Seasonal greetings spell out good wishes from around the world

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 December, 1999, 12:00am

Christmas is celebrated around the world. It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus whom Christians believe is the son of God. Historians say the first celebration of Christmas was in Rome in 336 AD.


The word Christmas comes from the Old English Cristes maesse or 'Christ's Mass'. Here is how people around the world say 'Merry Christmas' (and 'Happy New Year'): Afrikaans: Geseende Kersfees Arabic: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo Putonghua: Gong Xi Xin Nian Bing Zhu Xing Dan Danish: Glaedelig Jul Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar French: Joyeux Noel German: Froehliche Weihnachten Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha Tagalog: Maligayan Pasko Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai Vietnamese: Chung Mung Giang Sinh.