Celebrate Holidays Around the World: Songs for Preschool Children

Music Teach Traditions

Music is an integral part of many holidays around the world. Songs for preschool children that reflect the holiday traditions of foreign countries is a great way to incorporate learning and foster an appreciation for different cultures both at home and in the classroom setting. Offered here are music resources to support those educational opportunities.


The Christmas holiday provides the perfect opportunity for preschoolers to learn more about cultures which are different from their own. Since the holiday is celebrated by Christians and even non-Christians around the world, Christmas and its unique holiday traditions are easily incorporated into your own classroom celebrations.

For many, the first holiday song from around the world that comes to mind is the German Christmas carol, "Oh Tannenbaum":

O fir tree, O fir tree,

How true are your leaves.

You don't only turn green in summertime,

But also in winter, when it snows.

O fir tree, O fir tree,

How true are your leaves.

O fir tree, O fir tree,

Much pleasure can you bring me.

How often, in winter, a tree of your kind,

Has already rejoiced me.

O fir tree, O fir tree,

Much pleasure can you bring me.

O fir tree, O fir tree,

Your dress wants to teach me,

The hope and the stability,

Give courage (comfort) and energy for all time.

O fir tree, O fir tree

Your dress wants to teach me.

However, a multitude of Christmas songs from other countries exist, and many are simple enough for preschool children to learn. Here are several other suggestions to get you started:

  • Feliz Navidad, written by Jose Feliciano (popular in Spanish speaking countries like Mexico and Puerto Rico)
  • Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant (a French Christmas carol)
  • Deck the Halls (a carol believed to have a Welsh origin, which is popular in England and other English-speaking countries)

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If learning to sing a song from another country seems too daunting a task, you may simply wish to spend time sharing the music by playing it during a special holiday snack time or while the children are creating related holiday projects.

Amazon.com offers CDs for purchase that contain Christmas music from around the world for both children and adults to enjoy. Putumayo Presents: Christmas Around the World, by Putumayo World Music. This CD offers songs from a variety of different artists, and it's a follow up to another CD they have produced, Putumayo World Christmas. Listeners will find some familiar songs performed with cultural flavor, along with tunes with which they may be unfamiliar but will surely grow to love!

Other Holidays from Around the World

If you are looking for music to celebrate holidays from around the world other than Christmas, an excellent resource is the CD


, Holiday Songs Around the World, which is available for downloading by Educational Activities, Inc. Not only do you receive the songs that complete the album, you also receive the music lyrics. As an added bonus, the songs offered are not only sung in their native languages, they are then also sung in English. Some of the celebrations included are:

  • The Dreidel Song (from Israel)
  • Feast of Lanterns (from China)
  • Maypole Song (from England)
  • Psalm of Thanksgiving (from the Dakota Indians)

KidsMusicTown.com and MamaLisa.com are two additional resources for music related to holidays around the world. Songs for preschool classrooms may be found at these sites by searching "Holidays," or even a particular language.

If you know of additional resources for music related to holidays around the world, be sure to share your discoveries in the comments section below.