little-girl-hitting-a-piñata

How to Say “Happy Birthday in Spanish”: 90+ Birthday Words and Phrases

Celebrating birthdays is just as important in Spanish culture as it is in English!

Knowing how to say “happy birthday” and send your best wishes is an essential part of speaking the language.

In this post, we’ll teach you how to say “happy birthday” in Spanish as well as some extra birthday phrases and vocabulary you can use to congratulate them on their big day!

Contents

How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish

Here are the most popular phrases you can use to wish someone a happy birthday:

¡Feliz Cumpleaños! Happy Birthday!

This is the most common way to wish someone a “happy birthday” in Spanish across the Spanish-speaking world.

Like “happy birthday!” in English, all you need is this phrase, adding a name is optional: 

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Juan! — Happy Birthday, Juan!

As you will see below, this phrase is also sometimes shortened in colloquial speech to “¡Feliz cumple!” which also means “happy birthday!” 

¡Feliz Cumple! — Happy Birthday!

Cumple is the short version of cumpleaños. This is also very commonly used, although it’s more informal than the first one.

Note that both phrases contain some form of the verb cumplir (to fulfill) + años. This translates literally to “to complete years.” So when you wish someone feliz cumpleaños, you are wishing them a “happy completion of this year!”

¡Felicidades! — Happy Birthday!

Along with feliz cumpleañosfelicidades is another popular birthday phrase. This phrase translates literally into English as “happiness” and is used to say “congratulations” or “best wishes” in Spanish. ¡Felicidades! is often used to wish someone a happy birthday. 

Here are a few birthday phrases using felicidades:

¡Felicidades! — Happy birthday! / Congratulations!

¡Muchas felicidades! — Many congratulations!

¡Muchas felicidades en tu día! — Many congratulations on your birthday!

¡Felicitaciones! — Happy Birthday!

Felicitaciones is used in Spanish to say “congratulations.” This phrase is less common than the others in this list and is seen as a formal way of wishing someone a happy birthday. 

It’s worth adding felicitaciones to your Spanish vocabulary as this word can be used in many different situations: 

¡Felicitaciones por tu cumpleaños! — Happy birthday! (Literally “congratulations on your birthday”)

¡Felicitaciones! — Congratulations! (General congratulations)

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Atrasado! — Happy Belated Birthday!

Have you ever forgotten a family member’s birthday? Or maybe you overheard a conversation at work that it was your colleague’s birthday last weekend.

Even if you’re great at remembering birthdays and important dates, it’s worth learning these phrases! Instead of pretending it never happened, say “Feliz cumpleaños atrasado” (Happy belated birthday).

You can also say these phrases, which mean the same thing:

You know what they say: ¡Más vale tarde que nunca! (Better late than never!)

Spanish Birthday Greetings and Well Wishes

SpanishEnglish
¡Que cumplas muchos más!  May you celebrate many more birthdays!
¡Que tengas un feliz día!  May you have a good day!
Disfruta de tu día.  Enjoy your day!
Feliz cumpleaños adelantado.  Happy early birthday.
¡Que se cumplan todos tus sueños/deseos!  May all your dreams/wishes come true!
¡Pásalo muy bien!  Have a good time!
¡Que tengas un día especial! ¡Te lo mereces!  Hope you have a special day! You deserve it!
Mis mejores deseos en tu cumpleaños.  My best wishes on your birthday.
Que tengas un feliz cumpleaños.  Have a happy birthday.
Felicidades en tu día.  Congratulations on your day.
Deseándote un día especial.  Wishing you a special day.
Espero que tengas un cumpleaños maravilloso.  I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
Te deseo lo mejor en tu día especial.  I wish you the best on your special day.
Que este día esté lleno de alegría y felicidad.  May this day be filled with joy and happiness.
Que la pases genial en tu cumpleaños.  Have a great time on your birthday.
Te deseo un día lleno de amor y risas.  I wish you a day full of love and laughter.
Que disfrutes al máximo tu cumpleaños.  Enjoy your birthday to the fullest.
Te envío mis mejores deseos en tu cumpleaños.  I send you my best wishes on your birthday.
Que tengas un día lleno de sorpresas y emociones.  May you have a day full of surprises and emotions.
Felicidades en tu día especial.  Congratulations on your special day.
Que la vida te colme de bendiciones en tu cumpleaños.  May life bless you abundantly on your birthday.
Te deseo un año lleno de felicidad y éxitos.  I wish you a year full of happiness and success.
Que la felicidad te acompañe siempre.  May happiness always be with you.
Que cada año que pases sea mejor que el anterior.  May each year be better than the last.
Que la alegría y la dicha te rodeen en tu cumpleaños.  May joy and happiness surround you on your birthday.
Te deseo un día increíblemente especial.  I wish you an incredibly special day.
¡Feliz cumpleaños a la persona más increíble!
 
Happy birthday to the most amazing person!
¡Es tu día especial, así que diviértete mucho!
 
It's your special day, so have a lot of fun!

As you can see there are many different ways to wish someone a “happy birthday” in Spanish.

One of the best ways to become familiar with the phrases is by immersing yourself in native media to see how they are used by native speakers. There are many ways you can do this, such as watching native content in Spanish on YouTube, or for more practice you could try a language learning program like FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. If you decide to sign up by November 28th, you'll receive a 60% discount with our Black Friday sale!

  FluentU Ad

Spanish Birthday Vocabulary

In addition to learning how to wish someone a “happy birthday” in Spanish, it’s also useful to know some basic birthday words and phrases to use when speaking Spanish with native speakers.

Spanish Birthday Words

SpanishEnglishExample Phrases
La fiesta de cumpleaños Birthday party Me ha invitado a su fiesta de cumpleaños. (He has invited me to his birthday party.)
Los deseos Wishes Que se cumplan todos tus deseos. (May all your wishes come true.)
El globo Balloon Tenemos que comprar más globos. (We need to buy more balloons.)
El pastel / la tarta / la torta [/fluentu-tts]Cake Me encanta este pastel de chocolate. (I love this chocolate cake)
Los regalos Gifts Ella recibió muchos regalos. (She got a lot of presents.)
El confeti Confetti ¿Has traído el confeti? (Have you brought the confetti?)
Celebrar To celebrate Vamos a celebrar el viernes. (We are going to celebrate on Friday.)
Dar un regalo To give a present ¿Le has dado el regalo a Pablo ya? (Have you given the present to Pablo yet?)
La canción de cumpleaños Birthday song Esta es mi canción de cumpleaños favorita. (This is my favorite birthday song.)
La piñata Piñata En la fiesta de cumpleaños de María había una piñata. (There was a piñata at Maria's birthday party.)
Los invitados Guests Hay al menos 50 invitados. (There are at least 50 guests.)
La fiesta sorpresa Surprise party Le va a encantar la fiesta sorpresa. (He's going to love the surprise party.)
Pedir un deseo To make a wish ¡Pide un deseo! (Make a wish!)
Las velas Candles ¿Cuántas velas hay? (How many candles are there?)
Cumpleaños Birthday Mañana es mi cumpleaños. (Tomorrow is my birthday.)
Fiesta Party Haremos una fiesta de cumpleaños. (We will throw a birthday party.)
Globos Balloons Decoramos la sala con globos de colores. (We decorated the room with colorful balloons.)
Celebración Celebration La celebración de cumpleaños fue increíble. (The birthday celebration was amazing.)
Sorpresa Surprise Le preparé una sorpresa de cumpleaños. (I prepared a birthday surprise for him/her.)
Alegría Joy La alegría se sentía en el ambiente de la fiesta de cumpleaños. (Joy was felt in the atmosphere of the birthday party.)
Amigos Friends Mis amigos me acompañaron en mi cumpleaños. (My friends joined me on my birthday.)
Familia Family Celebramos el cumpleaños en compañía de la familia. (We celebrated the birthday in the company of family.)
Cumplir años To turn years old Hoy cumplo veinticinco años. (Today I turn twenty-five years old.)
Aniversario Anniversary Celebramos nuestro aniversario de cumpleaños cada año. (We celebrate our birthday anniversary every year.)
Dulces Sweets Había una mesa llena de dulces en la fiesta de cumpleaños. (There was a table full of sweets at the birthday party.)
Regalar To give (as a gift) Le voy a regalar un libro en su cumpleaños. (I am going to give him/her a book as a birthday gift.)
Abrazos Hugs Nos dimos abrazos cálidos en el cumpleaños. (We gave each other warm hugs at the birthday.)
Besos Kisses Le di dos besos en las mejillas para felicitarlo por su cumpleaños. (I gave him two kisses on the cheeks to congratulate him on his birthday.)
Reunión Gathering Organizaremos una reunión familiar para celebrar el cumpleaños. (We will organize a family gathering to celebrate the birthday.)
Decoración Decoration Las decoraciones de la fiesta de cumpleaños eran coloridas. (The birthday party decorations were colorful.)
Felicidad Happiness Su sonrisa reflejaba pura felicidad en su cumpleaños. (Her smile reflected pure happiness on her birthday.)
Serenata Serenade Le hicieron una serenata de cumpleaños bajo su ventana. (They serenaded her under her window for her birthday.)
Cantar To sing Todos juntos cantamos 'Feliz cumpleaños' en su honor. (We all sang 'Happy Birthday' together in their honor.)
Brindar To toast Brindemos por el cumpleaños de nuestro amigo. (Let's toast to our friend's birthday.)
Juegos Games Organizaremos varios juegos divertidos durante la fiesta de cumpleaños. (We will organize several fun games during the birthday party.)
Comida Food Prepararemos una deliciosa comida para la celebración de cumpleaños. (We will prepare a delicious meal for the birthday celebration.)
Bebidas Drinks Habrá una variedad de bebidas refrescantes en la fiesta de cumpleaños. (There will be a variety of refreshing drinks at the birthday party.)
Invitaciones Invitations Envié las invitaciones de cumpleaños por correo electrónico. (I sent the birthday invitations by email.)
Cumplimentar To congratulate Voy a cumplimentar a mi hermano por su cumpleaños. (I am going to congratulate my brother on his birthday.)
Agradecer To thank Quiero agradecer a todos por los buenos deseos en mi cumpleaños. (I want to thank everyone for the well wishes on my birthday.)

Spanish Birthday Phrases

SpanishEnglish
¿Cuántos años cumples? How old are you turning?
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? When is your birthday?
¿Qué quieres para tu cumpleaños? What do you want for your birthday?
¿Qué vas a hacer para tu cumpleaños? What are you going to do for your birthday?
¿Qué vas a hacer en tu cumpleaños? What are you going to do on your birthday?
Mi cumpleaños es el (date). My birthday is on (date).
¿Cómo celebraste tu último cumpleaños? How did you celebrate your last birthday?
¿Qué te gustaría recibir de regalo de cumpleaños? What would you like to receive as a birthday gift?
¿Qué tipo de comida te gusta tener en tu cumpleaños? What kind of food do you like to have on your birthday?
¿Cuál ha sido tu mejor fiesta de cumpleaños hasta ahora? What has been your best birthday party so far?
¿Cuál es tu recuerdo más especial de un cumpleaños pasado? What is your most special memory of a past birthday?
¿Cómo te sientes cuando se acerca tu cumpleaños? How do you feel as your birthday approaches?
¿Cuántas velas soplaste en tu último cumpleaños? How many candles did you blow out on your last birthday?
¿Cuál es tu signo zodiacal? What is your zodiac sign?
¿Recibiste algún regalo sorpresa en tu último cumpleaños? Did you receive any surprise gifts on your last birthday?
¿Cómo planeas celebrar tu cumpleaños este año? How do you plan to celebrate your birthday this year?
¿Qué te gusta hacer durante el día de tu cumpleaños? What do you like to do on your birthday?
¿Tienes algún deseo especial para tu próximo cumpleaños? Do you have any special wish for your upcoming birthday?
¿Has tenido alguna fiesta sorpresa de cumpleaños en el pasado? Have you ever had a surprise birthday party in the past?

Singing “Happy Birthday” in Spanish 

A birthday celebration isn’t complete without singing “happy birthday!” It’s an essential part of the celebration, like it is in many different cultures around the world.

In Spanish, there are multiple birthday songs that you can choose from.

“Cumpleaños Feliz” (Happy Birthday to You) 

We have, of course, the traditional “Happy Birthday to You” song (“Cumpleaños Feliz” song), which is very popular in Spain:

¡Cumpleaños feliz! (Happy birthday!)

¡Cumpleaños feliz! (Happy birthday!)

Te deseamos todos, (We all wish you,)

¡Cumpleaños feliz! (Happy birthday!)

Note that in this Castilian Spanish version of the song, “feliz cumpleaños” has been switched around to “cumpleaños feliz.” 

You could also learn this variant of the same song:

¡Cumpleaños feliz! (Happy birthday!)

¡Te deseamos a ti! (We wish to you!)

¡Que los cumplas en tu día! (May you celebrate on your day!)

¡Que los cumplas feliz! (May you celebrate happily!)

Whatever song you choose to sing, make sure you sing loudly and make the person celebrating feel special on their birthday!

Birthday Traditions in the Spanish-speaking World

With such a large Spanish-speaking world, you can imagine that traditions can vary. In this final section we have included some of the most popular birthday traditions across several countries:

  • Argentina: One of the traditions people have in Argentina is pulling a child’s earlobe once for however many years old they are. They also hold a large Quinceañera party when a girl turns 15.
  • Chile: It’s very common to see pineapple cakes at birthday parties in Chile. It’s also very common to see the birthday boy or girl get frosting on their face while blowing out the candles.
  • Dominican Republic: If it’s your birthday, you can be sure people are going to throw water at you, no matter your age!
  • El Salvador: You might find a cake at a birthday party in El Salvador, but you most definitely will find tamales, which are simply one of the most delicious things on earth!
  • Honduras: People in Honduras get egged for their birthday. Guests smash an egg over the person’s head, and then throw flour and water at them. 
  • Mexico: A birthday party wouldn’t be a real birthday party in Mexico if there weren’t a piñata filled with candy. Traditionally, kids are blindfolded and given a bat or stick to hit the piñata until it bursts and releases all of the candy for people to pick up!
  • Peru: It’s very common in Peru for guests (yes, guests!) to get presents, or rather souvenirs, at birthday parties. The two most common gifts are a goody bag and a pin made in honor of the event.
  • Spain: One of the most interesting aspects of birthdays in Spain is that most people consider themselves to have two birthdays: the actual day they were born as well as their patron Saint’s day. For some, this means celebrating their birthday twice, or maybe only celebrating on the patron Saint’s day!
  • Venezuela: Here, people do their best to get your face into the birthday cake when it’s your birthday. It’s a symbol of good luck, so you better not try to resist!

 

From basic birthday vocabulary and phrases to songs and traditions, you now know how to celebrate birthdays in Spanish!

And One More Thing…

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:

learn-spanish-with-videos

FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

learn-spanish-with-interactive-subtitled-videos

Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.

learn-spanish-with-songs

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

learn-spanish-with-music-videos

The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Sign up by November 28th to receive a 60% discount with our Black Friday sale!

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Close