German Phrases For Special Occasions Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Culture, Holidays, Language, Traditions

Guten Tag! As the festive season is upon us, we’ll all be wishing each other a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or other seasonal greetings. There are so many special events in life, and certain phrases that are fitting for them. We all know that Merry Christmas is Frohe Weihnachten in German, but what about ways to say ‘My condolences’, ‘All the best’, and ‘Good luck’ – and the occasions you want to use these for? Here are a bunch of phrases you can use in Grußkarten (greeting cards), emails, and in conversation!

Let’s start with phrases relating to the Christmas season.

Frohe Weihnachten!

‘Frohe Weihnachten!’ Foto: tacker on under a CC license (CC by-nd 2.0)

Merry Christmas
Frohe Weihnachten

Happy New Year
Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr

Happy holidays/Season’s greetings
Frohe Feiertage

Happy Thanksgiving
Frohes Erntedankfest

Happy Hannukah
Frohe Chanukka


You probably know how to say Happy Birthday (Alles Gute zum Geburtstag / Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag) but what if you’re a bit late with your greetings and want to say ‘Happy belated birthday’? The German phrase for that is either: Glücklicher verspäteter Geburtstag or Nachträglich alles Gute zum Geburtstag!



If you simply want to say congratulations, you can say Herzlichen Glückwunsch (Congratulations) or, more informally, Gratuliere (congrats)! But if you want to be more specific, here are some occasions on which you might say congratulations, and the phrases you need for them.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch

‘Herzlichen Glückwunsch’ Foto by Marco Verch on under a CC license (CC BY 2.0)



Congratulations on your engagement
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zur Verlobung

All the best for your future together
Alles Gute f
ür eure gemeinsame Zukunft

Congratulations on your wedding/getting married
Herzlichen Gl
ückwunsch zur Hochzeit

All the best on your wedding day
Die allerbesten W
ünsche zur Hochzeit

Happy anniversary
Frohes Jubiläum



To the proud parents of [name]
An die stolzen Eltern von [Name]

Congratulations on the birth of your baby
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zur Geburt eures Babys

Congratulations on the birth of your son
Glückwunsch zur Geburt eures Sohnes

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zur Geburt eurer Tochter




‘Hochzeitskarte’ Foto: kaffeeringe on under a CC license (CC by .20)

Congratulations on passing your exams
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zur bestandenen Prüfung

Congratulations on your new job
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum neuen Job

All the best for the future
Alles Gute f
ür die Zukunft

Get well soon
Gute Besserung


Grusskarte zur Weihnachtszeit _B253195

Du fehlst uns: We miss you. ‘Grusskarte zur Weihnachtszeit _B253195’ Foto by madle on under a CC license (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Unfortunately, life is also full of sad moments. It’s at these times that saying the right things are of upmost importance. So if you want to express your condolences in German, here are some phrases you can use. The parts in brackets can be added or taken away.

My (heartfelt) condolences
Mein (herzliches) Beileid

My deepest sympathy
Mein tiefes Mitgefühl

Our thoughts (and prayers) are with you
Unsere Gedanken (und Gebete) sind bei Ihnen (you- formal)/euch (you-plural & informal)/dir (you-singular & informal)



If you’re not sure, here are the simplest ways of saying all of the above. After all, it’s the thought that counts (especially if you’re not a native German speaker).

Good luck
Viel Glück

Herzlichen Glückwunsch

All the best
Alles Gute

My condolences
Mein Beileid

Get well soon
Gute Besserung


I hope this post will be of use to you. By the way, if you want to learn these phrases in Norwegian, too, check out our Norwegian blog, where I got the inspiration for this post from. Takk! 🙂

Bis bald


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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.