We React To The Best Hungarian Christmas Songs!

Hungarian Christmas songs reaction

It's "the most wonderful time of the year!" Or that's at least what we call it in the West, what do they call it in Hungary? I'm renown for being cynical and cold-blooded, but even I will get into the Christmas spirit when I hear Christmas songs. And today there's an added bonus - with their (typically) repetitive lyrics and tunes that have the ability to get into your head for days / years, Christmas songs can be an excellent way to help learn a language, in this case Hungarian. Furthermore, when studied right, they can give an interesting insight into the culture, in this case of Hungary. With the help of Sandra, who I became friends with through my YouTube channel, I've put together this list of Hungarian Christmas songs - let me know if we missed off any of your favourites.

1. TNT: Fehér Karácsony

I was surprised that this song was not old and traditional but also not modern and cheesy, I thought that Christmas songs only fell into those two categories, so well done Hungary off the bat for dropping a third category. The speed was great for my little learning ears because I could hear the worlds and understand quite a few of them, to my great shock. Thus I think that it makes it a great song for people learning Hungarian. Look out for great vocab like "jó barát" (good friend), "első hó" (first snow) and of course the title itself "Fehér Karácsony" (white Christmas). Overall I liked this song and rate it 7/10

2. Kis karácsony, Nagy Karácsony (traditional)

This song was also a great speed for Hungarian learners like me (and hopefully you too) and it also (surprisingly) had words that I could understand. The title is "Kis Karácsony, Nagy Karácsony", you might recognise the word "karácsony" from the last song (Christmas) and as "kis" means small and "nagy" means large, the title literally means little Christmas big Christmas. I'm, a really big fan of angelic children noises at Christmas which really raised my favour for this song, but unfortunately I found the backing noise a bit annoying so I give it  6/10

3. Száncsengő

We have this song in English too - "Száncsengő" literally means sleigh bells, which is very close to our name of this song (Jingle Bells). It was nice to recognise a backing track that I knew so well. However, when it comes to learning Hungarian, I never know if it's better to learn a Hungarian song with a backing track that I know or not. On the one hand the song can get instantly in your head, on the other hand the song is in English in my head still. Anyway, I loved the fun up-beat vibe of this song and the line "csing-ling-ling" (jing-ling-ling) made me laugh for some reason. Unlike the last two songs I couldn't understand a single word, but trusty Google Translate revealed that the lyrics aren't the same as the English version at all. Although they both talk about horses ("ló") and, of course, sleighbells ("Száncsengő"). And whilst I was initially disappointed that the lyrics don't match (cause it would have made learning easier for me), I realised that it rhymes really expertly in Hungarian. This, by the way, is a big thing in Hungarian - these people are the kings of the rhyme. Further, with lines like "Éj-mélyből fölzengő" (resounding from the depths of the night), "csönd-zsákból hangot lop" (steals sound from a bag of silence) and "tél öblén távol ring" (on the gulf of winter it rings far away), I don't know if it's just me but I feel like these lines are far more foreboding, far more metal, and far more my thing than the English version (like come-on, this is no 'laughing all the way' version, this is more krampus like and I am here for it) - 9/10
(By the way, Krampus is totally a thing in Hungary and I love it so much I wrote about it in this blog post: How Hungary celebrates St Nicholas Day)

4. Happy Gang: Szent Karácsony

Hopefully you know now that "Karácsony" means Christmas, (don't worry if not, it took me a while lol) anyway, l Szent means saint, making this title "Szent Karácsony" translate to Saint Christmas. I like the angelic voice, I like how slow he's singing - it makes me feel like I could learn it. When I originally wrote this song I wrote "the song is kind of boring though" and I'm like girl, if it's too fast you can't understand it, you can't say it's boring if it's too slow - 7/10

5. Hull a pelyhes fehér hó

This one is weird (not in a bad way, I love weird). Firstly the title "Hull a pelyhes fehér hó", maybe you remember from the first song that "hó" means snow and "fehér" means white, well "hull" means fall, "a" (or az) means the, "pelyhes" means flaky or fluffy, and in the third person there's no word for is, hence the title literally translates to fluffy (or flaky) white snow is falling. Which now I've written this whole paragraph I'm realising isn't actually that weird, lol. But what actually is odd, in a good way, and only in my opinion, is that I'm pretty sure that the backing track is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which I'm also retty sure isn't a Christmas song... Anyway, it was still nice to hear a backing track that I knew (even if we go back to the great debate of song 3 re whether it's better if you know if or not..) As for the lyrics, they were nice and slow and clear and hopefully I'll be able to learn them soon, and you too - 6/10

6. Karácsony: Csendes éj

Okay kids what does "Karácsony" mean? Christmas, yes that's correct. Csendes éj means Silent Night, so yey the Hungarian version of Silent Night. Like Hungarian Jingle Bells, this has the same background music but different lyrics. The singer of this particular version reminds me of Mariah Carey (Queen). All in all, I love Silent Night in English and I love it in Hungarian too - 9/10

7. Mennyből az angyal (traditional)

Last but not least, or dare I say "végül, de nem utolsó sorban" we have "Mennyből az angyal". The title alone is a great opportunity for me to tell you about one of my favourite Hungarian words. Now this literally translates as 'angel from heaven' with "angyal" mean angel, "Menny" meaning heaven and, fun fact about Hungarian to say from you add the suffix "ből"*  making " "Mennyből" mean "from heaven". Now for one of my favourite Hungarian words, "Menny" is actually the old Hungarian word for heaven, nowadays they say "mennyország" which literally means heaven country, lol, I love it. (And make sure not to confuse it with "mennyorszag" which means smell of heaven. Anyway, as to the actual song, I personally like this one, I like the backing track a lot. The voices are sweet, I can't really understand what they're saying at all, but I like it. - 8/10

*in some cases, but that's nightmare fuel for a separate post

Conclusion: The Best Hungarian Christmas Songs

So that's it, my list of 7 of my new favourite Hungarian songs, hopefully you liked some (or more) of them, and even more hopefully you've learnt a word or too. (What's Christmas kids?) Do you know any Hungarian Christmas songs that you think I should add to this list? Let me know! Now here's a blast from the past of me and my now-ex reviewing these songs: 

P.S.: If you're interested in a way of travelling and getting accommodation cheaply, you might wanna check out housesitting. Trustedhousesitters.com was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount, feel free to click on the link to use it :)

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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