Is there any rhyme or reason to how we wish people sentiments for various holidays. For example:
"Merry Christmas", "Happy New Year", "Happy Birthday"
are all acceptable sentiments but if we were to interchange them:
"Happy Christmas", "Merry New Year", "Merry Birthday"
people would agree that, though the sentiment is preserved, the delivery seems a bit off (at least in American English). I ask because I went to wish a friend a "Happy Yom Kippur" today but thought I should check first on what the standard well-wishing is (luckily I checked first... as it is not a "festive" day at all, but rather a somber occasion to reflect and pray).
Do we just use "Happy" unless it is Christmas?
Are there any other "classy" variants that can be substituted seamlessly (for example something like "Jolly New Year" or "Stellar Retirement")?