How to Say Merry Christmas in Korean- The Ultimate Guide


Going to Seoul during Christmas or having Korean friends or family that you want to greet this holiday? So apart from winter gear, cards, and gifts, there are a few things you must pack.

Well, it’s time to add how to say Merry Christmas in Korean to your to-do list.

Here in this article, Let’s take a lot of various ways to greet someone a Merry Christmas in Korean, and also the traditions and vocabulary that go along with it.

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What Is “Christmas” In Korean?

The word for “Christmas” in Korean is 성탄절 (seongtanjeol).성(Seong), is the Chinese character meaning “holy”,탄(Tan) means “birth.” and 절 means holiday.  So together 성탄절(seongtanjeol) means “the festive day the holy person was born.”You can also say the loan word 크리스마스 (keuriseumaseu)

People do not really say 성탄절(seongtanjeol) very often. The Korean word for Christmas is “크리스마스(Keuriseumaseu),” which is quite widely used in daily conversation.

It is simple to remember because it sounds pretty similar to the English word for Christmas. But even so, please note that this is a casual form of the Korean word, & Christmas is pronounced in a Korean way.

And Here’s how 

How To Say Merry Christmas In Korean

merry christmas in korean

The common way to say Merry Christmas in Korean is 크리스마스 잘 보내세요 (keu-ri-seu-ma-seu jal bo-ne-say-yo).it is made up of the words 크리스마스 (Christmas), which means ‘well,’ and 보내세요 means ‘please spend time.’ it literally means ‘Please spend Christmas well’. you can use the casual form 메리 크리스마스 (meri keuriseumaseu)/크리스마스 잘 보내 (keuriseumaseu jal bonae) with friends. 행복한 크리스마스 되십시오 (haengbokan keuriseumaseu doesipsio)is the most formal way to wish someone a Merry Christmas.

Here are the three most common ways to say Merry Christmas in Korean as well as its pronunciation and hangul.

  • The standard way- 크리스마스 잘 보내세요 (keu-ri-seu-ma-seu jal bo-ne-say-yo)./즐거운 성탄절 보내세요 (jeulgeoun seongtanjeol bonaeseyo)
  • The informal way-메리 크리스마스 (meri keuriseumaseu)/크리스마스 잘 보내 (keuriseumaseu jal bonae)
  • The formal way- 행복한 크리스마스 되십시오 (haengbokan keuriseumaseu doesipsio)/

Standard Korean Christmas Greetings크리스마스 잘 보내세요 (keu-ri-seu-ma-seu jal bo-ne-say-yo).

merry christmas in korean

The most common way to say Merry Christmas in Korean is 크리스마스 잘 보내세요 (keu-ri-seu-ma-seu jal bo-ne-say-yo). This is made up of the words 크리스마스 (Christmas), which means ‘well’, and 보내세요 which means ‘please spend time’. So, 크리스마스 잘 보내세요 literally means ‘Please spend Christmas well’.

크리스마스 잘 보내요 (keuriseumaseu jal bonaeyo)

Another common way is to use the phrase 크리스마스 잘 보내요 (keuriseumaseu jal bonaeyo), which has the same meaning but without the extra politeness of the “세 (se)”. But Korean prefer to use 크리스마스 잘 보내세요 instead of this.

즐거운 성탄절 보내세요 (jeulgeoun seongtanjeol bonaeseyo)

If you want to use the Korean word  (성탄절 | seongtanjeol) instead of 크리스마스 but also be polite, then say 즐거운 성탄절 보내세요 (jeulgeoun seongtanjeol bonaeseyo) to say “Merry Christmas in Korean”.

Informal Korean Christmas Greetings

merry christmas in korean

메리 크리스마스 (meri keuriseumaseu) is the most common and informal way to say Merry Christmas in Korean. It is basically koenglish version of merry Christmas but the pronunciation is Koreanized.

But, take note that this form of Korean word is informal and Christmas is pronounced in a Korean way.

If you are not sure which form to use, just stick to the standard and formal versions of “Merry Christmas” in Korean.

크리스마스 잘 보내 (keuriseumaseu jal bonae)This is the informal version of the same expression and can only be used with close friends.

Formal Korean Christmas Greetings

merry christmas in korean

즐거운 성탄절 보내십시오 (jeulgeoun seongtanjeol bonaesipsio)Is the formal version of “Merry Christmas” . it is made up of three words 성탄절 (seongtanjeol) means “Christmas,” and the word 즐거운 comes from 즐겁다 (jeulgeopda) means pleasant with –십시오 (sipsio) ending. It makes it more formal.

but it’s not used as often as 크리스마스 (keuriseumaseu).

Another formal way of saying “Merry Christmas” is 행복한 크리스마스 되십시오 (haengbokan keuriseumaseu doesipsio). 행복한(haengbokan) comes from 행복하다(haengbokada) means happy or blissful with the formal ending –십시오 (sipsio) . You might see this on signs, posters, or cards.

 You can safely use it with all groups of people, and nobody will get offended.

크리스마스 이브 | How To Say Christmas Eve In Korean

merry christmas in korean

성탄절 전야 (Seongtanjeol Jeonnya) is the Korean word for “Christmas eve.”  You can combine 성탄절 means Christmas and 전야 means Eve in Korean  to say 성탄절 전야 or shortly 성탄 전야[seongtan jeonnya]

On the night of the 24th of December, families gather around to welcome the 25th of December by eating with the whole family, and gift-giving occurs. They also do it in Korea, but not everyone has the opportunity to do this since some have their families in the province.

 25 Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary And Holiday tradition

Do you know how to say “Santa” in Korean? How about “Snow” in Korean? If you don’t, then we’ve got you covered. 

Here are some common Christmas Korean vocabulary words related to Christmas that you can use during the holiday seasons in Korea.

merry christmas in korean
  • Santa -산타(santa)
  • Grandfather Santa – 산타 할아버지 (santa-hallabeoji)
  • gift/Present – 선물 (seonmul)
  • Decoration – 장식 (jangsik)
  • Christmas Tree – 크리스마스 트리 (keuriseumaseu teuri)
  • Wreath – 화환 (hwahwan)
  • Snow:  눈 (nun)
  • Christmas card – 크리스마스 카드(keuriseumaseu kadeu)
  • Christmas carol – 크리스마스 캐롤(keuriseumaseu kaerol)
  • Turkey: 칠면조 고기 (chilmyeonjo gogi)
  • Santa: 산타 (santa)
  • Pine tree: 소나무 (sonamu)
  • Elf – 꼬마 요정(kkoma yojeong)
  • Bell – 크리스마스 종(keuriseumaseu jong)
  • Chimney – 굴뚝(gulttuk)
  • Fireplace – 벽난로(byeognanro)
  • Stocking – 크리스마스 양말 (keuriseumaseu yangmal)
  • Candy Cane – 사탕 지팡이 (satang jipangi)
  • Rudolph- 루돌프 (rudolpeu)
  • Reindeer – 순록 (sunnok)
  • North Pole – 북극 (bukgeuk)
  • Mistletoe – 겨우살이 (gyeousari)
  • Snowman: 눈사람 (nunsaram)
  • Sled – 썰매(sseolmae)
  • Snowflake – 눈송이(nunsongi)

How do Koreans celebrate Christmas? |Korean culture and Christmas Traditions

There aren’t really any big Christmas traditions for most Koreans (unlike Chuseok and Seollal). You can expect interesting things at Christmas in South Korea

South Korea is the only East Asian country to recognize Christmas as a national holiday, so schools, businesses, and government offices are closed on Christmas Day. Stores remain open.

Christians in the country, usually go to church on Christmas eve and get together with their families on Christmas day, watch Christmas movies, go out on a date or hang with friends. 

Some families put up Christmas trees, people exchange presents, and stores do put up holiday decorations.  In fact, Christmas lights and decorations are common in Seoul.

Families may attend mass or church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (or both), and caroling parties are popular for young Christians on Christmas Eve.

Santa Haraboji or Grandpa Santa: Don’t say Santa in South Korea.

merry christmas in korean

In Korea, Santa Claus goes by another name; he’s called “Grandfather Santa.” or 산타 할아버지 (santa-hallabeoji) . This South Korean Santa wears mainly green or blue – occasionally red. with his top hat or ‘gat’ and is popular with children in Korea. Stores employ Santas to greet shoppers and hand out chocolate and candies.

These days, sometimes you can also see or hear about Grandmother Santa or 산타 할머니(santa halmeoni).

Korean Christmas Food

No matter where you are in the world, food and holidays go together! There are a few more that deserve an honorable mention for Christmas.

There is no typical Korean Christmas food in Korea. Most Koreans will eat a typical Korean meal, but it’s becoming a trend to go out for Western food or cook Western food at home. 

Cream sponge cake is served instead of fruit cake. And Koreans prefer kimchi, noodles, and beef bulgogi. Korean beef bulgogi is a staple of Christmas feasts in Korea.

Christmas buffets are popular in Seoul where you can find everything from traditional roasted turkey to sushi and crab legs at Christmas buffets.

South Korean Christmas is romantic(not a family holiday)

Unlike Seollal or Chuseok, The holiday is frequently billed as “Valentine’s Day with Santa” with residents enjoying their time with their partners, rather than the wider family.

Non-Christians reap the benefits of the year’s last day off by traveling, shopping, and hanging with friends and family.

Since most Koreans live in apartments, few people can or do decorate the outside of their homes, or have a Christmas tree inside. However, churches, shopping malls, and streets are lit up during the festive season.

Gift-giving is a tradition

People in Korea usually exchange presents on Christmas Eve, and instead of piles of presents, one present (or a gift of money) is customary. but money’s also given. And the custom of the country is only to give Christmas gifts to close family and friends. 

More Ways To Say Merry Christmas In Korean

Even if we know the correct ways to say Merry Christmas. But sometimes you need to spice up things a little by saying it in a more fancy way

Here’s how Korean do it

  • Have a happy Christmas.’ in Korean
  • 즐거운 성탄절 되세요. – jeulgoun songtanjol dweseyo
  • Please spend Christmas happily.
  • 크리스마스 즐겁게 보내세요 – keuriseumaseu jeulgopkke bonaeseyo
  • Please have a happy and enjoyable Christmas.
  • 즐겁고 행복한 크리스마스 보내세요
  • We wish you a merry Christmas
  • 행복한 성탄절 보내길 바랍니다.- haengbokan songtanjol bonaegil baramnida
  • Please have a happy Christmas
  • 즐거운 크리스마스 되세요 – jeulgoun keuriseumaseu dweseyo
  • Please spend a warm Christmas together with your friends and family
  • 가족, 친구와 함께 따뜻한 크리스마스 보내세요.

How do you say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Korean?

Yeorobun Seontanjeol jal bonaego sae hae bok manhi paduseyo! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! 

This is how you greet this holiday in Korean. Though it literally means spend Christmas well and have a happy new year everyone.


Voila! you now know how to wish a Merry Christmas in Korean – and a few other good options, besides!

As the end of the year approaches and to make the season even more special, you need the perfect greetings to say to your loved ones. 

I hope the Korean greetings listed in this article will help you write a Christmas card, a business email, or wish in person.

Now that you know how to say Merry Christmas in Korean, go and greet your Korean friends and loved ones! 

Still in the holiday spirit? Check out our articles on For more related articles, 

How to say happy birthday in Korean

How to say thank you in Korean

How to say yes in Korean language| learn basic Korean phrases

10 Korean dramas for Christmas

Have you ever celebrated Christmas in Korea or been invited to a Christmas party? What was it like? Share your special experience with us in the comment below.

We can’t wait to hear from you 

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