How to Wish Happy New Year in December?

When leaving the office for your well-deserved winter holidays, don’t forget to wish your Japanese colleagues a Happy New Year with the correct expression! You may have learned the phrase 明けましておめでとうございます which translates Happy New Year. However, you can only use this greetings from first of January! If you have the unfortunate idea to greet your Japanese colleagues with 明けましておめでとう in December, you will bring them bad luck!

Let’s learn the expression to wish Happy New Year in December.

Happy New Year: よいおとしを

From mid-December you may greet people with よいおとしをお迎え下さい which can be translated as “please have a good (New) Year”. However, that’s quite a formal expression, and people shorten to よいお年を with their relatives and friends.

The casual phrase is:
それじゃあ、よいお年を!Have a good New Year!
In formal context, use the following phrase:
よいおとしをお迎え下さい! Please have a good New Year!

In the case you share your wishes before New Year’s eve, you will precise that you are a bit early.

少し早いですが、よいお年をお迎え下さい。
It is a bit early, but please have a great year.

Here a few other phrases you could use:

どうぞ、よいお正月を。
Have a good New Year.
皆様おそろいで、よいお正月をお迎えください。
Everyone, please have a good New Year!
お元気で、新年をお迎えください。
Please take care and have a great New Year.
一年間、ご苦労様。それじゃ、良いお年を。
Thank you for your hard work this year. Have a good New Year!
今年もお世話になりました。来年もどうぞよろしく。良いお年をお迎えください。
I really appreciate what you’ve done for me this year. I’m looking forward for your cooperation next year. Have a good New Year!

We hope you’ve had a great year and that you’ll keep up the good work studying Japanese in 2018! We encourage you to have fun learning Japanese and to study a little everyday. Make consistance the key to reach your goals next year.

From Coto Japanese Academy’s staff and teachers:

それでは、ちょっと早いですが、よいお年をお迎え下さい!

Well, it is a bit early but please have a good New Year!


Coto Japanese Academy is a unique Japanese Language School in Iidabashi Tokyo, we offer relaxed and fun conversational lessons for all levels of Japanese learner. Coto Japanese Academy prides itself on its community atmosphere and fun lessons that focus on creation of opportunities to speak and learn Japanese. If you are interested in studying Japanese in Tokyo – please visit our contact page here.