birthday, and literally translates to “happy birthday”.
Felicidades literally means congratulations. It’s used as a more emotional way to say happy birthday.
¡Feliz cumpleaños a ti!
This can be translated as “happy birthday to you”, which is often used when singing the Happy Birthday song.
Felicitaciones, which can be translated as greetings, is a more formal way of saying “felicidades”.
Common Ways to Say Happy Birthday in Spanish
Happy Birthday in Spanish: Felicidades
Happy Birthday in Spanish: Well Wishes
Happy Birthday in Spanish: Toasting to the Birthday Pal!
How to Sing Happy Birthday in Spanish
Common Birthday Vocabulary In Spanish
Here are common birthday Spanish words that will be useful at your next birthday party!
Birthday Traditions: Latin American vs Spanish Culture
As stated previously, many cultures worldwide have birthday traditions that are quite similar, however part of what makes us so interesting as a species are the various and distinct differences between our cultures. Some of these differences are born from historical events, some from superstitions and others from amalgamations of the two, understanding where these traditions stem from means taking a deeper look into the complex and interesting history of these regions and countries.
Celebrating Birthdays in Latin America
1. Singing “Las Mañanitas”
- For many usually, the birthday spectacle begins in the early hours of the morning with what is known as the morning serenade or “Las Mañanitas”. Although many Spaniards stick to the well known “Feliz Cumpleaños”, Latin Americans usually sing “Las Mañanitas” or have it performed by a mariachi band in the early hours of the morning as well as during the cake cutting portion of the celebration.
2. Smacking a Piñata
- The smacking of a piñata with a stick is another important event. Originally holding deep religious significance for both Spaniards and Mexicans, today the hitting of the piñata with the designated stick has become more synonymous with Mexican celebratory culture. However, both cultures still embrace this oldest of traditions by battering the piñata with the assigned stick, signalling that love destroys all sin with the candy raining out symbolising the start of a new beginning for the birthday boy or girl.
3. Eating a “Tres Leches cake”
- Food plays an important role in many cultures, in Latin American culture its birthday based calling card is the Tres Leches cake, with its history rooted in England the cake has since been adopted by Latin Americans worldwide as the official birthday cake of its nation.
Celebrating Birthdays in Spain
1. A Day Spent with Loved Ones
- In Spain as well as Mexico birthdays are considered days of love to be spent with those closest to you so the aim might not be to have a huge party as one would expect. Actually, there is more importance placed on the time spent with friends and loved ones and sharing this love, conversation and as well as generally having a good time together.
2. Personalized Gifts
- Often another way of showing appreciation is the giving of gifts, however in the Spanish culture thoughtfulness is the order of the day, and less so the monetary value of the gift. Usually, the more personal a gift is the more appreciated it is.
3. Birthday Girl or Boy Pays the Bill
- Most people take out their friends or family to eat, for their birthday. But in Spain, the birthday girl or boy has to pay for the cost related to their big day. If a Spanish birthday celebrations takes place in a restaurant, then the birthday girl or boy has the honor of paying for their guests.
- Although both Spanish cultures have traditions that are specific to their regions are also many that are celebrated across the board, one of these include the tradition of the Quinceañera, this is a party thrown to signify the coming of age for the birthday boy/girl. A significant tradition, this celebration occurs once the child in question turns 15. This party generally begins with a religious ceremony in a church and ends in a banquet hall in a huge celebration with friends, family and plenty of food.
2. The “la mordida” Ritual
- Another shared tradition is the completion of the la mordida ritual. Usually, the birthday boy/girl has their hands tied or held behind their back while their face is shoved into a tres leches as the family chants “Mordida! Mordida!” while they take the first bite of the birthday cake.
Writing a Birthday Card in Spanish
Craft a heartfelt birthday message for your loved ones using the example below:
Querida Amiga, (Dear Friend)
¡Feliz cumpleaños a ti! (Happy birthday to you!)
Que cumplas muchos más viajes alrededor del sol y que todos tus deseos se hagan realidad. (I hope you have more great birthdays, and that your wishes come true!)
Te quiero, (I love you)
Listo Para Celebrar? – Ready to Celebrate?
Being able to celebrate a birthday with a loved one is something we could all appreciate a lot more. Through this deep dive into Spanish and Latin American cultures and traditions we hope that you’ve learned a few more thoughtful and meaningful ways to convey your sincere feelings to the people in your life. The Spanish language offers speakers boundless methods to express themselves in a deeper way. Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the traditions that make Spanish and Latin American celebrations so special and has interested you in learning more about the cultures, people and languages celebrated under this umbrella of warmth and love. Connect with Spanish tutors at AmazingTalker
If you’ve enjoyed this post, make sure to check out others we’ve posted like: Happy birthday in Korean or the Zodiac signs in Spanish!
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