How to Say "Happy New Year" in Spanish

Quick Answer

Happy New Year! = ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

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Common Phrases for the New Year

On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, Spanish speakers often use the phrase ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!, meaning Happy New Year! in English. In addition to this greeting, there are a variety of other expressions you can use around the start of a new year:

PhraseTranslation
¡Feliz Año!
Happy New Year! (literally, Happy Year!)
¡Próspero Año Nuevo!
Happy New Year! (literally, Prosperous New Year!)
¡Muchas felicidades!
Best wishes!
¡Feliz 2019!
Happy 2019!

Given that the start of the new year occurs around the same time as many other holidays around the world, you can also use the phrase ¡Felices fiestas!to express well wishes at this time of year. This expression can be translated as Happy Holidays!, Season's greetings!, or Compliments of the season! in English.

Check out the following examples that show how to use these phrases:

examples
¡Feliz Año Nuevo, amor! - Te deseo lo mismo.
Happy New Year, my love! - I wish you the same.
¡Próspero Año Nuevo! - ¡Feliz Año para ti también!
Happy New Year! - Happy New Year to you, too!
¡Muchas felicidades por el año nuevo! - ¡Gracias! Ojalá estuvieras aquí.
Best wishes for the new year! - Thanks! I wish you were here.
¡Feliz 2019! -¡A ti! Que tengas un próspero año y felicidad.
Happy 2019! - You too! I hope you have a happy and prosperous new year.
"Felices fiestas" se puede usar en lugar de la expresión "Feliz Navidad y un próspero Año Nuevo".
"Happy Holidays" can be used in place of the expression "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

New Year's Traditions in Spanish-Speaking Countries

Did you know that Spanish-speaking countries around the world have different ways of ringing in the new year? In addition to an abundance of food, dancing, and other festivities, many countries have specific traditions they practice to welcome prosperity and happiness in the new year. Check out the table below for a list of common traditions in el mundo hispanohablante(the Spanish-speaking world).

TraditionCountriesDescription
Comer uvas(eating grapes)Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Spain, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, VenezuelaAs the clock strikes midnight, it is customary in many cultures to eat twelve grapes to represent a wish for each month of the new year.
Llevar ropa colorida(wearing colorful clothing)Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, VenezuelaPeople wear brightly colored clothing (and sometimes even underwear!) to ring in the new year. Red or pink typically represent love, while yellow symbolizes happiness, and green is for wealth.
Comer lentejas o frijoles(eating lentils or beans)Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, SpainMany eat lentils or beans for good health and increased opportunities for the new year.
Dar un paseo con las maletas(Walking around with luggage)Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay, VenezuelaWhether the suitcase is empty, packed, or filled with money, many people believe walking around the house or the block with luggage brings increased travel opportunities for the new year.
Derramar agua(spilling water)Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, UruguayMany people from these countries spill water on the street or over the shoulder when the the clock strikes twelve, which symbolizes getting rid of any negativity from the past year.
Llevar nueva ropa(wearing new clothes)Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, MexicoIn these cultures, wearing new clothes is a way to start the year with a clean slate.
Un anillo o moneda dentro de una copa de champán(ring or coin inside a glass of champagne)Bolivia, Chile, SpainPutting a golden coin or ring inside a glass of champagne symbolizes good luck in the new year.
Dinero en los zapatos o la mano(money in shoes or hand)Chile, Colombia, PanamaPutting money in your shoes or hand when the clock strikes midnight is said to bring good fortune and wealth for the coming year.
Abrir las puertas y ventanas a medianoche(opening doors and windows at midnight)Dominican Republic, ParaguayMany believe that this tradition gets rid of any evil spirits in the house while simultaneously welcoming in good energy.
Quemar los monigotes(burning the "old year" doll)Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, ParaguayIn many Latin American countries, people create life-size dolls to burn at the start of a new year. Often, these dolls represent controversial figures in society.

Looking to learn more about los días de fiesta(holidays) in Spanish-speaking countries? Check out this article!

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