How To Wish Someone Happy Hanukkah: 7 Greetings To Celebrate the Jewish Festival

Hanukkah—also spelled Chanukah, among other spellings—is the annual Jewish festival of lights that takes place in the winter.

The eight-day festival sees families gather together to celebrate at home and entails various traditions, including special food, scripture readings, prayers and the lighting of the menorah, the Hebrew word for a candelabrum.

Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually takes place in December. In 2021, Hanukkah runs from November 28 to December 6.

Here we look at some greetings and phrases to celebrate Hanukkah.

1. Happy Hanukkah

"Hanukkah sameach," which means "happy Hanukkah," can be used to greet one another during the festival.

Hanukkah is pronounced "ha-noo-kah." According to 18Doors, a nonprofit for interfaith families: "The big challenge here for many English-speakers is that initial heavy H sound, like the J in Jose or the ch in Loch Ness.

"That's why the holiday is sometimes spelled Chanukah," the nonprofit explains.

2. Happy Festival of Lights

You can also say "Chag urim sameach," which means "happy festival of lights."

3. Happy Holiday

"Chag sameach," which means "happy holiday," can be said on any holiday or festival.

Pronounced "khahg sah-may-ach," chag sameach should be said with "a heavy guttural h at the beginning of the first word and the end of the second," according to 18Doors.

4. Festivals for Joy

Or if you're feeling sophisticated, you can also say "Moadim l'simcha," which means "festivals for joy," the nonprofit says.

A family Hanukkah gathering.
A family gathered at a table for Hanukkah celebrations. iStock/Getty Images Plus

5. Alternative Happy Holiday

You may hear some saying "gut yuntuv" (as well as "gut yom tov") which also means "happy holiday" in Hebrew.

18Doors explains the phrase is typically said on the Jewish holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Purim and Shavuot. However, "it can really be said for any holiday," the nonprofit notes.

6. Hanukkah Blessings

As Hanukkah is a celebration of miracles and blessings, you can use phrases that incorporate both.

Below are some suggested phrases around blessings that could be used during Hanukkah, according to Hallmark, the greeting card company:

  • "May your Hanukkah be filled with unexpected blessings."
  • "Thinking of you as we celebrate a season of miracles."
  • "Wishing you a season of peace."
  • "This time of hope reminds us of our resilience. Wishing you blessings in the year ahead."
  • "In a season of blessings, you're one of mine."

7. Warm Wishes for Families

Hanukkah is also centered around family, so greeters could send warm wishes to loved ones using phrases like these below, as suggested by Hallmark:

  • "Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy Hanukkah and new year."
  • "Thinking of your family as you celebrate a season full of traditions."
  • "Wishing you a season full of light and love."
A Hanukkah menorah.
A menorah seen with the Star of David symbol. iStock/Getty Images Plus