Christmas Carols around the Worls
Customs And Traditions, I Am An Expat

Christmas Carols around the World

Christmas Carols around the Worls

 

Everyone loves a good Christmas carol. I certainly know I do. I guess we all know so many beautiful Christmas songs. They tell of peace and joy and the birth of baby Jesus. They are sung in simple voices and by whole choirs with complicated musical arrangements.

Big Stars like Mariah Carey also sing carols, although I find that instead of just singing these beautiful songs that honestly require no vocal decorations whatsoever, these starts tend to overdo the songs to show off their voices. Let me tell you that this is absolutely unnecessary! Personally, I like my Christmas carols simple yet beautiful.

For me, the beauty of Christmas carols is that they can travel the world and cross national and cultural barriers. For example, “Silent Night”; one of the most beautiful and famous carols, was originally written in German as “Stille Nacht” by an Austrian priest but has been translated into dozens langauges, including English, French, Polish, Dutch and many others.  “Adeste Fideles” or as it is known in English, “Come All Yeh Faithful” has also been rendered into English, German, French, and many other languages.

I made a compliation of the most beautiful Christmas carols from all over the world. I asked the bloggers from Multicultural Kid Blogs for help and they came up with many beautiful Christmas carols and songs I didn’t know.

I tried to keep the songs as “typical” as possible so I avoided Christmas Carols that were translations of Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells, Silent Night and others. I wanted to organize them by country but once I started to dig in, it turned out that my task is not as easy as possible. For example, “Silent Night” was written in what is now Austria but at that time was Germany. Another beautiful German Christmas song, “Leise rieselt der Schnee”, was written in Grudziadz, which is now in Poland. I then decided to organize them by language, not country, or do a combination of both.

Here they are, 17 Christmas Carols around the world.. I tried to make my choice as varied as possible, including folklore, pop, and church music. The mood changes from happy to  This list is not even close to being finished so please add your favourite Christmas carols in the comments below!

1) Aguinaldo Criollo (Spanish, from Veneuzela)

I started with this song entrirely on purpose because it is not what you expect when you think of Christmas Carols. But it is so pretty that I just had to include it. It makes me feel like dancing- and Christmas is a time of joy, no?

2) Hark the Herald Angels Sing (English, from Great Britain)

I can already hear you say, “That sounds more like Christmas”, and it does: serious, beautiful, celebratory. It has all a Christmas carol needs.

3) Pasko Na Naman (in Filipino, from the Philipines). It means “It’s Christmas Once Again”. Another beautiful Christmas carol to dance and get happy to!

4) Tu scendi delle stelle (Italian)

This simple Christmas carol from Italy is so pretty-and Italian just sounds so soft and beautiful- just perfect for music.

5)  Půjdem spolu do Betléma (Czech). The title means, “We will go together to Bethlehem) and is sso endlessly cute. Just listen and if you want to sing along (like I do), you can see the lyrics on this video)

6) Circenīša Ziemas svētki (Latvian, from Latvia). As my friend Ilze is telling me, this song is called ” A Cricket’s Christmas” and is a song a mother sings to her son so that he won’t be hungry for Christmas.

7) Nino Jesus: (Spanish, from Puerto Rico). Puerto Ricans actually have a rich tradition of singing Christmas carols, called Parrandas.

8) Dobryi Vitcher Tobi (Ukrainian, Ukraine). It means, “Good evening to you, master of the house. rejoice, rejoice with me, God’s son was born”. I have this beautiful carols stuck in my head. The video also shows Christmas rituals in the Ukraine.

9) Stille Nacht (German, from Austria). How could I not include the world’s most famous Christmas carol? Originally written in German, it has been translated into so many languages. It is absolutely beautiful and I love it. It is also a good one to sing at multicultural Christmas parties as pretty much everyone knows it in his on her language.

10) En Etsi Valtaa Loistoa (Finish, from Finnland)- and here’s one you don’t know. Personally, I love it, You?

11) Go Tell it On the Mountain (English, from the United States) aka as and now for something completely different. While there are many beautiful American Christmas carols to choose from, I picked this one for a more balanced playlist. While the other ones were either folklore or very “churchy”, this one is gospel- also spiritual but so full of life and beautiful strong voices. Love.

12) Hoe Leit dit Kindeke (Flemish, from the Netherlands)

13)  Aisim Mergos, Aisim Bernai kalėda (Lithuanian). This one is called, “Let’s go girls, let’s go guys”. The word kaleda means Christmas in Lithuanian.

14) Adeste Fideles (Latin), known in English as “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful”. Another very famous Christmas carol known worldwide. Beautiful.

15)  Przybieżeli do Betlejem (Polish). Personally, I would have chosen another one but my children love this one so I wanted to share it. The songs says, “Shepherds came to Bethlehem”. In this version, it is sung by Mazowsze, Poland’s most famous  traditional folk song and dance team. They are dressed in traditional Polish attire.

16) Bethlehem’s Stjärna (Swedish). This song’s title means “the Star of Bethlehem” and is so pretty. You can see the lyrics and in the video.

17) Raduitesya vsi Lyude (Russian): This beautiful Russian Christmas carol tells all the people to rejoice in the good news: that Jesus was born!

18) Les Anges dans nos Campagnes (French): this Christmas carol is also very famous and has been translated into English as “Angels we have Heard on High”. Who doesn’t know the beautiful chorus?

 

Again, tell me your favourite Christmas carol- and tell me what I’ve missed!

 

 

 

 

 

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28 Comments

  • Reply Frances December 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for including our parrandas from Puerto Rico 🙂
    Frances recently posted…Parrandas (Puerto Rican version of the U.S.Caroling)My Profile

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 11, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Frances, thanks to you for sharing the link, I’ve never had known about this wonderful tradition!

  • Reply Phoebe @ Lou Messugo December 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    What a lovely selection, I’m happy you chose my favourite Czech carol, it’s just so joyful.
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…Silent Sunday – 7 December 2014My Profile

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 11, 2014 at 8:39 am

      The Czech carol is so beautiful- actually I’m thinking of it a lot and try to sing it, too! And I understand the words as well!

  • Reply Valia December 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Great post!!!
    And I’m also adding Greek Christmas carol:
    http://youtu.be/8PO53oBCoOU

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you, Valia! I should have asked for more Christmas carols! The Greek one is beautiful!

  • Reply Galina @ Raising a Trilingual Child December 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    It is so much fun to watch all these videos! Thank you, Olga!
    Galina @ Raising a Trilingual Child recently posted…Life Story: A language story that spans two centuries.My Profile

  • Reply Dana (Wanted Adventure) December 10, 2014 at 10:40 am

    wow! Thanks for putting this together — definitely must have been a lot of work to find all these clips and to decide which songs/countries to go with. Loved the Czech one and also the Flemish one sung by kids.

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 11, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Hi Dana, welcome to my blog. Yes, it took a while but it was definitely worth it. The Czech one is absolutely cute and the Flemish one is also nice- also because the kids sing so beautifully.

  • Reply Multicultural Celebrations: MKB December Festival December 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    […] hardly any celebration can be complete without music. You can listen to these glorious songs on my blog as […]

  • Reply 5 Tips for a Peaceful Christmas December 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    […] start with Silent Night and Oh Christmas Tree- and listen to my playlist of the most beautiful Christmas Carols around the world, buy diverse books and toys, or try incorporating Christmas decorations and dishes from other […]

  • Reply Olena Centeno December 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    It is a great list, and totally changed my view on Christmas Carols. Will be listening to these beautiful carols with my kids this holiday season.
    Olena Centeno recently posted…022: Tim Johnson On How Dual Language Books Can Help Learn A New LanguageMy Profile

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 16, 2014 at 7:53 am

      Hi Olena, how did this list change your view on Christmas carols? Is it because of the South American ones that are so totally different? And thank you for sharing this post.

  • Reply Hemm Eligheten October 23, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Norwegian christmas carol “Den store stjerna” translated “A song for the christmas star”. Enjoy….

  • Reply Quratt ul ain Siddique December 3, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Christmas carols are specially for the children that are the most crucial and colorful part of Christmas. Thanks for sharing such the beautiful carols. Jingle bell love you
    http://www.25decchristmasday2015.com/2015/11/top-75-christmas-songs-for-kids.html
    Quratt ul ain Siddique recently posted…Christmas Cards 2015: Top 50 Handmade Cards To Wish The Happy OccasionMy Profile

  • Reply Sylvia December 12, 2015 at 1:31 am

    These are mostly Slavish, I was looking for more diversity…

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 17, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Out of 17 Christmas Carols, just four of them are Slavic (from Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Ukraine). I included them because in other countries, Slavic Christmas carols are virtually unknown.

  • Reply Pat December 22, 2015 at 1:36 am

    This is such a lovely way to celebrate life all around the globe.
    William James wrote some very lovely Australian Christmas carols. One of my favourites is: “The Three Drovers”

  • Reply Pat December 22, 2015 at 1:41 am

    This is such a lovely way to celebrate life all around the globe.
    William James wrote some very lovely Australian Christmas carols. One of my favourites is: “The Three Drovers”

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Thank you so much, Pat (and welcome to my blog) I need to listen to this one and soon (haven’t been able to since we have guests)

  • Reply Stephan December 26, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Hi,
    I came across your page because I was looking for Russian Christmas carols. I just don’t know any. Usually, whenever I come across a “Russian” Christmas carol it turns out to be Ukrainian song. Sometimes, sung by Russian choirs – but in Ukrainian with Russian accent. By the way, the language of the song you list as Russian is Ukrainian. So, I guess I have to continue searching.

    What’s also quite interesting is that there’s a Ukrainian version of the Polish Christmas carol you have in your list: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvUQ4SJChBo

    Finally, a Ukrainian song has become known as Carol of Bells and is a famous Christmas carol in North America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBDFMD5kLvc

    • Reply Olga Mecking December 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Hi Stephen, thanks for stopping by and commenting, and thanks for letting me know about my mistake. I actually asked a group of very diverse bloggers (including ones from Russia and Ukraine) and they told me about these Christmas carols. I know there is an Ukrainian version of the Polish Christmas carol (If I am not mistaken the Polish version is a translation from Latin) and I also know Carol of the Bells and that it was written by an Ukrainian composer.

  • Reply Nathan Boler August 22, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Thanks so much for this list!! Just stumbled upon it this evening and am thrilled with the youtube videos. So great, this is amazing. I shared on twitter even though it’s August. 🙂

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    […] Christmas Carols from Around the World […]

  • Reply José December 15, 2016 at 3:43 am

    I loved this post; some of the videos cannot be sing anymore. I am from Spain and at present living in the USA. This is “Campana sobre campana” (Bell toll over bell toll). It is a traditional Christmas carol original from Spain, and one of the most well known in all the Spanish speaking countries. https://youtu.be/9YJf_m1h8hA

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