Here is a collection of Irish toasts and blessings to help you ring in the New Year, with a little bit of Irish wit and wisdom.
Happy New Year To All!
Here you'll discover how to wish everyone a happy New Year, Irish style.
Table of Contents
Celebrating New Year in Ireland
In centuries past the Irish did not celebrate the New Year at the beginning of January. For the ancient Celts the New Year began with the feast of Samhain at the end of October.
In this rambling post, we explored why celebrating the New Year in January is a relatively new tradition in Ireland.
However, in modern day Ireland the New Year is welcomed in style. So why not take a look at our old Irish sayings that have been handed down through the generations and that are perfect for ringing in the New Year.
Always Look To The Future
Here are some lovely warm words from Ireland that remind family and friends to always look to the future and count our blessings.
"Always remember to forget
The troubles that pass away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day."
Here's a toast wishing that the days to come will be filled with happiness.
"To all the days here and after
May they be filled with fond memories,
happiness, and laughter."
Let's pray that the Father in Heaven looks kindly upon us this year.
"May the good Lord take a liking to you -
but not too soon."
Here's another lovely saying from our Irish ancestors that makes a perfect toast to ring in the New Year.
"May the saddest day of your future be no worse
than the happiest day of your past."
Here's another version of this Irish proverb...
"May the best day of your past
be the worst day of your future."
Here's one of my favorite Irish sayings of all times. It goes like this...
"Dance as if no one were watching,
sing as if no one were listening,
and live every day as if it were your last."
Wishing for Wealth and Luck in the New Year
In this next selection of Irish blessings you'll find wishes for happiness, contentment, enough coins to provide just the right amount of wealth to ease your worries, and of course prayers for a long life.
Here's one to add to your collection of Irish toasts.
"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.
May good luck pursue you each morning and night."
Here's one with an unusual wish at the end.
"May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour
before the devil knows you're dead."
Here's one praying for acceptance wherever you go in life.
"May your neighbors respect you,
trouble neglect you,
the angels protect you,
and heaven accept you."
Our Irish forebears truly had the gift of the gab. Their wise old words have endured for centuries.
"May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
May your pockets always have
A coin or two inside!"
Here's to good fortune in the New Year.
"May you be poor in misfortune,
rich in blessings,
slow to make enemies,
quick to make friends.
But rich or poor,
quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward."
Here are some wishes for safety in the New Year.
"May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill
all the way to your door."
The sentiments in this next Irish toast are truly beautiful. Good friends have always been prized and respected in Ireland.
I even have a collection of blessings and sayings that focus on the power of friendship.
"In the New Year, may your right hand
always be stretched out in friendship
and never in need."
Wishes for a long life are commonly found in old Irish sayings and proverbs. Here's one that's adaptable as a salutation for the New Year.
"May you live as long as you want,
and never want as long as you live."
Here's one that advises against being miserely in life. Use your blessings to create happiness.
"It is better to spend money like there's no tomorrow,
than to spend tonight like there's no money."
Here's an Irishman's toast to help you ring in the New Year, while raising your glass to friends and family.
New Year wishes are important but there's an Irish twist to this old saying - wise old words from Ireland without a shadow of a doubt.
"May you get all your wishes but one,
so that you always have something to strive for!"
Looking to the future is very important as we start off a New Year with hope.
"To all the days here and after,
may they be filled with fond memories,
happiness and laughter."
Here's a toast for those who are proud to be Irish and wish to celebrate their Irish heritage.
"Long live the Irish
Long live their cheer.
Long live our friendship
Year after year."
Here's a truly vintage saying, but it's heartfelt sentiments are worth sharing to this very day.
"Here’s to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here’s to each lad and his darlin' colleen,
Here’s to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless old Ireland, that’s this Irishman’s toast."
Music and laugther are all part of Irish fun. Here's a blessing that celebrates Irish craic.
"May the sound of happy music,
And the lilt of Irish laughter,
fill your heart with gladness,
that stays forever after."
Counting Our Blessings
Here's a beautiful saying about how to look on the positive rather than the negative side of life when anticipating the New Year and all that it may hold for us.
"Count your blessings instead of your crosses.
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes.
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears.
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full times instead of your lean.
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth.
Love your neighbor as much as yourself."
Here's a lovely shamrock blessing that's perfect for ringing in the New Year.
"For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day."
There are so many old Irish toasts and sayings to choose from, I hope one of these will work for you.
"May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold,
and at the end of your rainbows, may you find a pot of gold."
This one always brings a smile to my face.
"As you slide down the banisters of life
May the splinters never point the wrong way."
Irish Sayings As You Raise A Glass
The Irish are world renowned for the joy they find in sharing a drink with friends and family. A glass of good wine, a cold beer or a pint of stout are enjoyed all over Ireland, when friends and family come together to celebrate the New Year.
Here's my collection of Irish drinking toasts especially for New Year celebrations.
As we raise our glasses in a toast, we say the word 'sláinte' instead of cheers. Phonetic pronunciation goes like this 'slaw-in-cha).
It means to your health.
You'll find a complete collection of sayings warning us about too much of the "quare stuff" in my earlier ramblings.
"When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let's all get drunk, and go to heaven!"
And here's another great toast that promotes a little moderation, as you enjoy a few beers with friends this year.
"May you always have a clean shirt,
a clear conscience,
and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint."
Here's to a good life...
"May the joys of today
Be those of tomorrow
And the goblets of life
Hold no dregs of sorrow."
When trying to encourage a friend to have a second drink, here's what the Irish say.
"A bird never flew on one wing."
And when it comes to buying that second round, here's a good saying..
"May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, this drink's on me."
Here's another good one with a little bit of Irish humor...
"We drink to your coffin.
May it be built from the wood of a hundred-year-old oak tree
that I shall plant tomorrow."
Irish Language Blessings
Here's a favorite Irish language saying for ringing in the New Year.
"Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arís."
(phonetic pronunciation goes like this guh mer-ih-meed guh lare beow er on ahm sho ar-eesh.)
May we all be alive this time next year!
Irish for Happy New Year is Athbhlian Faoi Mhaise Daoibh and phonetic pronunciation goes like this “ah-vleen fway vah-sha jeeve.”
Here's another Irish language saying that sounds like a tongue twister.
‘Sliocht sleachta ar shliocht bhur sleachta.’
Pronunciation in phonetics goes like this - shluck-th shlok-tha er hluck-th vur shlock-tha.
"May there be a generation of children on the children of your children."
Learn How To Say Happy New Year in Irish
If you're interested in learning how to say "Happy New Year" in Irish or Gaelic, or in exploring some old Irish folk beliefs and customs for this holiday, why not check out my Happy New Year post here.
And so this New Year, may the luck of the Irish be with you.
"May the good Saint Patrick protect ye,
and the devil neglect ye."
I couldn't help myself - I just had to sneak in that gem from days gone by.
But all joking aside, my prayers for you are as follows:
May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty. (That's our online comraderie - thanks for reading my ramblings.)
May the highway of life bring you smooth roads and happiness ahead, and may you reach the happiest of heights, as all your dreams come true this year.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
Images Courtesy of retrographik.com
Here are some other ramblings and recipes from Ireland which you might enjoy...
Thanks for sharing these. I will borrow one for our New Year's Eve toast tonight. Happy New Year to you and your family.
- I just had brown bread and preserves for breakfast and I poached my chicken for Vol au Vent. I am enjoying your recipe postings!
Irish American Mom
Hope you had a lovely New Year's celebration, Beth. So glad your brown bread turned out and hope your vol-au-vents were a big hit last night. I had great plans to do some baking today, but never got around to it. I think I stayed up too late last night.
Happy New Year!
I love these! And the pictures are so great! This is why I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award!
Thanks for sharing these. Beautiful and fitting even in present day
Irish American Mom
Linda - Glad you enjoyed these. There is so much wisdom in the words of our ancestors. Happy New Year to you and yours.
Jane Harrigan Horn
I wish there were a way to add the phonetic pronunciation to the English translation of your Irish sayings. I'd love to know how to pronounce them correctly.
Thank you for a wonderful blog.
Irish American Mom
Jane - Thanks for a great suggestion. I'll update this post in the next few days and add the phonetic English pronunciations.
am doing a gift basket with Irish foods and drinks and saying. What would be a drink that real Irish would use to toast with.
Irish American Mom
Hi Alida - In years gone by Irish whiskey would be the drink of choice for making a toast. Nowadays fewer people drink whiskey, so Irish people simply raise their glasses to make a toast, with whatever drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) they may be enjoying at the time. If you think whiskey may not be to the liking of the lucky recipient of your wonderful gift basket, then Baileys Irish Cream might work well. Good luck with putting your basket together, and thanks for stopping by.
All the best,
I am if Irish decent but never knew my great grand parent to learn any thing of their Irish Background. I know they lived near abouts Cork.
Irish American Mom
Hi Joan - It's a pity you never got a chance to learn more about Ireland from your great grand parent, but I'm delighted you found my website where we discuss all things Irish from food to ramblings about our heritage and culture. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy New Year to you and yours.
Love this site. I googled and found it. I so appreciate it! Gives me a little closeness to my heritage!
Irish American Mom
Hi LaDonna - I'm delighted you found our little Irish corner of the internet. I hope you'll stop by from time to time to celebrate your Irish heritage.
All the best,