Christmas carols are songs, hymns and chants that are sung during the Christmas season for the purpose of spreading joy, love and thanks to all. Many of these songs are deeply embedded in Christmas culture and this Christian holiday simply would not be the same without such classic songs.
The word "carol" comes from the French language and can be best translated as people singing and dancing around in a circle. Today, the Oxford Dictionary states that Christmas carols are religious songs that are associated with Christmas. Generally speaking, the songs celebrate the birth of Jesus and the happiness of the Christmas season.
The first time Christmas carols were sung was in Rome in the fourth century. Such carols have since become more and more popular and are sung throughout the world every Christmas.
The majority of Christmas carols were not sung in church ceremonies until the 1800's and 1900's. Nowadays, every year people in the UK join together in the singing of these carols and it has become a tradition to have mass singings in places like Sheffield.
There are a countless number of Christmas carols and new songs are produced every year. However, there is a strong core of carols that represent the best of the best of Christmas Carols.
These include the following: Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Ave Maria, White Christmas, Silent Night, O Holy Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem, The First Noel, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, Angels We Have Heard on High and many more.
Some popular Christmas carols by music stars include the following: John Lennon's Happy XMas, Judy Garland's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Bruce Springsteen's Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You, Mel and Kim's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Jose Feliciano's Feliz Navidad and many more.
Resources: carols.org.uk, the-north-pole.com/carols, christmas-carols.net