How to Say Happy Birthday in German

5 min read

Hallo! Yes, that’s hello in German, not a similarity the rest of the language shares, of course. Germany is the seat of European power, and its incredible culture has spread around the world.

You’re here because you want to wish a special German someone a very happy birthday. Whether it’s a lover, mother, father, or brother, we have a whole host of information that you can use to wish someone a happy birthday in the German tradition.

We cover a few aspects of German birthdays here, including:

  • The history of birthdays in Germany
  • How to wish someone a happy birthday in German
  • The tradition and customs of German birthdays
  • What birthday gifts to get someone from Germany
  • What a typical German birthday looks like

The History of German Birthdays

Let’s start off immediately with a bit of what not to do for German birthdays. You see, typically in America and beyond, it would be perfectly normal to wish someone a happy birthday a few days in advance, especially if you won’t see them again until after the special day.

However, in German culture, doing this is considered a social taboo and is said to bring about bad luck. Some more superstitious folk might even be extremely offended if you do this, so make sure you have the date right before you congratulate someone on their birthday.

This includes gifts as well, so when you order a fantastic gift, make sure you specify the correct date…but don’t worry, we can deliver any day at any time.

How to Wish Someone Happy Birthday in German

Remember when we said that there are little similarities between German and English? Yeah, we meant that.

The translation for happy birthday in German is not exact, and there are a few different expressions you can use. “Alles gute zum geburtstag” is what you get when you translate happy birthday from English to German. The phrase is quite a bit longer and actually translates to “all good for your birthday.” It’s a common birthday wish you can use, nonetheless.

You can also wish someone “Alles liebe zum geburtstag,” which means “everything nice for your birthday,” on top of that, you can say “Herzlichen glukwunsch zum geburtstage,” this one translates to “heartfelt congratulations on your birthday.” All three are common phrases, so pick your poison!

German Birthday Customs and Traditions

Germany is a big place, and the customs associated with birthdays change depending on where you are. However, there are a few universal traditions that you should be aware of.

Firstly, in Germany, the birthday boy/girl is expected to throw the party themselves! In America, your friends or family would typically plan the special day. Instead, the German people expect the guest of honor to iron out all the details and make plans themselves.

Of course, this isn’t always the case. There are times when the party is organized by someone other than the birthday person. Still, usually, the responsibility of the event falls on the shoulders of the person being celebrated.

Another strange custom is the fact that the birthday boy/girl is expected to bring their own cake and sweets to school or the office. Something that German birthdays do share with American ones, however, is the making of a birthday wish after you blow out all of your candles.

There is also a tradition known as a birthday wreath. It is a small wreath of flowers that has an assortment of candles in the middle, similar to a birthday cake. It is more common for children’s birthdays, but it’s not unheard of for them to be present at adult’s birthdays as well.

There are also plenty of customs specific to different parts of Germany, so do a little research before you plan anything in case there’s something small that you’re missing!

What to Get for A German Birthday?

The gifts you can get for a German person on their birthday are pretty similar to the gifts you could get for any American or other European. There are no specific traditions associated with the type of gift you get, so follow the typical etiquette, and you should be fine.

Of course, if you need some help, we have a wide selection of beautiful bouquets, chocolates, and more available for you to get delivered, whenever you want, wherever you want.

So, what should you buy? Well, it depends. Is it your sweetheart’s birthday? Get her a beautiful box of chocolates, a cute little teddy bear, and a bouquet of romantic flowers. Orchids are a great choice, or you can be a classic ladies’ man and get her some red roses.

Of course, you could go a little bit fancier, and get your love an expensive piece of jewelry. Just make sure to balance this out with something big and flashy like a large bouquet to really drive home just how much you love her.

For a lady who isn’t your significant other, you could get some lilies delivered. The Lillie symbolizes happiness, so they are an excellent choice for your mother or the mother of a partner.

For a male figure, a bottle of nice whiskey or scotch is always a great choice. For an intellectually sophisticated man, you could go with a good book and a fancy pen. It all depends on what type of man you’re buying for. Men are harder to shop for than women, so try to get an idea of just who you are buying for, and what they like.

A Typical German Birthday

With the exception of the regional customs that we have already mentioned and the fact that the birthday boy/girl plans their own party, a German birthday is not that different from an American one.

There are friends and family, cake, gifts, festivity, and for those of the right age, plenty of alcohol. So if you are planning a birthday for a German, or you want to know what to get for one’s birthday, don’t fret too much! Just do what you would typically do, and you should be just fine.

Of course, if you need any additional help, we have a team of experts ready, willing, and able to help you. Just get in touch!