Best wishes, or How to congratulate in Russian

Best wishes

If you look at the holiday’s calendar in Russia, you can find an event almost every day. But even without official holidays, there can be many occasions to congratulate someone or simply wish them good luck. So that you can communicate freely on this subject, we tell you how to congratulate someone in Russian.


How to say happy birthday in Russian

A birthday is an important holiday in Russian culture. The birthday boy usually gathers all his relatives and close friends together on that day. It is usually celebrated on a day off, so that the people most who are invited can attend. Gifts for a birthday are often more expensive and important than, for example, for New Year’s Eve.

Happy Birthday in Russian

In addition, here’s how you can congratulate the birthday boy on the day:

  • С днем рождения! —
  • Happy Birthday!
  • С прошедшим! (if you are congratulating later than the birthday itself) — Belated Happy Birthday!
  • Всего самого наилучшего! (this wish can be used as a stand-alone greeting or as an addition to the previous options) — All the best!

A neutral response to any greeting or wish in Russian would be to simply «Спасибо!» (Thank you).

New Year greetings in Russian 

New Year in Russia is the biggest and longest holiday. The official holidays last from seven to ten days. People spend time with family and friends, travel and enjoy winter sports. Christmas is celebrated in Russia after New Year, on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar. It is mostly celebrated by religious people.

New Year greetings in Russian

Learn a few phrases to greet these winter holidays:

  • С наступающим (Новым годом)!— With the upcoming New Year! (this greeting is often heard on the new year eve).
  • С Новым годом! — Happy New Year!
  • С новым годом, с новым счастьем! (it’s a wish they say when the chimes have struck 12 and the new year has arrived) — Happy New Year! Happiness in the New Year!
  • С наилучшими пожеланиями в Новом году! — With best wishes for a happy New Year!
  • С Рождеством! — Merry Christmas!

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Greetings in Russian on other occasions 

A birthday and the New Year are the two most important holidays celebrated by almost everyone in Russia. However, there are other occasions when you can congratulate someone on something or simply express good wishes.

Whatever the occasion, it is always appropriate to say «Поздравляю! / Congratulations!» However, if you want to emphasise the event for which you are congratulating someone, the following phrases are useful.

Pregnancy and childbirth 

  • Поздравляю с беременностью! — Congratulations on your pregnancy!
  • Поздравляю с рождением ребенка / девочки / мальчика! — Congratulations on the baby’s / girl’s / boy’s birth!

New job or promotion 

  • Поздравляю с новой работой! — I congratulate you on your new job!
  • Прими поздравления с повышением! — Congratulations on your promotion!
  • Успехов на новой работе! — Good luck in your new job!

Graduation from school or university 

  • Поздравляю с окончанием школы— I congratulate you on (your) school graduation!
  • Поздравляю с выпуском из университета! — Congratulations on (your) university graduation!
  • Добро пожаловать во взрослую жизнь! Пусть у тебя все получится! — Welcome to adult life! I wish you luck!


  • С днем свадьбы! — I congratulate you on your wedding day!
  • Совет да любовь! — Harmony and love!
  • Желаю вам много любви и счастья— Wishing you lots of love and happiness!
  • Желаю вам долгого и счастливого брака! — Wishing you a long and happy marriage!

Other holidays 

If you want a neutral greeting for a holiday, use a simple construction: start the sentence with the preposition ‘c’ and then add the holiday itself name, putting it in the instrumental case.

  • С 23 февраля! — Congratulations on February 23!
  • С Днем защитника Отечества! — Happy Defender of the Fatherland Day!
  • С Днем ​​святого Валентина! — Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • С Днем ​​матери! — Happy Mother’s Day!
  • С международным женским днем! — Happy Women’s Day!
  • С 8 Марта! — Congratulations on March 8!

You can add the word ‘поздравляю‘ at the sentence beginning, but this is not necessary if the greeting is informal. Note: when you say ‘поздравляю‘, you are speaking in the first person, speaking in the singular. If you want to say congratulations from people a group, use the variant ‘поздравляем‘.

Wishes for different occasions 

Sometimes there are situations unrelated to the holidays, but wishing something good and kind will still be appropriate.

For example, in Russia it is customary to say to the person who comes out after the bath: «С легким паром! / Hope, you’ve had a good steaming!»

And before some important business, such as a student before an exam, it is wished «Ни пуха ни пера! / Break a leg!» The answer in Russian to such a wish would be «К чёрту!» Literally, it means go to hell, And the point is this: knock on wood.

Now you will not only be able to say «С днем рождения или «С Новым годом, but also easily congratulate the person in Russian on any meaningful occasion. 

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