12 classic ways to say Happy New Year in Spanish & NYE traditions

Elinor Zucchet

Who doesn’t like to celebrate the end of the year? Whether the past year was awesome or a bit challenging for you, the new year is synonymous with new beginnings and hope.

If you’ve decided to say goodbye to the past and welcome the new year in style with Spanish-speaking friends or in a Spanish-speaking country this year, this article will come handy:

  • Learn how to say happy new year in Spanish
  • Find out about cool expressions you can use during the holidays
  • Get inspired by New year’s resolutions in Spanish
  • Discover beautiful New year’s traditions in Spanish speaking countries
  • Sing along with the most famous song to wish a happy new year in Spanish.

¿Listos? ¡Pues a celebrar!

New Year's traditions in Spanish speaking countries usually involve family dinners and going out with friends.

How to say Happy New Year in Spanish

Wondering how to say Happy New Year’s Eve in Spanish? The most common expression is “Feliz fin de año.” And Happy New Year in Spanish is “Feliz año”, or “Feliz año nuevo”. ¿Es pan comido, no?

Happy New Year in Spanish pronunciation

Not sure of how to say it properly? The table below includes the most common expressions for Happy New Year wishes in Spanish, along with their IPA pronunciation.

One of the trickiest letters is probably the infamous “zeta”, especially in Spain. Here is a short video to help you pronounce it like a native! You can also learn the Spanish alphabet.

English Spanish IPA
Happy New Year!¡Feliz Año Nuevo!¡felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo!
Happy and joyful New Year!¡Muy feliz Año Nuevo!¡mˈujj felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo!
Happy New Year’s Eve!¡Feliz fin de año! - Feliz víspera de Año Nuevo¡felˈiθ fˈin dˈe ˈaɲo! - felˈiθ bˈispeɾa dˈe ˈaɲo nwˈeβo
Happy Lunar New Year!¡Feliz Año Nuevo Lunar!¡felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo lunˈaɾ!
Cheers to the New Year!¡Brindemos al Año Nuevo!¡bɾindˈemos ˈal ˈaɲo nwˈeβo!
Happy new year, my friend!¡Feliz año nuevo, amigo!¡felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo, amˈiɣo!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!¡Feliz Navidad y feliz Año Nuevo!¡felˈiθ nˌaβiðˈad ˈi felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo!
Happy New Year, to your good healthFeliz Año Nuevo, ¡salud!felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo, ¡salˈud!
Happy New Year 2023Feliz Año Nuevo 2023felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo 2023
Happy holidaysFelices fiestasfelˈiθes fjˈestas
I wish you a very happy New YearTe/le deseo un muy feliz Año Nuevotˈe/lˈe desˈeo ˈun mˈujj felˈiθ ˈaɲo nwˈeβo
Prosperous New YearPróspero Año Nuevopɾˈospeɾo ˈaɲo nwˈeβo

New Year’s Spanish traditions in Spanish speaking countries

Though New Year’s Eve is celebrated across the hispanic world, traditions are not the same. Here is your chance to learn more about them, and maybe get inspired for your next winter holidays?

How to say happy new year in Spanish? For each chime of the Real Casa de Correos clock, people eat 1 lucky grape, one for each of the upcoming twelve months.

New Year’s traditions in Spain

If you’re planning to welcome the New Year in Spain, be warned: you’re going to need a bit of practice. Many New year Spanish traditions are similar to the rest of the world, like having a family dinner and then going out with friends. However, they have a unique — and quite weird — tradition for good luck.

A couple of minutes before midnight, everybody gathers in front of the TV. A warning lets you know that you need to focus. And the twelve chimes of the Real Casa de Correos clock begin. For each chime, people eat 1 lucky grape, one for each of the upcoming twelve months. Believe me, it’s more difficult than it looks, and it gets harder as it goes. I will share a couple of tips if you’re a beginner:

  • Buy seedless grapes
  • Make sure to peel your grapes beforehand — people do that for children and the elderly to avoid choking.
  • Don’t look at your friends. They’ll make you laugh, and then it’s over!

New Year’s traditions in Mexico

The grapes tradition can also be found in Mexico and all over Latin America, thanks to the Spanish heritage. But Mexicans have their own special customs:

  • Leaving lentils outside for good fortune.
  • Wearing red underwear to attract love, yellow underwear to attract money or white underwear to attract peace. My advice? Go for multicolor!
  • Sweeping the doorstep to push away the negative vibes of the previous year.
  • Smashing plates to break with past habits (Oaxaca)
  • Watching the fireworks, en la playa si puede ser.

New Year’s traditions in Colombia

  • Burning the “Old Year doll” at midnight.
  • Wearing yellow underwear — what’s with la ropa interior? — to attract love and happiness. Just keep in mind that they have to be new! Besides, you can boost the good luck effect by wearing them reversed before midnight and wearing them properly afterwards.
  • Filling your pockets with lentils and cash for a successful year to come.
  • Taking your suitcase for a stroll, if you want your year to be full of travel — we do!
  • Starting off the year on the right foot. Literally, take your first step with your right foot after midnight.

Well, I don’t know if you’re imagining yourself wearing yellow underwear upside down, your pockets full of lentils, while pushing your suitcase around on the right foot — but I am!

New Year’s resolutions in Spanish

Would you like to proudly share your New year's resolution in Spanish? First things first. In Spanish, New year’s resolutions are “Propósitos de Año Nuevo”. If you don’t have any yet, look for inspiration in the table below!

English Spanish IPA
Take a social media breakTomarse un descanso de las redes socialestomˈaɾse ˈun deskˈanso dˈe lˈas ɾɾˈeðes soθjˈales
Drink less wine/beer/coffee.Beber menos vino/cerveza/café.bˈeβe mˈenos bˈino/θeɾβˈeθa/kafˈe.
Exercise more.Hacer más ejercicio.aθˈeɾ mˈas ˌexeɾθˈiθjo.
Learn a new skill or hobby.Aprender una nueva habilidad o afición.ˌapɾendˈeɾ ˈuna nwˈeβa ˌaβiliðˈad ˈo ˌafiθjˈon.
Live life to the fullest.Vivir la vida al máximo.biβˈiɾ lˈa bˈiða ˈal mˈaksimo.
Spend more time with family and friends.Pasar más tiempo con la familia y los amigos.pasˈaɾ mˈas tjˈempo kˈon lˈa famˈilja ˈi lˈos amˈiɣos.
Go outside and enjoy fresh air more.Salir y disfrutar más del aire libre.salˈiɾ ˈi dˌisfɾutˈaɾ mˈas dˈel ˈa͡ɪɾe lˈiβɾe.
Read more books.Leer más libros.leˈeɾ mˈas lˈiβɾos.
Learn Spanish.Aprender español.ˌapɾendˈeɾ ˌespaɲˈol.
Travel more.Viajar más.bjaxˈaɾ mˈas.
Eat more veggies.Comer más verduras.komˈeɾ mˈas beɾðˈuɾas.

Happy new year in Spanish song

If you’ve never heard this song before, you might hate me afterwards. It’s a classic, it’s joyful, it’s nice, it’s bilingual… but it just stays in your head for eternity. ¡Lo siento!

So, without further ado… here is Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felicidad — With the lyrics, so you can sing along. May I insist.

So, if you are learning Spanish online, why not take it outside of the classroom? Next Año Nuevo, you could try to visit a Spanish-speaking country. You’ll use the Happy New Year quotes in Spanish you’ve just learned and have a blast in the meantime. To start off the year on the right foot — remember, el pie derecho.

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