Italian Word of the Day: Festeggiare (to celebrate)

Today’s word of the day is part of our Italian Christmas Word Advent Calendar series. Each day throughout December, we’ll post a word that is related to the holiday season. Enjoy!

We already talked about the word festa (party / celebration) in a previous ‘word of the day’ article but did you know that you can transform it into a verb as well?

The verb festeggiare means to celebrate, to party or to make merry in Italian and can be used to talk about birthdays, anniversaries and of course, Christmas and the holiday season.

IPA: /fes.tedˈdʒa.re/
view from behind of a person dressed as santa with her arms up in the air, celebrating in front of a big crowd of people alldressed up as santas

The conjugation of festeggiare in the present tense is as follows:

  • (Io) festeggio = I celebrate
  • (Tu) festeggi = You celebrate
  • (Lui / Lei) festeggia = He / She celebrates
  • (Noi) festeggiamo = We celebrate
  • (Voi) festeggiate = You all celebrate
  • (Loro) festeggiano = They celebrate

Quest’anno festeggiamo il Natale a Napoli.

This year we are celebrating Christmas in Naples.


In Italian, the verb celebrare also exists and although it looks similar to the English celebrate, it is actually closer in meaning to commemorate, officiate or praise depending on the context. Unlike festeggiare, which refers to more frivolous merry-making, celebrare has a more serious and somber connotation.

Oggi siamo qui riuniti per celebrare la festa dell’indipendenza.

Today we are gathered here to celebrate Independence Day.

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