Please note: There is a short delay when playing the audio clips.
French people have special celebrations just like any other country. Probably the most famous is le quatorze juillet (Bastille Day), which celebrates the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14th July 1789 during the French Revolution.
There are also special times of the year that we celebrate too, like Christmas, New Year and Easter. Here are some festive greetings!
le quatorze juillet - Bastille Day
Joyeux Noël! - Happy Christmas!
Bonne Année! - Happy New Year!
Joyeuses Pâques! - Happy Easter!
If I said mon anniversaire c'est aujourd'hui (my birthday is today), you might want to wish me joyeux anniversaire! (happy birthday!) or simply félicitations! which means 'congratulations' and can be used for other occasions eg births etc.
Mon anniversaire c'est aujourd'hui. - It's my birthday today.
Joyeux anniversaire! - Happy birthday!
Félicitations! - Congratulations!
Can you work out what I'd like for my birthday?
Pour mon anniversaire, je voudrais ... un chat. - For my birthday I’d like ... a cat!
Traditionally in France children were given the name of the saint whose day fell on the day they were born. However, nowadays it is more usual to be given a name that your parents choose, and perhaps have the saint’s name as your middle name. But French children have a fête du jour (name day) as well as their birthday celebrations!
une fête du jour - a name day