The most beautiful time of the year, people say. The statement is undoubtedly hard to prove wrong, I mean, people celebrate Christmas in December but everyone talks about it from September on. (Almost 5 months before!)
Once you’ve gone through August, you’ll start listening to Christmas music all around Latin America.
Don’t wait until December to get your Christmas tree, you won’t find any! In many Spanish-speaking countries, they buy their decorations throughout October and November while listening to every Christmas carol ever written, courtesy of the speakers in any department store.
Christmas Traditions in Latin America
Given their Catholic past, Christmas customs are strong in Spanish and Hispanic cultures, and most people decorate their homes with mangers and trees.
The novena or posada is a Hispanic ritual in which you gather with friends and family nine nights before Christmas Day to recite prayers from a novenario, eat lots of wonderful food, and, sing a lot of these songs.
These novenas are held in private homes, although in other neighborhoods, they are held in public spaces.
Spanish Christmas Carols and You
The Christmas season is all about baby Jesus and Papá Noel in Latin America. Generally, religious people celebrate the Virgin Mary giving birth to the savior of the world on Christmas eve.
Costa Ricans believe that the baby Jesus, rather than Santa or the three wise men, brings gifts to children.
Christmas in Nicaragua is celebrated on December 24th rather than December 25th, with extravagant parades and processions running up to the big day.
Traditions in Guatemala merge Mayan and Christian ideas. On the days leading up to Christmas Day, there are numerous processions telling the Christmas narrative.
The carols you’ll be listening to are related to old times and here is where you’ll improve your Spanish vocabulary. Yup, everything will be about learning Spanish and Feliz Navidad in this post.
There may be many different versions of these Spanish Christmas songs so I’m sure you have already listened to some.
Besides the most famous Christmas carols internationally, we’ll also be listing the most popular Christmas songs from different countries in Latin America and Spain.
1. Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad is one of the traditional Spanish Christmas songs you will hear a lot. It wishes us all a merry Christmas, a happy new year, and plenty of fun! It’s time to take advantage of this period of love, peace, and joy!
You’ll hear this tune at the mall, on the radio, and in the grocery as the Christmas season approaches. It gives us the feeling of a new season entering our hearts as we listen to it. It reminds us of how, despite our differences, we can care for one another.
It’s the kind of tune you’ll play while decorating your home or shopping for presents for your loved ones. This is a timeless classic!
The mixed Spanish-English song was written by José Feliciano in 1970 and it’s internationally famous.
2. Noche de Paz
Noche de Paz is the Spanish version of the world-famous Silent Night.
The song was penned by Austrian priest Joseph Mohr and composed in German by Austrian schoolmaster and organist Franz Xavier Gruber.
This song has a lot of educational potential because people are likely to recognize the rhythm. When students already know how a tune goes, they typically believe they understand the meaning better if they hear it in a new language.
There are numerous versions to pick from, so it is purely a matter of personal preference.
3. Blanca Navidad
The Spanish version of “White Christmas” (as it is known in the English-speaking world) was translated by Spanish vocalist Luca Gil with the help of Ismael García.
The charming song is about the beauty of a white Christmas and how the children look forward to it as the holiday approaches.
4. Cascabel, Cascabel / Navidad, Navidad
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to sing Jingle Bells in Spanish. Although there are multiple “Spanish versions,” none of them is a straight translation of the original song.
5. Los Peces en el Río
This is one of the most well-known villancicos. Fish in the river is the translated title, and unlike other Christmas songs, it is about the Virgin Mary washing infant clothing in the river.
Mary’s reflection in the river is described in the song, which then moves on to the birth of baby Jesus. It’s a basic peaceful Christmas song that tells the story of Jesus in a humble tone. There are no bells and whistles or big drum beats, just a simple peaceful Christmas song.
6. Mi Burrito Sabanero
“El burrito de Belén“ song tells about the (little) donkey that Mary and Joseph ride to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. The artist claims that the donkey sings and jogs as they travel because he enjoys the journey.
They sing “hurry, little donkey” at this same moment. We’re almost there!” exclaims the narrator. This song’s lyrics and melody are both extremely catchy and enjoyable.
It’s a hit with the kids! This song is excellent for you if you want something different for your kids while still keeping the Christmas spirit alive!
7. Campanas de Belén
Campanas de Belén tells us about a critical time of Jesus’ birth in each verse. It all begins with the announcement of Jesus’ birth, which uses the image of bells to signify gladness.
The celebration of the birth is then followed by the shepherds’ journey to Bethlehem with their “curd cheese, butter, and wine”.
8. Rodolfo el Reno
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s Spanish adaptation has permeated Latin American society. This song has a lovely message! Rodolfo has a scarlet red nose, which makes him sad because his buddies tease him about it.
However, when the Christmas season arrives, Santa Claus chooses him because of his gleaming nose, and he is now Santa’s favorite reindeer!
His friends later apologize and realize that making fun of others is never acceptable. Instead, we should celebrate diversity, and this song is ideal for teaching your children this important lesson! This classic children’s Christmas song is a must-listen!
9. Ya Vienen los Reyes
This villancico is used to explain and remind the children what gift each king gave to the manger (pesebre in Spanish) when they arrived in Bethlehem to visit the child, based on the custom of the Three Kings bringing gifts on January 6th.
10. Vamos, Pastores, Vamos
Vamos, Pastores, Vamos is a classic Spanish carol that has been passed down through the generations, particularly in Latin America. The title translates to “Let’s go, Shepherds, Let’s go!” The shepherds’ journey to Bethlehem to see the Virgin Mary and newborn Jesus is depicted in the song.
The tune has a pleasant and joyful melody and simple words, and it was written by Jeremias Quintero, who is estimated to have written around 3 thousand Christmas carols.
11. Canta, Ríe, Bebe
Listeners are encouraged to “sing, eat, and drink” to celebrate Christmas in this Peruvian Christmas carol. Christmas is a time to be joyful, so canta, ríe, bebe! to your heart’s delight, as the song says.
Explore the Peruvian holidays and discover the best time and places to visit with our Peru Travel Guide.
12. El Niño Dios
Spanish Christmas songs to listen to only in Mexico? This is the one you’re looking for. Interpreted by Oscar Chávez, this is an important piece that families enjoy singing to in this country.
13. Alegre Vengo
“Alegre Vengo” is a classic Christmas song from Puerto Rico. Spanish Christmas carols are known as aguinaldos in Puerto Rico. Villancicos are religious songs having a religious theme.
The main festivities, as in many Spanish-speaking nations, take place on Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena, rather than on Christmas Day itself.
14. La Marimorena
It’s a catchy Spanish language track with plenty of vocabulary for you to learn. There are several variations of this classic song; Oscar Athie’s interpretation is only one example.
Which of the Spanish Christmas songs on the list is your favorite? Did you find the perfect song for the holidays?
Having fun and making the best of the festivities are all that matter when singing these popular villancicos. Add these Christmas songs to your holiday playlist, your family and friends will love them.
Remember, enjoying music in the target language will greatly boost your learning process. If you don’t have anyone to practice with, we invite you to try a free 1:1 class or sign up for a free 7-day trial of group classes to see how thousands of students are dominating the Spanish language with SpanishVIP.
Want to learn Spanish, fast?
Download our e-book, Easy Spanish Shortcuts, and learn your first 1,000 Spanish words in under a day!
Download Guide Now
- Los Peces en el Río. ...
- Canta, Rie, Bebe. ...
- Vamos, Pastores, Vamos. ...
- Blanca Navidad. ...
- Noche de Paz. ...
- Hacia Belén va una burra, rin, rin. ...
- Campanas de Belén. ...
- Arre Borriquito.
With its simple, heartfelt lyrics—the traditional Spanish Christmas/New Year greeting "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" ("Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness") followed by (in English) "I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart"—has become a Christmas classic and has gained ...
Top 10 Spanish Christmas Songs:
Campana Sobre Campana. Mi Burrito Sabanero/ El Burrito de Belén. Feliz Navidad. Los Peces en el Río.
Feliz Navidad is one of the traditional Spanish Christmas songs you will hear a lot. It wishes us all a merry Christmas, a happy new year, and plenty of fun!
- Su CanciónJacinta Hernández.
- La Rosa EnfloreceJacinta.
- Eres TuJacinta Hernández.
- A la unaJacinta.
- El Tren Blindado/El Quinto RegimientoChristina Rosmini, Taofik Farah.
- SinceridadCarlos Romero.
- La MentiraCarlos Romero.
Victor Jara, 'Doña María Le Ruego' (Chile)
The song, released in 1966, has become part of the more formal and traditional celebrations held in Chilean households that strive to keep Christmas strongly tied to religion.
Villancicos. In Mexico, Christmas carols are called “villancicos”. Some of these songs are translations of popular English carols such as “Silent Night”, while others, like “The Fishes in the River” (Los Peces en el Río), are unique to Mexican culture.
While in countries like Mexico and Venezuela, presents might also be brought by El Niñito Dios (baby Jesus) or Santo Clós (Santa Claus).
1. “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee. This song has become the most notorious Spanish song of all time!
- 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' by Mariah Carey. ...
- 'Last Christmas' by Wham! ...
- 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' by Darlene Love. ...
- 'Stay Another Day' by East 17. ...
- 'White Christmas' by Bing Crosby. ...
- 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. ...
- 'Christmas Wrapping' by The Waitresses.
Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena in Spanish, is celebrated on December 24 and is generally a family affair.
During Christmas, it is common to hear both traditional and contemporary Christmas music. Traditional music includes villancicos (akin to Christmas carols) with popular songs including: "Los pastores a Belén"; "Riu, riu, chiu: El lobo rabioso"; and "Los peces en el río".
- La TequileraAstrid Hadad.
- La Cumbia Del MoleLila Downs, Flaco Jimenez, Max Baca.
- Mexican Hat Dance (Jarabe Tapatio)The Mariachis.
- Golpes Que da la Vida (with Reyli)La Sonora Santanera, Reyli Barba.
- El ChuponcitoSonora Tropicana.
- Mambo No. ...
- La BoaLa Sonora Santanera.
- Que BelloLa Sonora Dinamita.
Nochebuena translates to "the good night" and is celebrated on Christmas Eve. The holiday traces back to Spanish colonialization and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Nochebuena isn't just a Hispanic and Latinx holiday, but it's also celebrated in the Philippines.
- La Bachata. Manuel Turizo.
- Calm Down. Rema.
- I'm Good (Blue) David Guetta & Bebe Rexha.
- Quiero Decirte. Abraham Mateo & Ana Mena.
- LAS 12. Ana Mena & Belinda.
- mariposas. Sangiovanni & Aitana.
- Traductor. Tiago PZK & Myke Towers.
- Nothing Else Matters. Scala & Kolacny Brothers.
Regardless, the oldest Christmas songs we know about are religious. St. Hilary of Poitiers composed the Latin carol “Jesus refulsit omnium” (“Jesus illuminates all”) in the fourth century, presumably after the first recorded Christmas celebration (336 A.D.).
- Slow Spanish Love Songs.
- “Tu” by Shakira.
- “Mi Razón de Ser” by Banda MS.
- “Te Amo” by Franco de Vita.
- “El Amor de Mi Vida” by Ricky Martin.
- “Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor” by Juanes.
- “Llegaste Tu” by Luis Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra.
- “El Amor” by Jose Luis Perales.
La bamba is probably the most recognized song in Spanish, in the past century.
- Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Spoon. 07.28.07. 07.28.07.
- Transference. Spoon. 02.06.10. 02.06.10. ...
- They Want My Soul. Spoon. 08.23.14. 08.23.14. ...
- Gimme Fiction. Spoon. 05.28.05. 05.28.05.
- Hot Thoughts. Spoon. 04.08.17. 04.08.17. ...
- Lucifer On The Sofa. Spoon. 02.26.22. 02.26.22.
- Hodie Christus Natus Est.
- Veni, Veni Emmanuel (O Come, O Come Emmanuel)
- Puer Natus in Bethlehem.
- Resonet in Laudibus.
- What Child is This? ( instrumental)
- Jesu Redemptor Omnium.
- Corde Natus ex Parentes (Of the Father's Love Begotten)
- Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (instrumental)
Perhaps the most beautiful song Chile has produced. “Gracias a la vida” is the best-known work of master songwriter Violeta Parra.
Peru: Los Niños Cantores de Navidad – El Burrito de Belén
Written in 1976 and a traditional Christmas song ever since, this is primarily a kids' number about riding your little donkey by the light of the North star.
Christmas Eve and Gifts
On December 24th, you can expect to dine with traditional Mexican foods and drink until early Christmas morning. Some gifts will be exchanged, but in Mexico, Christmas is more about spending time with your family members.
Christmas Eve traditions in Mexico
The last posada takes place on Christmas Eve (known as Noche Buena) and is followed by a late-night mass known as La Misa Del Gallo (The Mass of the Rooster) – so named because a rooster is believed to have crowed on the night when Jesus was born.
Christmas Day is often spent as a day to rest after festivities. People wish each other Merry Christmas (Feliz Navidad). It is common to relax, catch up with family and friends, and eat leftovers (recalentado) from Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) dinner.
This has been the common belief over the last few decades, and many people outside of the North Pole will call her Jessica Claus around the Christmas holiday. Regardless of what her true first name is, everyone at the North Pole continues to refer to her as Mrs. Claus, even Santa!
Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel. Two of his names -- Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas -- both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago. The Dutch believed Saint Nikolaas gave gifts to children.
- The Netherlands: Sinterklaas.
- Germany: Christkind.
- Germany: Weihnachtsmann.
- England: Father Christmas.
- Latin America: Papá Noel.
- Latin America: Niño Jesús.
- China: Dun Che Lao Ren.
- Japan: Hoteiosho and Santa Kurohsu.
- 1 KAROL G & Ovy On the Drums - CAIRO. ...
- 2 Bad Bunny - Tití Me Preguntó ...
- 3 Don Omar & Lil Jon - LET'S GET CRAZY! ( ...
- 4 Bad Bunny & Chencho Corleone - Me Porto Bonito. ...
- 5 Grupo Frontera - No Se Va (En Vivo) ...
- 6 Manuel Turizo - La Bachata. ...
- 7 Grupo Frontera - No Se Va (En Vivo) ...
- 8 Shakira & Ozuna - Monotonía.
"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks.
Today flamenco consist of many different type of rhythms and styles and it affected many folk music genres in Spain. For example Alegría, Bulería, Siguiriyas, Tangos and etc. Some other folk music and dances in Spain which can be named are Jota, Fandango, Bolera, Zambra, Paso Doble and Muñeira.
- "What Christmas Means to Me" by John Legend. ...
- "One More Sleep" by Leona Lewis. ...
- "Oh Santa!" ...
- "Glittery" by Kacey Musgraves. ...
- "All I Want (For Christmas)" by Liam Payne. ...
- "Last Christmas" by Carly Rae Jepsen. ...
- "Cold December Night" by Michael Bublé ...
- "Feliz Navidad" by Gwen Stefani [feat.
- Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses. ...
- What Christmas Means to Me - Stevie Wonder. ...
- All I Want For Christmas Is You - Kelly Clarkson. ...
- It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams. ...
- White Christmas - Bing Crosby. ...
- Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 - Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
- 'White Christmas” by Bing Crosby.
- 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' by Judy Garland. ...
- 'The Christmas Song' by Nat King Cole. ...
- 'Silent Night' by Bing Crosby. ...
- 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' by Elvis Presley. ...
One of the most unique facts about Christmas in Spain is that there's no Santa Claus. Forget Saint Nick – in Spain, it's the Three Kings or the Three Wise Men (known as Reyes Magos – Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar) who bring the gifts to good children at Christmas time. They also don't come on Christmas Eve.
Children in Spain don't receive actual gifts from Santa Claus in December but from The Three Kings in January. The month of January is important to the Spanish people because that's when they celebrate Epiphany or Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Magos.
- “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi ft. ...
- “Gasolina” – Daddy Yankee. ...
- “Limbo” – Daddy Yankee. ...
- “Bon, Bon” – Pitbull. ...
- “Calypso” – Luis Fonsi Stefflon Don. ...
- “Aventura” – Obsesión.
Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" is still the most popular Christmas song across the land.
For Christmas carols, “Silent Night” comes out first as the most translated song translation and this is in more than 100 languages. Joseph Mohr, an Austrian pastor wrote the original song.
According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.
- Step Into ChristmasElton John.
- Mary's Boy Child / Oh My LordBoney M.
- Baby It's Cold Outside (duet with Michael Bublé)Idina Menzel, Michael Bublé
- Jingle Bells (R&B Version)Bing Cole.
- Santa Tell MeAriana Grande.
What was the first Christmas carol? It's generally accepted that one of the first Christmas carols ever to be recorded was the 129 AD 'Angels Hymn', according to The New Daily. Around this time, Christianity-themed hymns started taking over the previous pagan songs celebrating Winter Solstice.
One of the most special days for Mexican families is Christmas or “Navidad”. As most of you probably already know, this is the holiday held in celebration of the birth of Jesus. During the Christmas season, all the streets in Mexico become filled with light and decorations.
3. Spanish: Papa Noel (lit. Father Christmas) The man behind the Spanish name for Santa Claus is commonly known to give out presents on 24th December or 25th December (from Papa Noel), or on 6th January (from the Three Kings).
The Mexican celebration of Christmas is called las posadas and begins on December 16. The ninth evening of las posadas is Buena Noche, Christmas Eve.
1. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
GERMAN – MOST BEAUTIFUL SUNG LANGUAGE
Often said to be somewhat harsh to the ear, German can be quite expressive, melodious and emotion-packed, especially when paired with a bouncy pop-tune.
It has been translated into over 100 languages. The original song's lyrics were written by Joseph Mohr, an assistant pastor from Austria. The music was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, an organist and choir director.