DON’T Say “Felicidades” in Spanish, say THIS Instead

DON'T Say "Felicidades" in Spanish, say THIS Instead 🎉

¡Feliz cumpleaños!¡Felicidades!¡Ya estás viejo! Wait! What?! How many ways are there to congratulate a person?

Today, I will be teaching you 5 different ways to congratulate someone and, of course, the names of special occasions on which you should congratulate someone in Spanish! 

#1 ¡Felicidades!

This one is a life-saver, as you can use it to say “congratulations” for anything.

  • ¡Me voy a casar! (I’m getting married!) >> ¡Felicidades!
  • ¡Hoy es mi cumpleaños! (Today is my birthday!) >> ¡Felicidades!
  • ¡Mis papás cumplen 30 años de casados! (My parents have their 30th wedding anniversary!) >> ¡Felicidades!

Now, let’s be more specific…

#2 ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

Don’t forget that si estás en la fiesta de cumpleaños de un mexicano (if you are at a Mexican birthday party), you must sing Las Mañanitas, not the Happy Birthday song. 

And of course, after partir el pastel (cutting the cake), abrazas al festejado (you hug the birthday person) and say ¡Feliz cumpleaños! (Happy Birthday!)

It is okay to joke about the birthday person. Say, for example, “¡Ya estás viejo / vieja!” (You are already old!). 

#3 ¡Feliz aniversario! 

We don’t use this for a birthday, but only cuando quieres conmemorar ese día especial (when you want to commemorate that special day).

Por ejemplo (for example), tu aniversario de bodas (your wedding anniversary). Then, you might want to say ¡Feliz aniversario! (Happy Anniversary!)

And I truly like the following phrase because it may be used on many occasions…

#4 ¡Feliz día! 

Feel free to add whatever celebration you want in here! Let’s see some examples:

  • ¡Feliz día de las madres! (Happy Mother's Day!)
  • ¡Feliz día del padre! (Happy Father's Day!)
  • ¡Feliz día de San Valentín! (Happy Valentine's Day!) 
  • ¡Feliz día de la Independencia! (Happy Independence Day!)
  • ¡Feliz día de los inocentes! (Happy April's fool!) —Mexicans actually celebrate this day on December 28, not in April!

For any of these special occasions, besides congratulating someone you may want to continue a conversation using chunks like these:

  • ¡Te deseo un excelente día! (I wish you an excellent day!)
  • ¡Te deseo lo mejor! (I wish you all the best!)
  • ¡Enhorabuena! (Congrats!)
  • ¡Felicitaciones! (Congratulations!)
  • ¡Mil felicidades! (A thousand congrats!)
  • ¡Muchas felicidades! (Lots of congrats!)


All of these are good examples of chunks, that is, word combinations you should learn by heart as a whole because they never change. That way, they’ll roll off the tongue as a whole whenever you want to speak Spanish

For example, muchas felicidades is a chunk that will never change. You’ll never say muchos felicidades or so. You don’t even have to know the gender of felicidades. You learn the whole chunk by heart, and you will use it yourself correctly. 

If you’d like to know more about learning Spanish through chunks, check out our free Spanish chunking training on our website, where we demonstrate it in detail!

Other occasions to congratulate someone

The birth of a child

  • ¡Felicidades por el nacimiento de tu hijo o hija! (Congratulations for the birth of your son or daughter!)

Graduation Day from school or university

  • ¡Felicidades, graduado! (Congratulations, graduate!)

A wedding

  • ¡Felicidades a los novios/esposos! (Congratulations to the groom and bride!)
  • ¡Felicidades al papá de la novia! (Congratulations to the father of the bride!)

A new job

  • ¡Felicitaciones por tu nuevo trabajo! (Congrats on your new job!)

Let’s end this lesson with the chunks we use to congratulate on Christmas and New Year’s Eve…

#5 ¡Felices fiestas!

This is the equivalent of “Happy Holidays!”, but if you really want to be specific, just like the song, you might say: ¡Feliz Navidad! (the equivalent of Merry or, in this case, Happy Christmas!) 

To wish a Happy New Year we say “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Mis amigos, do you have other special occasions that you wish to know how to congratulate someone in Spanish? Let me know by leaving me a comment below! 

And again, if you want to learn more about chunks and how the chunking method works, check out the Free Spanish training on our website to help you speak Spanish fluently without cramming words and grammar lists.

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