Arabic Language Blog

Celebrations in Arabic Posted by on Jun 26, 2019 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary

What kind of celebrations احْتِفالات could you be invited to in an Arab country? In this post, we’ll look at four celebrations also common in English speaking countries and the useful phrases to say at these celebrations.

Image via Pixabay

Wedding reception عُرْس / زَفاف

When invited to an Arabic wedding, expect it to be at a wedding hall or hotel or even a house. Wedding parties can either be mixed or segregated where men and women are in separate halls. The bride and groom have a grand entry while traditional music is played. This is called the zaffe زفـّـة. Family and guests then dance with the bride and groom. Depending on the bride and groom’s budget, either a dinner is served or sometimes only simple pastries and a dessert. When going up to the bride and groom to congratulate them, you can say this:


!الله يبارك فيك (response)

Engagement party حَفلة خُطوبة

Also called ‘Katb Kitabكَتب كتاب or Khutbah خُطبة is a party where the bride عَروس and groom عَريس exchange rings. There is usually dancing, dinner and cutting of a cake as well.

Henna party حَفلة حنّاء

This is the Arab version of a “bachelorette” party. An all-female event where Henna is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. Women attending this event also apply Henna.

Note: At both engagement and henna parties, you can say the same phrase as you would at a wedding.

Graduation party  حَفلة تَخَرُج

Some students like to have a graduation party when they’ve gotten a high score in their last year of Highschool or a high GPA at university. Some families like to celebrate their son or daughter’s success with a big tray of kanafeh كُنافة‎ (a Middle Eastern syrupy dessert with cheese and pistachios) see link on how to make it (in Arabic).

!مَبْروك على التخرج

!الله يبارك فيك (response)

طريقة سهلة ولذيذة لعمل الكنافة بالقشطة


Birthday party حفلة عيد ميلاد:

Just like in other places, birthday parties in Arabic speaking countries are full of dancing, food, cake, games, gifts, and fun all around. Here is a video showing the “Happy Birthday” song in Arabic. 🎈

سنة حلوة يا جميل

Here’s what you can say to someone on their birthday.

!كُل سَنة وأنت سالِم

.وأنت سالِم (response)


!كُل عام وأنت بِخَير

.وأنت بِخَير (response)


!عيد ميلاد سَعيد

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.