In Ireland, as in most cultures, a traditional Irish birthday blessing has historical roots. It can be seen as a way to boost the spirits, ward off bad luck, offer a gift (of words) ... or just to get a laugh on somebody's birthday!
Here is a quick summary of the birthday blessings you will find below. Click the links to jump directly to the Irish birthday blessings you want to see!
Read on to find a a great list of birthday blessings from Ireland. Be creative about how you use them - in spoken words, on party napkins greeting cards or invitations, you get the idea!
To wish somebody a happy birthday in Gaelic, all you need to say is
"La Breithe Shona Dhuit!"
(Law breh-ha shun-ah ditch)
Or in other words: "Happy Birthday to You!"
One humorous way to toast somebody having a birthday is to refer to age and health. But make sure you choose the moment wisely! Here are some examples:
"May the doctor never earn a pound out of you!"
"May you have a long life, a wet mouth and may you be buried in Ireland!"
"May you live to be 100 years with one extra year to repent!"
"We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred year old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow!"
"May the good Lord take a liking to you. But not too soon!"
"May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you're going, and the insight to know when you've gone too far!"
This blessing might be something a mother or father says to their child on their birthday, either when they wake up or when they go to bed. This particular blessing always ends with the line ‘bless you’ after each line.
"In the first light of sun
When the long day is done
In your smiles and your tears
Through each day of your years
Irish blessings about living a long and happy life are also very common on birthdays. Here is one of our favorites.
"May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth
May the dreams you hold dearest
Be those which come true
May the kindness you spread
Keep returning to you."
And here is another...
"May you be blessed
with warmth in your home,
love in your heart,
peace in your soul
and joy in your life."
As you may have guessed, ANY blessing can be transformed into a birthday blessing by adding the words "Happy Birthday" at the end of it! A bit further down you will find a link to all our favorite Irish blessings and toasts.
But in the meantime, here are a few more Irish blessings that focus on a long and healthy life. These are particularly appropriate as birthday blessings.
"May there be a generation of children, on the children of your children!"
"May you live as long as you want and not want as long as you live."
"May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, may you know nothing but happiness, from your first day forward."
"May I see you grey and combing your grandchild's hair."
"To all the days, here and after. May they about with friendship, joy and laughter."
"May the best of your days be yet to come!"
"Do not resent growing old, as many are denied that privilege!"
"May you live ... all the days of your life!" - Jonathan Swift
"As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters be facing the proper direction!"
If you like what you are seeing, let's not stop here. We have more than a hundred additional Irish blessings and toasts for you to see here.
Some are humorous, some serious, all full of Irish wit and wisdom!
It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish wit and wisdom! Learning Irish sayings gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!
We have captured many of our favorite Irish sayings in an e-book called "77 Favorite Irish Sayings." In it you will find Irish proverbs, jokes, limericks, blessings and quotes on many, many topics!
This fun, free guide is available to you to download. Simply scroll to the bottom of the page and share your email address for instant access!
Heartfelt blessings are an essential part of Irish culture and heritage. Share them during special occasions, to celebrate Irish culture and express your personal Irish side!
For more information of this type, you may want to pay a visit to our main section on Irish Sayings here!
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