‘Bonne Année !’ Best wishes to your friends and loved ones in French

Getting ready for the new year and wondering how to say Meilleurs vœux (best wishes) to your friends and loved ones in French? Here’s how New Year’s Eve is celebrated in France.

On envoie des cartes. (People send cards.)

Although many people nowadays send des textos/messages sms (text/sms messages), with rhymes to be clever and funny, it is still a custom to send des cartes (f.) de vœux (greeting cards, lit. vow cards). So, here are some phrases that you can use to express best wishes to your friends and loved ones in French.

  • Je te/vous souhaite une joyeuse/heureuse année !
    I wish you a Happy New Year!
  • Meilleurs vœux pour 2020 !
    Best wishes for 2020!
  • Santé, prospérité, et bonheur en cette nouvelle année !
    Health, wealth, and happiness in this new year!
  • Puissent tous vos rêves se réaliser cette nouvelle année.
    May all your dreams come true this new year.
  • En vous/te souhaitant tout le bonheur et être comblé d’amour et d’amitié.
    May you be happy and surrounded by love and friendship.
  • Puissiez-vous avoir du succès en tout ce que vous entreprendrez cette nouvelle année.
    May you succeed in everything you do in the coming year.
Le réveillon du Nouvel An (The New Year’s Eve Dinner)

Le réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre, or more commonly called le réveillon du Nouvel An (The New Year’s Eve Dinner) is often a time spent among les meilleurs amis (best friends). While less formal than Christmas, French people like to eat well, with more simple hors-d’œuvre (appetizers) like des huîtres (f.) (oysters) and du foie gras (m.), and drink du champagne (m.) for this occasion unique (unique occasion).

La Fête (The Party)

After the dinner comes the party! Les gens fêtent (people celebrate) le Nouvel An (the New Year) sometimes with des soirées déguisées à thème (theme costume parties), blowing des sifflets (m.) (whistles), throwing des confettis (m.) (confetti), des serpentins (m.) (spiral streamers) and des cotillons (m.) (paper streamers).

‘Bonne année !’ (Happy New Year)

Le compte à rebours (the countdown) begins, and everybody yells les dernières secondes (the last seconds), until midnight, when tout le monde s’embrasse (everybody kisses one another), saying ‘Bonne année, bonne santé !‘ (lit. good/merry year, good health), along with la coutume (the custom) to make de bonnes résolutions (f.) (good resolutions):

Mes bonnes résolutions (My New Year’s Resolutions)

[translation] Have you made any resolutions this year?

  • Cette année je fais le vœu de manger mieux et de perdre du poids.
    This year I vow to eat better and lose weight.
  • Cette année je fais le vœu de passer plus de temps avec ma famille.
    This year I vow to spend more time with my family.
  • Cette année je fais le vœu de passer moins de temps sur les réseaux sociaux.
    This year I vow to spend less time on social media.
  • Cette année je fais le vœu de courir trois fois par semaine.
    This year I vow to run three times a week.
  • Cette année, je fais le vœu d’apprendre le français !
    This year, I vow to learn French!
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