Special Greetings for Special Days

Learning Social Language

Table laid with birthday gifts and balloons
Tim Macpherson / Getty Images

It is common to use a special greeting used just for that occasion on special days, holidays and other special occasions. Here are some of the most common:


  • Happy birthday!
  • Best wishes/Good luck on your thirtieth (age - use an ordinal number) birthday!
  • Many happy returns!


  • Congratulations!
  • Best wishes / good luck on your tenth (number - use an ordinal number) anniversary!
  • Here's to many more happy years together (used when making a toast)

Special Holidays

  • Merry Christmas!
  • Happy New Year/Easter/Hanukkah/Ramadan etc.
  • All the best for a happy New Year/Easter/Hanukkah/Ramadan etc.

When making special greetings to children on their birthday and at Christmas, it is also common to ask them what gifts they received:

  • Merry Christmas! What did you get from Santa Claus?
  • Happy Birthday! What did your Daddy get for you?

Special Occasions

  • Congratulations on your promotion!
  • All the best for your ...
  • I'm so proud of you!

More Social Language Key Phrases