Wednesday, December 25, 2013

History of Christmas Carols

Each of us has memories coming from Christmas songs that we treasure since our childhood. As children, we never question these things, we just listen to them and grow to love them. Legend tells that the first Christmas hymn would have been sang when Jesus is born. Can you imagine that it is well over 2,000 years ago? However, it is only during the 1200's that Saint Francis of Assisi made Christmas songs published in a language understandable and spoken by everyone rather than Latin.

As time has passed, there have been a lot of Christian leaders and parishioners who have make it common place to put on a show about Christmas and singing the carols have been a large part of the elaborate show. Christmas carols have been
added to the American culture from every English speaking country, from England to Australia.

Back in 1447 when Johannes Gutenberg conceived the mechanical printing press, this allowed for things to be copied in a fairly short amount of time which meant that the words and lyrics to the Christmas carols could be copied again and again and distributed, which is what made Christmas carols become so popular.

Naturally, around this same time Christmas and Christianity were a very big part of everyone's life. Unfortunately, the year 1649, Cromwell abolished all Catholic customs in England, including Christmas. When in 1661 Charles II restored these traditions, singing carols became one of the most popular traditions.

The largest part of well known Christmas carols have been written from the mid-1700s to the early 1800s and are still popular today. For instance, Frederich Handel performed the well known "Messiah" for the first time at a charity event in 1742.

As for "Silent Night", it has been written in 1818 by the Austrian Joseph Mohr and its original title was "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht". The organ of his church had broken and he needed to write a song that could be accompanied by a guitar rather than this instrument and then, he wrote this marvelous Christmas carol.

Today, it is easy to create a carol: when the holiday season arrives, artists as well as Hollywood produce their Christmas hymn. But we still have a preference for the flavours and the sounds of the old Christmas songs. Every one of us tends to stick to traditions and while we might like new carols none of them could ever take the place of oldies like We Wish You a Merry Christmas or Jingle Bells. While the number of Christmas carols we listen to is very large, almost none of them is a new one.

So, this year, gather your family and friends around the tree and sing these beautiful carols; it is one of the greatest ways to celebrate the Christmas holiday.


I'm an European History, holly days and Tarot cards passionate. I write articles and create websites related to those topics. You will find more information and creative Christmas ideas that will help you make the most out of this Christian celebration at It's Christmas Time.
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