By Alexandra Jocham, RBI |

Do you still need inspiration for the right mood under the Christmas tree? Look no further, we have a colourful mix of different Christmas and New Year songs, from Central and Eastern Europe, where you are sure to find what you are looking for! We asked our colleagues for tips and this is what they recommended. Have fun clicking through our selection and enjoy your Christmas holidays!

Croatia:

Fantomi – Sretan Božić svakome. “Snijeg svud pada, Zvona zvone, Srca mlada vesele se, To je vrijeme ljubavi i mira, Sretan Božić svakome” are the lyrics to one of our most popular Christmas songs, backed by the band Phantoms. It is a single that is unquestionably the biggest Croatian Christmas hit, and was recorded in 1992. The song was actually based on the English subtitle “Merry Christmas Everyone”, and is among the first three Christmas songs that were released in Croatia. This Christmas song that Croatians almost exclusively listen to only during December was created at a temperature of 30 degrees, more precisely during August, as Robert Mareković who performs the song once admitted.

Ukraine:

With no doubts we can say that the most popular Christmas song in Ukraine is Shchedryk, you know this song as Carol of Bells. Shchedryk (Ukrainian: Щедрик, from Щедрий вечiр, “Bountiful Evening”) is a Ukrainian shchedrivka, or New Year’s song. It was arranged by composer and teacher Mykola Leontovych in 1916, and tells a story of a swallow flying into a household to sing of wealth that will come with the following spring. “Shchedryk” was originally sung on the night of January 13, New Year’s Eve in the Julian Calendar (December 31 Old Style), which is Shchedry Vechir. “Shchedryk” was later adapted as an English Christmas carol, “Carol of the Bells“, by Peter J. Wilhousky  and today is probably the most famous Christmas song all around the world.

Slovakia:

Silent night (Tichá Noc) is the most popoular carol in Slovakia that is the reason why  this song must be No.1.

When it comes to pop songs „Christmas is apparently going to be every day“ (Každý deň budú vraj Vianoce) is also very popular. This song was written by Marián Kochanský, a frontman of music group Lojzo and recorded in 1991. An interesting side fact is that this song was not a christmas song originally.

The song is popular thanks to cooperation with a very popular singer and guitarist Miroslav Žbirka.

The third song, is a song for children: „In the Christmas bakery“ (Vo Vianočnej pekárni). The original music was written by Rolf Zuckowski (In Der Weihnachtsbäckerei) and the lyrics was written by Miro Jaroš.

Miro Jaroš is the most popular singer for children in Slovakia. He has written a lot of songs and produced two christmas albums for children.

Serbia:

In Serbia, Christmas songs are not as popular as New Year songs.

Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, as the Serbian Orthodox church follows the „old“ or Julian calender. There are some very beautiful and festive and old carols, like “Рождество Твоје Христе Боже наш!” (Your birth, our God Christ).

And now for a very popular New Year’s song: “White stars fall from the sky” or even more popular: “Over the mountain, over the hill” (a somewhat inaccurate translation, but close). The lyrics follow Santa Claus, whose “sleigh is speeding”, and the children ask Santa “not to stray from the path, not to hesitate, but to prepare the presents” 😊. And then the chorus says: “White stars are falling from the sky, Santa’s sleigh is flying over the mountain, Santa is coming to bring us joy”….

This is a rather old song (hence the poor video quality) sung by the most popular children’s choir in Serbia, “Kolibri”. We have used this version of the song on purpose because others have modern covers that do not reflect the true nature of the song and the New Year joy it brings to both children and adults! Although it has been many years now since it became popular, it is still the most important song when it comes to the New Year.

Belarus:

The most popular song in Belarus – without knowing the statistics 🙂 – is “В лесу родилась елочка” (“The forest has put up a Christmas tree”).

It is extremely famous not only in Belarus, but in all post-soviet countries, including Russia.

The song began as a poem by Raisa Kudasheva, a teacher, librarian and poet who wrote poems, tales and songs for children. The poem “Christmas Tree” was written in 1903 and published in the Christmas issue of a magazine. In 1905 the poem was set to music by an amateur composer, Leonid Beckmann, as a gift to his daughter. Beckmann was a scientist and agronomist by profession. The song is perfomed at all Christmas events at kindergartens and primary schools, and is ususally one of the first songs learned by a child.

Hungary:

A classic Christmas carol from Hungary is “Mennyből az angyal”. It is the most popular and probably oldest Hungarian Christmas song. It was most likely written in the 18th century by Szentmihályi Mihály, a priest who lived in the Boconád parish.

And here’s a modern one “A szürke patás” by Zséda, which is also very popular.

Austria:

“Silent Night, Holy Night” is undoubtedly Austria’s best-known Christmas carol and also one of the best-known Christmas carols in the world. It was first performed on 24 December 1818 in the Roman Catholic church of St. Nikola in Oberndorf near Salzburg, where the Silent Night Chapel now stands, with a melody by Franz Xaver Gruber and lyrics by Joseph Mohr. Since then, the German lyrics have been translated and sung in 320 languages and dialects worldwide. Of the original six stanzas, only the first, second and last stanzas are sung in the commonly known version. In 2011, Silent Night, Holy Night was recognised by UNESCO on application as an intangible cultural heritage in Austria.

We hope you enjoy our suggestions! All that remains is for us to wish you a happy, peaceful and peaceful holiday season and a happy and, above all, healthy New Year!