How to Say Happy Birthday to You in Spanish


Birthdays are a special occasion celebrated worldwide, and Spanish-speaking countries are no exception. Knowing how to say “happy birthday” in Spanish is a great way to show your Spanish-speaking loved ones how much you care. Whether it’s a simple greeting or a heartfelt message, saying “happy birthday” in Spanish will make your loved ones feel special and appreciated. In this article, we will cover the different ways to say “happy birthday” in Spanish, including basic phrases, birthday greetings, singing happy birthday, and other Spanish birthday traditions.

Basic Phrases for Saying Happy Birthday in Spanish

The most common way to say “happy birthday” in Spanish is “Feliz cumpleaños.” However, there are other variations that you can use to make your message more creative and engaging. Here are some examples of basic phrases for saying “happy birthday” in Spanish:

  • ¡Feliz cumpleaños! (Happy Birthday!)
  • ¡Que tengas un día maravilloso en tu cumpleaños! (Have a wonderful day on your birthday!)
  • ¡Que cumplas muchos años más! (May you have many more years to come!)

It’s essential to understand the different levels of formality in Spanish greetings to use the correct phrase for the occasion. For example, if you’re greeting someone you don’t know well or in a formal setting, it’s best to use “Feliz cumpleaños.” However, if you’re greeting someone you’re close to, you can use a more informal phrase like “¡Que tengas un día maravilloso en tu cumpleaños!” to show your affection.

In the next section, we will cover how to sing “happy birthday” in Spanish.

Singing Happy Birthday in Spanish

In Spanish-speaking countries, singing “Happy Birthday” is a traditional part of birthday celebrations. The Spanish birthday song is called “Las Mañanitas,” which means “Little Mornings.” It’s a serenade typically sung to the birthday person early in the morning to wake them up and start the day on a happy note.

The lyrics of “Las Mañanitas” vary depending on the region and the occasion. However, the most popular version of the song goes like this:

Estas son las mañanitas
Que cantaba el Rey David
Hoy por ser día de tu santo
Te las cantamos a ti
Despierta, mi bien, despierta
Mira que ya amaneció
Ya los pajarillos cantan
La luna ya se metió

The English translation of the song is:

These are the little mornings
That King David sang
Today, being your saint's day
We sing them to you
Wake up, my dear, wake up
Look, it's already dawn
The birds are already singing
The moon has already set

If you’re planning to sing “Las Mañanitas” to someone on their birthday, it’s essential to practice the song beforehand to ensure that you can sing it properly. You can also add your personal touch by changing the lyrics or adding a guitar or other musical instrument to accompany your singing.

Birthday Greetings and Wishes in Spanish

Aside from saying “Feliz cumpleaños,” there are other ways to greet someone on their birthday in Spanish. Here are some examples of common greetings and wishes:

  • ¡Felicidades en tu día! (Congratulations on your day!)
  • ¡Que la vida te sonría siempre! (May life always smile on you!)
  • ¡Que cumplas muchos años más llenos de amor y felicidad! (May you have many more years filled with love and happiness!)

As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to understand the different levels of formality in Spanish greetings to use the correct phrase for the occasion. In formal settings, it’s best to use more polite and reserved greetings like “¡Felicidades en tu día!” or “¡Que la vida te sonría siempre!” In informal settings, you can use more casual and affectionate greetings like “¡Feliz cumpleaños, mi amor!” or “¡Que cumplas muchos años más llenos de aventuras!” to show your closeness to the person.

Other Spanish Birthday Traditions

Aside from singing “happy birthday” and giving gifts, Spanish culture has other unique birthday traditions. Here are some examples:

  • La mordida: This tradition involves the birthday person taking a bite out of their birthday cake before the candles are blown out. After taking a bite, the birthday person’s face may be pushed into the cake as a playful gesture.

  • Las mañanitas: This tradition is similar to the birthday song, but it’s a serenade that’s sung in the morning of the birthday person’s special day. It’s a beautiful way to start the day and show the birthday person how much they’re loved and appreciated.

  • Piñatas: Piñatas are a staple of Spanish birthday celebrations. A piñata is a colorful, decorated container filled with candy and toys. The birthday person is blindfolded and takes turns hitting the piñata with a stick until it breaks open, and the contents spill out.

If you’re celebrating a Spanish-inspired birthday, incorporating these traditions can make the occasion more memorable and enjoyable.


In conclusion, learning how to say “happy birthday” in Spanish is an excellent way to show your loved ones how much you care. Whether you use a basic phrase, sing the traditional birthday song, or incorporate other Spanish birthday traditions, your efforts will be appreciated. Remember to use the appropriate level of formality in your greetings and practice speaking Spanish to improve your language skills. By doing so, you’ll not only celebrate birthdays more meaningfully but also enhance your cultural knowledge and communication skills.

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