Christmas is all about staying connected. The pandemic situation around the world might get in the way but a heartfelt wish won’t hurt. If you want to wish a friend or a relative in their own language, then here are all the greetings you’d ever need. After all, what could feel more familiar and warm than hearing “Merry Christmas!” in your native language?
Jakub Marian, a Czech linguist has created this colorful, informative map including all the European Christmas greetings. He has also created a series of other maps and written several textbooks. You’d really want to check out his map showing how people say “I love you” in European languages. The most impressive one out of them is the map of tea. It is as if the whole world is in sync with the idea of tea.
Here’s How Europe Says ‘Merry Christmas’
Marian has used several colors to indicate the etymological roots of the “Merry Christmas” phrase. The countries colored in red uses a Latin-based word and those highlighted in green use a phrase derived from the Old Norse pagan festival jól (Yule in English). Countries that use Celtic languages and Turkish use loanwords from Romance languages as their greeting.
He explains that even though it is quite unusual, German, Czech, and Slovak are grouped together. The reason for this is, they are etymologically identical. The latter two languages have used a word taken on from old German in their greeting. Also, a word from a common Latin origin is used by Romanian and Hungarian, two entirely unconnected languages.
It really is wonderful that the birth of Jesus Christ connects not just Europe but the world as a whole. However, some Orthodox Christians in Russia and Ukraine celebrate it on a different day according to their own ceremonial calendar. Furthermore, in most of the Eastern countries, New Year’s Eve is often combined with Christmas and celebrated more grandly and differently.