Learn Happy Birthday in German

"Zum Geburtstag viel Glück!

Many people want to learn happy birthday in German, watch the video below to hear how it sounds.

These are the words, although the song is often sung in English.

Zum Geburtstag viel Glück,
zum Geburtstag viel Glück,
zum Geburtstag, liebe(r) [name],
zum Geburtstag viel Glück!

If you're going to share this video, just remember that to wish some one happy birthday in German before their birthday is bad luck. So make sure you save it, along with the cards and gifts, for their special day.

An old and traditional way to sing German birthday wishes is...

Hoch soll sie leben! (Long may she live!)
Hoch soll sie leben!
Dreimal hoch! (Three cheers!)

The following article was written especially by a native German about celebrating a German happy birthday

happy birthday in german

German Birthday Greetings

The Celebration for the happy birthday in German is for family and friends together.

If you are getting older 40+, you mostly celebrate with a big party only the jubilees, 40, 50, 60...later additional 75, 85...

In younger age, just as the fancy takes you. Particularly women may not want to celebrate the 30 or 40 Birthday as this is a definite sign, that they are getting older.

As most of the people are working during the week, the celebration takes place mostly at the weekend. On the other side, if your Birthday is on a working day, it is a german birthday tradition that you pay for all peoples coffee (coffee is not for free in German companies) and perhaps a little snack for breakfast or lunch. This depends how big is your working team, otherwise it could be your financial ruin.

Typically happy birthday in German is actually sung in English.


Often the party happens at home. You're inviting your friends and family for a big lunch with coffee and cake in the afternoon or a big party in the evening.


During summer times, there is often a Barbeque with a lot of different salads and breads. All types of meat, which could be grilled, is grilled, steaks, sausages, fish or vegetables, like potatoes or zucchini, additional grilled feta cheese in aluminum foil. There will be a 'grill-master' to coordinate the rare spare on the grill.

A variant of that is a buffet, where people could fill their plates with food they prefer. Instead of grilled food, there is a variety of traditional German food, e.g. “Schnitzel”, “Goulash” or roast meat with noodles, potatoes and rice and mixed vegetables. In the last centuries more and more foreign food like Asian or Mediterranean style is hip.

german birthday drinks

Beverages are water (sparkling and not), all kind of soft drinks and mostly German beer and Wine from all regions of the world.

After the meal a coffee or an Italian espresso is given to help the full stomach. The alcoholic variation is a 'Schnapps' of different type and style.

Cocktails alcoholic or not, are given mostly after the main meal.

Dessert, mostly two or three types, are given after the main meal and perhaps a snack at midnight. Desert are puddings, cakes, german chocolate birthday cheesecake, junket or exclusive styles of mousse. A variety of cheese and fruit salad is also a possibility.


At home, there is most just a unceremoniously easy round of friends and family talking together and have a good time with a drink..

german birthda party

If you are celebrating at another place, like restaurant or a special place, your friends or family takes the chance to talk about your funny sides and show pictures or videos. Additional they 'force' you and others for some funny games. This is almost a big laugh for all.

This takes place especially, if there is a jubilee.

Young people are also celebrating in discos and clubs the whole night depending of their favorite music, wild, chilled, techno or Rock'n'Roll style. It may begin with a meal in a (fast-food) restaurant, a movie at a cinema followed by the club. The clubs are starting to be busy about 11PM/midnight.

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