Celebrating the Lebanese Way: A Guide to Traditional Holiday Greetings

Greetings, my dear friends! In this lesson, we will be diving into the world of Lebanese greetings, specifically in the context of Christmas and New Year celebrations. You will learn how to greet someone in the Lebanese dialect, as well as the different expressions and customs used in these special occasions. I will also be addressing a question that many of you have asked me, about who can understand the Lebanese dialect. So, whether you are a Lebanese speaker or not, join me on this exciting journey as we learn more about the rich culture and traditions of Lebanon.


In this lesson, we will learn how to greet someone in the Lebanese dialect for the occasion of Christmas or New Year.

Merry Christmas: “Mileid Majeed”

Christmas means “mileid” and “merry” means “majeed”.

Happy New Year: “3aam Sa3eed”

“Year” means “3aam” and “happy” means “sa3eed”.

Use of English and French Versions

Many Lebanese people also use English or French versions of greetings like “joyeux noel” and “bonne annee”.

“Yen3ad 3lek”

During the greeting season, you may hear a lot of “yen3ad 3lek”. “Yen3ad” means “may it come back again”. So, in general, it means “may you have Christmas again and again”. This expression is not just used on Christmas but also on birthdays, for example.

For a man, the expression is “yen3ad 3lek”, for a woman “yen3ad 3laykeh”, and for a group of people “yen3ad 3laykoun”.

“Nefra7 Mennak”

If you are single, you may hear a lot of “nefra7 mennak”. “Nefra7” means “we want to be happy for you” and it is used to tell someone to get married. People use this expression not just when someone is of the right age to get married but even if they are as young as 10 years old.

For a man, the expression is “nefra7 mennak”, for a woman “nefra7 mennik”, and for a group of single people “nefra7 menkoun”.

“3a2beil Kel Sene”

During celebrations like Christmas, when people say “cheers” at the table, they say “3a2beil kel sene”. This expression means “we hope that next year and the next…we’ll celebrate it also”.

“Kel Sene W Ento Bkheir”

A peaceful greeting is “kel sene w ento bkheir”. This expression means “I wish every year you will be good”.

“Ykhalleelak Ahlak”

Another expression is “ykhalleelak ahlak”. This expression means “may God keep your parents alive”. It is a serious expression.

For a woman who has children, the expression is “ykhalleelik wledik”.

Greetings in Fusha

On Christmas, you can say “mileid majeed w 3aam sa3eed” in Fusha. You can also say “Jesus is born” by saying “woulida al masee7”. The response to this greeting is “Halleluja”.

Who Understands the Lebanese Dialect?

The Lebanese dialect is understood by people from Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, and the Gulf countries like Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The Lebanese people also understand them. On the other hand, the Maghreb countries like Morocco and Algeria do not understand the Lebanese dialect, and the Lebanese people do not understand them either.

Role of Fusha

Fusha is a common language that everyone learns in school and is a way for people who speak different dialects to communicate. However, in everyday life, no one uses fusha, it is only used for writing and reading.

Comparing Dialects

The closest dialect to the Lebanese dialect is the Syrian and Palestinian dialect, as well as the Jordanian dialect. For example, in the Lebanese dialect, the phrase for “how are you?” is “kifak”, in the Syrian dialect it is “shlonak”, and in the Egyptian dialect it is “ezzayyak”. Although there are differences, the basic language is common.

Revision of Arabic Letters

  • Alif (like arnab, means rabbit)
  • Ba’ (like Basma, means smile)
  • Ta’ (like tafa2ol, means optimism)
  • Tha’ (like tha3lab, means Fox)
  • Jeem (like talej, means snow)
  • 7a2 (like 7ayt, means wall)


The speaker ends by wishing their audience a Merry Christmas and a happy 2013, and asks them to subscribe. They also mention that they have created a revision for the previous letters in the Arabic alphabet.


Merry Christmasmileid majeed
Happy New Year3aam sa3eed
May it come back againyen3ad 3lek (for a man)
yen3ad 3laykeh (for a girl)
yen3ad 3laykoun (for a group)
We want to be happy for younefra7 mennak
We hope that next year and the next… we’ll celebrate it also3a2beil kel sene
May you be well every year kel sene w ento bkheir
May god keep your parents aliveykhalleelak ahlak

Spread the dialect!

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