Christmas is a big deal in Croatia. The Christmas season starts with Sveti Nikola (Saint Nicholas) on December 6 and runs through January 6, when the country celebrates Sveta tri kralja (Epiphany). During this time, there are lots of Christmas traditions, memorial days, and of course, lunches.
To help you get through the holiday season like a local, we’ve prepared a glossary of Croatian holiday words and phrases that will take you all the way to the new year. Learn how to invite a friend to Christmas lunch, and also how to admit that you’re hungover on New Year’s Day.
Croatian Holiday Words
Meaning: Christmas Eve
Word: Bogojavljenje, Sveta tri kralja
Meaning: to congratulate
Meaning: greeting card
Meaning: waiting for the New Year
Word: godišnji (odmor)
Meaning: holidays, vacations
Word: klizanje (na ledu)
Meaning: ice skating
Meaning: Christmas Eve Mass
Word: prskalice, krijesnice
Meaning: New Year’s Eve
Word: Štefanje, Sveti Stjepan
Meaning: Saint Stephen’s Day
Croatian Holiday Phrases
Phrase: adventski vijenac
Meaning: advent wreath
Phrase: božićna čestitka
Meaning: Christmas card
Phrase: božićna jelka, božićno drvce, bor
Meaning: Christmas tree
Phrase: božićne pjesme
Meaning: Christmas carols
Phrase: božićni ručak
Meaning: Christmas lunch
Phrase: božićni ukrasi
Meaning: Christmas decorations
Phrase: božićna zvijezda
Meaning: star of Bethlehem
Phrase: božićna zvijezda, poinzetija (plant)
Phrase: božićne kuglice
Meaning: Christmas tree decorations
Phrase: božićne žaruljice
Meaning: Christmas lights
Phrase: božićna pšenica
Meaning: Christmas wheat (sown as a Christmas tradition)
Phrase: Djed Božićnjak
Meaning: Santa Claus
Phrase: Hoćeš li doći na Božićni ručak kod mene?
Meaning: Will you come to Christmas lunch at my house?
Phrase: Kako dočekate ponoć, takva će vam biti cijela godina.
Meaning: How you celebrate the New Year will mark your entire next year.
Phrase: kititi božićno drvce, kititi bor
Meaning: to decorate a Christmas tree
Phrase: kuhano vino
Meaning: mulled wine
Phrase: Nova godina
Meaning: New Year
Phrase: Gdje ćeš na doček Nove Godine?
Meaning: Where are you going on New Year’s Eve?
Phrase: Ideš li na godišnji (odmor)?
Meaning: Are you going on holidays/vacations?
Phrase: Kad ideš na godišnji (odmor)?
Meaning: When are you going on holidays/vacations?
Phrase: Mamurna/mamuran sam.
Meaning: I’m hungover.
Phrase: na godišnji (odmor)
Meaning: on holidays, on vacations
Phrase: pada snijeg
Meaning: the snow is falling
Phrase: snježne pahuljice
Phrase: Sretan Božić!
Meaning: Merry Christmas!
Phrase: Sretna Nova godina!
Meaning: Happy New Year!
Phrase: Sretni blagdani!
Meaning: Happy holidays!
Phrase: Sve najbolje!
Meaning: All best wishes!
Phrase: Što ćeš raditi na Božić?
Meaning: What will you do on Christmas?
Phrase: Što ćemo raditi na Staru godinu?
Meaning: What are we doing on New Year’s Eve?
Phrase: Što ćeš raditi na Staru godinu?
Meaning: What will you do on New Year’s Eve?
Phrase: Treba mi godišnji (odmor).
Meaning: I need holidays/a vacation.
Phrase: Ugodni blagdani!
Meaning: (Have a) pleasant holidays!
Phrase: Uživaj na odmoru!
Meaning: Enjoy the holidays!
If you want to add something to our list, leave a comment. Sretni blagdani! Happy holidays! 🙂
View other holiday posts
- All Saints Day
- Anti-Fascist Struggle Day
- Assumption of Mary
- Corpus Christi
- Day of Remembrance of Missing Persons in the Croatian War of Independence
- Day of Remembering the Victims of the Croatia War of Independence and the Day of Remembering the Victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja
- Labor Day (International Worker’s Day)
- St. Stephen’s Day
- Statehood Day
- Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.