HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE! As the Northern Hemisphere enters the darkest and coldest months at the end of the year, it is always good to hear well-wishing from loved ones and strangers. Around this time of year, people across the world are putting in some extra effort to spend time with their family, festooning their homes with treasured knick-knacks, and generally embracing winter as a part of the miracle of living on Earth.

Do you celebrate Christmas? If so: Merry Christmas! I hope you get the chance to eat at least one massive gingerbread cookie and witness your hometown or neighborhood glisten in a fresh blanket of snow. If you plan on traveling to Europe for the holiday season, Jakub Marian has put together a useful map of all the ways you can wish someone who celebrates Christmas, a Merry Christmas. Check it out.

Marian noted a similarity between some adjacent countries’ languages – citing common roots in different languages, for example between Romania and Hungary, and between the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Even though Romanian and Hungarian are completely unrelated languages, the words ‘karácsony’ and ‘Crăciun’ come from a common root (either Proto-Slavic *korčiti or Latin creātiōnem).

Jakub also noted an eccentricity about the UK and Ireland:

One last note: In the United Kingdom and Ireland, ‘Happy Christmas’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ can be used interchangeably. However, since the point of the map is to show translations of the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ from English into other languages, I thought it would be strange to give ‘Happy Christmas’ as a possible translation of ‘Merry Christmas’ from English into English.

So – Happy Christmas, everyone!


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