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Beannachtaí an tSéasúir (BAN-ock-tee on Tay-zure) - Season's Greetings
by Bridget Haggerty
In Ireland, one of the most commonly used phrases around the holidays is "Happy Christmas." We thought you might enjoy learning how to say it in Irish as well as a few other phrases you'll hear this time of year.
If you were to say Happy Christmas to just one other person, you would say:
"Nollaig Shona Duit"
(NO-Lihg HO-nuh ghwich).
However, if you were to be addressing the same greeting to two or more persons, you would say:
"Nollaig Shona Daoibh"
(NO-Lihg HO-nuh JEEV)
This literally means "You have a Happy Christmas."
The most common response to this would be: "Nollaig Mhaith Chugat"
(NO-lihg Wy HU-gut)
Literally-"A good Christmas to you."
If one were to wish someone a "Happy New Year," he or she would say:
"Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit"
(AH-vlee ihn fwee WAH-shuh wich)
And if one were to be addressing two or more other persons, he or she would say:
"Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Daoibh"
(AH vlee-ihn fwee WAH-shuh Heev)
Literally-"You have a Prosperous New Year."
Just as in English, the two expressions are often combined to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as follows:
Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit.
(NO-lihg HO-nuh AH-guhs AH-vlee-ihn fwee WAH-shuh wich).
Le gach dea-ghui i gcomhair na nollag agus na h-ath bhliana! (With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year!)
The plural of this would be:
Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Daoibh.
(NO-lihg HO-nuh AH-guhs AH-vlee-ihn fwee WAH-shuh HEEV).
For every greeting above, the common response is:
Go mba hé duit
(guh may hay wich)
Meaning: The same to you.
If you have tried to learn these phrases in Irish, and all earnest attempts have failed, just try the universal greeting...lift a pint, thrust it forward in the internationally accepted toast, and you will be a hit in any language. (Especially if you buy the house a round.)
For more Holiday Irish words and phrases, please click Holiday Irish.
Note: Letter groups that are capitalized indicate the stressed syllables. There has also been much debate as to whether Shona is pronounced with the sh sound or said as hona. As we understand it, much depends on what part of Ireland you are in.
Resources: Content is edited from the Irish Heritage Newsletter. If you would like to receive the newsletter, please email George at Steeler059@aol.com
Images: Greeting card from Irish Abroad free cards.
For more of our Holiday Stories click on the following links.
Time at this Point in the Year
An Advent Memory
Yes, Kelsey and Maddie, there is a Santa Claus
Waiting for St. Nicholas
Christmas - Preparing the Puddings
Christmas - Food for the Feast
An Irish Christmas - Then & Now
An Irish Christmas - The Day Before
Memories of Christmas Eve Past
An Irish Christmas - Ding Dong Merrily On High
Seasons Greetings in Irish
St. Stephen's Day to New Year's Eve
New Year's Day to Epiphany
Many Years Ago by John B. Keane
Rowing to Christmas Mass
Burying the Baby Jesus
White Washed Walls
An East Cork Christmas
Wed, Apr 6, 2016
The 'Harp' Flag
This was the unofficial national flag of Ireland from 1798 until the early years of the 20th century. Since the 16th century, the gold harp had been on a blue field, but the United Irishmen changed the colour to green.
The Green Flag was widely carried during the rebellion of 1798 - often with the motto of the United Irishmen, 'Éire go Brágh' - Ireland Forever - included below the harp.
The banner quickly won popular acceptance and it was used by the followers of Daniel O'Connell, by most of the Fenians, and by the supporters of Home Rule from the time of Parnell until the collapse of the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1918.
Click for More Culture Corner.
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March 4, 2011
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