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Traditions and festivals


Equipo de Marketing December 31, 2015

What are some Christmas songs you’ll hear while you study abroad?

What would Christmas be like without music? Without a doubt, songs, well music, are a fundamental part of Christmas as without them Christmas would be silent. And a Christmas without music and without colour wouldn’t be Christmas.

That’s why today we’re going to take a trip around several countries to see what their Christmas music is like.

  • Spain

In Spain, these traditional songs are called ‘villancicos’ and they are sung most of all by children.

Their musical character is religious and they originated in the Middle Ages when they were sung at any religious festival. However nowadays, these carols are only sung at Christmas time.

Here you have a mixed bag of Spanish Christmas songs:


  • The United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, these songs originated in medieval times when they were sung by “waits”. Waits were travelling singers who would go from town to town singing songs of good wishes in exchange for an invitation to dinner.

These songs are called “Christmas Carols” with carol meaning a song about your life.

Watch this video of the best Christmas carols.


  • Italy

In Italy, the custom of singing carols doesn’t exist like in the aforementioned countries. The reason is very simple. There is such a large variety of races in Italy that they have to be very careful not to offend other religions.

However they do sing Christmas songs in churches in concert form either in Spanish or in Latin and the most popular ones are also sung at home during family reunions or Christmas dinner. In this video, you can see a representation of a traditional carol in Italy.


  • Mexico

Christmas songs in Mexico are also called ‘villancicos’ as they were inherited from Spain although slightly altered because of their culture.

They started being sung in churches and then the tradition of singing them at home for family Christmas reunions began.

You can see some Mexican carols in the following video:


  • Australia

Did you know that Christmas gets to Australia in the middle of summer? Well, that’s so. In this country, Christmas songs are sung on the beach. The Australians go out singing Christmas songs by candlelight on Christmas Eve.

These Christmas songs are sung by children, watch this video of a typical Australian Christmas carol.


  • Japan

In Japan, Christmas isn’t celebrated by all the Japanese. In fact, it’s celebrated by very few and for them it is more of a romantic evening. If they have the courage to sing songs, they are ones that are imported from the United States.

Although, we have to highlight ‘Christmas Eve’ which came out in 1983 and is a standard Christmas song in Japan.

Here you have one version of this typical song that is sung when Christmas time starts in Japan.


  • Germany

In Germany, Christmas songs are called ‘Weihnachtslied’ which means winter song and they’re not very well known although some have been translated into different languages.

They also have advent songs, ‘Adventslied’ which are sung during advent.

Here you have a fun video of some Weihnachtslied sung by a fun minion character.


  • Austria

If you decide to visit Austria at Christmas time, you could get drunk on Christmas music while walking through the city streets.

Concerts with orchestras playing these songs in the theatre of Vienna are very well known and traditional.

You can see children singing in Vienna in this video:


Remember that with MyHOSTpitality you can experience Christmas in a different way; travelling to another country, living with a host family and experiencing a foreign Christmas first-hand. You’d have free accommodation as you establish the conditions with the host family of your choice. To do so, you just need to form part of our community by registering on our web page. Go for it!

It’s not just Christmas though, you can choose any time of year to travel abroad and get to know about other traditional celebrations, traditions, cultures and languages.

Did you like this article? Do you know of any other Christmas songs from other countries? Tell us about them by emailing and we’ll share them with the other members of our community.


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