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Published on: Vocabulary

How To Say Happy Birthday in Spanish

If you are learning Spanish, one of the first things you should learn is to wish happy birthday! For sure, as you learn Spanish, you will find that you will inevitably come across many situations (such as birthday parties) where you will want to wish someone a happy birthday. And in Spanish, it’s pretty easy. 

If you have Spanish-speaking friends and you know the Spanish culture, you should know that they are experts in birthday celebrations. Whether you have moved to a Spanish-speaking country, are currently traveling in Latin America, or are simply celebrating a birthday party with your Spanish class, you will have no lack of reasons to say happy birthday. 

So we will show you in this article the best ways to say happy birthday in Spanish. We’ll also show you some unique and fun ways to congratulate someone on their birthday, just in case you’re not one to go with the flow.

Be sure to read the article to the end, as we will also discuss some cultural considerations that are important to take into account when it comes to saying happy birthday in Spanish-speaking countries.

Common Ways To Say Happy Birthday In Spanish

Before you start learning the different expressions for celebrating someone’s birthday and saying happy birthday in Spanish, let’s first learn the basics.

Feliz cumpleaños 

This is the literal translation of “happy birthday” in Spanish. As in English, it is most common to accompany it with something else, since just saying “happy birthday” can sound very distant or emotionless.

Feliz cumple

“Cumple” is a more short and friendly way to say birthday and it is commonly used in the Spanish-speaking world. So if you want to say “feliz cumpleaños” in Spanish more informally and casually, you can use this other form.

Felicidades / Felicitaciones

“Felicidades” and “felicitaciones” means the same. And in English, it can be translated as “greetings” or “congratulations”, but is widely used as a substitute for “feliz cumpleaños”. It is a more emphatic and emotional way to say “happy birthday” in Spanish.

Different Ways To Wish A Happy Birthday In Spanish

Like in English, there are many ways to say “happy birthday” in Spanish. Here are some of the most unique ways to wish someone a happy birthday in Spanish.

Spanish English 
¡Feliz cumpleaños atrasado! Happy belated birthday!
Te deseo todo lo mejor en tu cumpleaños. I wish you the best on your birthday.
¡Que cumplas muchos más! Hope you have many more!
Otro año alrededor del sol,  ¡Feliz cumpleaños! Another year around the sun. Happy birthday! 
¡Te deseo un muy feliz cumpleaños! Wishing you a very happy birthday!
¡Mis mejores deseos en tu cumpleaños! Best birthday wishes to you!
¡Espero que todos tus deseos de cumpleaños se cumplan! Hope all your birthday wishes come true!
Feliz cumpleaños, ¡que la pases bien! Happy birthday, and have a good one!
¡Que tengas un cumpleaños fabuloso!  Have a fabulous birthday!
Espero que tengas un cumpleaños maravilloso. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
¡Te deseo lo mejor! All the best!
¡Que tu día esté lleno de risas! May your birthday be filled with laughter!
Te deseo muchas más velitas para soplar. Wishing you many more candles to blow
¡Felicidades por otro año bien aprovechado! Congratulations on another year well spent!
Te deseo un día tan especial como tú lo eres. Wishing you a day that is as special as you.
¡Feliz cumpleaños! No cuentes las velas, solo disfruta su brillo. Happy birthday! Don’t count the candles, just enjoy the glow. 
Te deseo lo mejor en el año que viene. I wish you the best in the year to come.
Espero que te la pases increíble en tu cumpleaños y que todos tus deseos se vuelvan realidad I hope you have an incredible time celebrating your birthday and that all your wishes come true.
¡Diviértete mucho y festeja al máximo! ¡Feliz cumpleaños! Have tons of fun and celebration to the max! Happy birthday!
Espero que este cumpleaños esté lleno de sorpresas gratas y le deseo lo mejor en el próximo año. I hope that your birthday is full of pleasant surprises and I wish you the best in the upcoming year.
Te deseo el mejor de los cumpleaños y te mando un muy fuerte abrazo.  ¡Feliz cumpleaños! I wish you the best of birthdays and send you a big hug. Happy birthday! 


Image by freepik via Freepik

Funny Ways To Wish A Happy Birthday In Spanish

This category is for you if you like to be imaginative and put your own creative twist on things. These are some examples of funny and ironic ways to say happy birthday in Spanish. 

Feel free to put your own spin on any of the following funny happy birthday phrases in Spanish if you are an intermediate Spanish speaker.

Spanish English 
Que vivas tanto que tus arrugas tengan sus propias arrugas. ¡Feliz cumpleaños! May you live so long that your wrinkles have wrinkles. Happy birthday!
¡Feliz cumpleaños! Pero, por favor deja de crecer, ¡es una trampa! Happy birthday! But please stop growing up, it’s a trap!
Todos tienen la oportunidad de ser jóvenes alguna vez. Hoy es oficial, tu turno ha terminado. ¡Feliz cumpleaños!  Everyone gets to be young once. Today it’s official, your turn is over. Happy birthday!
Un verdadero amigo se acuerda de tu cumpleaños, pero no de tu edad. A true friend remembers your birthday, but not your age.
¡Felicidades por sobrevivir otros 365 días! Congratulations on getting through another 365 days!
¡Feliz cumpleaños! Y si alguien te dice que estás viejo, ¡pégales con tu bastón! Happy birthday! And if somebody says you’re old, hit them with your walking stick!
Estás un año más cerca de que te den descuento de adultos mayores. ¡Sigue así! Like a fine wine, you only get better with time!
Otro año más de no morir. ¡Bien por ti!  Another year without dying. Good for you!
Feliz cumpleaños, y recuerda que crecer es obligatorio, pero ¡madurar es opcional! Happy birthday, and remember that growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional!
Ya sé que es tu día especial, pero por favor tómalo con calma. Muchos cumpleaños te pueden matar. I know it’s your special day, but please take it slow. Too many birthdays can kill you.
¡Feliz día de subir de nivel! Que cumplas muchos más. Happy level-up day! May you have many more.
¡Felicidades por estar un poco más viejo! Que cumplas muchos más. Congratulations on getting slightly older! May you have many more.
¿Mayor? Definitivamente. ¿Más sabio? Discutible. ¡Feliz cumpleaños! Older? Definitely. Wiser? Debatable. Happy Birthday!

Common Questions About Birthdays In Spanish

When you meet someone, the subject of birthdays always comes up. So if you are getting to know a Spanish speaker and want to ask them about their birthday, here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Spanish English 
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? When is your birthday?
¿Qué quieres de regalo de cumpleaños? What do you want to get for your birthday?
¿Qué quieres hacer en tu cumpleaños? What do you want to do for your birthday?
¿Cuántos años cumples? How old are you turning?
¿Qué tal estuvo tu cumpleaños? How was your birthday?
¿Qué te regalaron de cumpleaños? What did you get for your birthday?
¿Qué hiciste el día de tu cumpleaños? What did you do on your birthday?
¿Qué signo eres? What sign are you?
¿En qué año naciste? What year were you born?
¿Cuántos años tienes? How old are you?
¿Qué día de la semana cae tu cumpleaños? What day of the week is your birthday?

Birthday Vocabulary In Spanish

To celebrate a happy birthday in Spanish, you must know the most mentioned words for this special day! So here’s a list of the most used Spanish vocabulary for birthdays

Spanish English 
Fiesta de cumpleaños Birthday party
Pastel de cumpleaños Birthday cake
Regalos Presents
Globos Ballons
Velas Candles
Deseos Wishes
Cumpleañero Birthday boy
Cumpleañera Birthday girl
Sorpresa Surprise
Invitación Invitation
Edad Age
Música Music
Ponqué Cupcake
Confeti Confetti
Evento Event
Juegos Games
Payaso Clown
Celebración Celebration
Canción de cumpleaños Happy Birthday song


Image by freepik via Freepik

Birthday Traditions In Spanish-Speaking Countries

We all know that Spanish speakers are the kings of the holidays, with traditions that are quite fun and unique. Here are the most common ones!


One of the most famous Latin American birthday traditions is the Quinceañera. It is a very special, unique once-in-a-lifetime celebration that only happens when a girl celebrates her 15th birthday. It is a major event, as it marks the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Quinceañera celebrations are usually big parties that include:

  • A court of honor for the quinceañera, similar to a bridal party.
  • An elegant quinceañera dress for the birthday girl.
  • A father/daughter dance.
  • A dance choreographed by the quinceañera and her court of honor.
  • A toast of good wishes to the quinceañera.

Quinceañera parties are often just as big and important as weddings!

Ear Tug

If you get your ear tugged while celebrating your birthday in Spain, it’s not violence! Ear tugging is a typical birthday tradition in Spain, where close friends and family give you an ear tug for every year you have lived, plus an extra one for luck!


Almost all (if not ALL) children’s birthday parties, especially in Latin America, will include a piñata. These are decorated figures made of cardboard and paper-mâché that are filled with candy and small toys.

The birthday boy and the invited children must hit and break the piñata so that all the candies fall to the ground. Once the piñata is broken, all the guests can race to grab as much candy off the ground as possible!

La mordida

“La mordida” is one of the weirdest birthday traditions in Latin America. Of course, all birthday parties must include a birthday cake, and when it comes time to blow out the candle, that’s when the birthday boy or girl must be careful.


Image by wayhomestudio via Freepik

Ready for celebrating a Spanish Birthday Party?

Congrats! You already know a lot of different and fun ways to wish a happy birthday to someone in Spanish. So now you can start meeting more Spanish speakers and talk about the subject of birthdays more freely, and write nice birthday messages in Spanish! 

And if you want to learn Spanish to continue celebrating at the fun Hispanic parties, remember that the best option is to do it with native teachers at SpanishVIP, so you can sign up at SpanishVIP for a free 1:1 class or for a 7-day trial of group lessons! Find out why our methodology will help you to celebrate like a native!


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