#Navidad: Spain has its own tradition of Christmas caroling

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#Navidad: Spain has its own tradition of Christmas caroling
A choir entertains at Barcelona's Santa Lucia Christmas market. Photo:

In the run up to Christmas, The Local explains the unique history behind Spanish seasonal traditions in our own Advent calendar.


You may not be able to escape cheesy English language Christmas music blaring out of high street stores as much in Spain as the rest of the world, but Spain actually has it's own tradition of Christmas carols, and they are worth seeking out

In Spain they are called villancicos and if you listen out for them you'll find them.

Spanish villancicos are thought to date back to the Middle Ages when choral tunes were created in Spanish rather than the traditional Latin of religious texts so they could be belted out to attract people to come to church after the Reconquest.

This catchy number sung by children is the equivalent of "Little Donkey". 

Spain also has its own lyrics to classics such as Silent Night, which in Spanish is translated to Noche de Paz.

In normal years, you'll find carol concerts held in towns and cities across Spain performed by a choir at your local church to rather grand candle lit concerts held by candlelight in the openair during Christmas markets or other events organised by the town council. 


But this year, with the coronavirus pandemic still raging, councils across Spain have cancelled events that might cause crowds and instead encouraged virtual concerts to be watching from the safety of home. 

For more in our special Advent season click on the links below: 


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