When someone says, "Happy New Year," how should we answer?

  • "Happy new year to you, too."

  • Or just: "Happy new year!"

Or in some other way?


5 Answers 5


It's a matter of taste. The most common reply is an echo of "Happy New Year", but often one will hear "And (also) to you!" In the interest of being different, I usually reply "Nifty New Year to you."

  • 6
    "Nifty new year to you" is not at all a particularly idiomatic reply to "Happy New Year", and I wouldn't advise learners to use it. A straightforward "Happy New Year" is much more appropriate in most circumstances.
    – Matt
    Jan 1, 2014 at 2:57
  • 2
    I specifically mentioned my idiosyncratic salutation as an example of why it's a matter of preference as opposed to there being a hard and fast rule that one must follow, and did so after also specifically mentioning the two most commonly used replies.
    – DopeGhoti
    Jan 1, 2014 at 19:48

I wanted to reply Happy new year in English to my students (our new year is Norouz mass.)

In my opinion, "to you, too" or "same to you" are both OK.

  • 1
    Earlier, I flagged this post (as "not an answer") because I thought it wasn't an answer. Now I tried to read it again (as suggested by one of our members), I think it's possible that meisam was indeed trying to answer the question. Then again, I'm not really sure. It could look both ways, I guess. Mar 21, 2015 at 16:09
  • To me it did sound like an answer right from the first time I read, though in a not-so-common-way ;-) Mar 21, 2015 at 17:28

The most common response is to echo back the same thing: "Happy New Year!"

This also applies to any "common" holiday, meaning one that is not personally related to you. So it's the same for "Merry/Happy Christmas", "Happy Easter", and various country-specific holidays: "Happy Thanksgiving", "Happy Fourth of July", and so on.


I used to say "Happy New Year", but I changed to "Likewise!" as it is shorter and it seems the new years are going to come every year and I don't want to repeat myself yearly.

Hope New Year will be celebrated every 5 years in the future.


The best response for 'happy new year' is 'many happy returns'

  • 1
    Indeed, although "many happy returns" is much more common in British and Indian English than American English.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 23, 2014 at 14:24
  • In British English, I've only ever heard "many happy returns" as a synonym for "happy birthday"; Wikipedia describes this as "common usage". Nov 23, 2014 at 17:15
  • 1
    I can't agree that it's "the best response." (I would agree that it's an acceptable response, and I might agree that it's a good response.)
    – J.R.
    Nov 23, 2014 at 17:44
  • I think "Many happy returns" is suitable.
    – user14018
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .