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The Diversity Guide for Holiday Greetings

Spreading the “Holiday Cheer”?

Many of us are accustomed to this time of year being deemed the “holiday season”– viewed as a time of celebration, gift-giving and spending time with family. In addition to Christmas, many people celebrate other year-end holidays around this time, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Then of course there are those who may not be celebrating anything specific, but are enjoying the holiday season as a time off of school or work, as a chance to take that much-needed vacation, or as a time to reunite with family. Suffice to say, the “holiday cheer” spreads far and wide regardless of culture, religion, or lack thereof. However, it is important to keep in mind when spreading holiday greetings that if you are uncertain of whether someone is celebrating a specific holiday or not, the safest bet is to wish them “Happy Holidays” rather than making assumptions which may not be correct.

 

Navigating Diversity in Holidays

Those of us dealing with clients, co-workers and business partners in different parts of the world may wonder what holiday greetings to send (if any), in what language to send them, and when to send them!

For example, one tip to keep in mind when dealing with clients/business partners from many Eastern Orthodox countries like Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia and Serbia is that they celebrate Christmas on January 7th, following the Julian calendar. This is important to note so that if you do choose to wish them a “Merry Christmas”, not only can you personalize your greeting by language, but also by sending it closer to January 7th rather than in December as most people would tend to.

When it comes to dealing with international clients in countries which do not have a defined “holiday season” this time of year, in most cases, it may be best to stay away from sending any greetings at all. Here are some tips to follow instead:

1) Take note of specific holidays that you do know your client/business partner celebrates at other times of the year. For example: In 2015, your clients in China will be celebrating Chinese New Year on February 19th.

2) Mark your calendar and make sure to send holiday greetings their way when that time rolls around.

3) Do your research! Doing a bit of research in this regard can be extremely helpful when dealing with clients and partners on an international level.

For example, countries such as diverse from each other as Morocco and Turkey have the commonality that they are both Muslim-majority countries and do not celebrate any specific winter holidays. Rather, they celebrate two major holidays (Eid), which are on a different day each year based on the lunar calendar. Likewise, countries such as Thailand, and India also pass by December 25th like any other day of the year, but have their own unique holidays such as the Songkran Festival (Thai New Year) in April, and the autumn celebration of Diwali in India. These holidays serve as great occasions for you to send holiday greetings to your clients/business partners, and at a time they would appreciate.

Read more about cultural considerations in business to help you navigate your interactions during this holiday season and throughout the rest of the year. With these tips in mind, you should be able to navigate cultural/religious differences in holiday celebrations with ease.

 

Free Chart! Seasonal Holiday Greetings in Different Languages

For those of your clients/business partners who are celebrating a holiday this season, to help you get started with your personalized holiday greetings, wintranslation™ has come up with this free holiday greetings chart in different languages. So take your pick of language and greet away!

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hannukah!

Happy Kwanzaa!

French:  Joyeuses fêtes ! French:  Joyeux Noël ! French: Joyeuse fêtes de Hanoucca! Heri za Kwanza (common greeting in Swahili)
Spanish: ¡Felices fiestas navideñas! Spanish: ¡Feliz Navidad! Spanish: Feliz de Jánuca
Italian: Buone Feste! Italian: Buon Natale! Italian: Felice Chanukkà
German: Schöne Feiertage! German: Frohe Weihnachten! German: Glücklich Hanukkah
Russian: С праздником! Russian:Счастливого Рождества! Russian: Cреќен Ханука
Polish: Wesołych Świąt! Polish: Wesołych Świąt! Polish: Wesołej Chanuki!
Dutch:  Prettige feestdagen! Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest Turkish: Mutlu Hanukkah
Danish: Glade Feriedage Danish: Glædelig jul Danish: Ggelukkig Hannukah
Romanian:  Sărbatori fericite! Romanian: Crăciun fericit!
Hungarian: Boldog ünnepeket Hungarian: Boldog karácsonyt!