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Photograph: Courtesy Spotify HK

5 Cantonese Christmas songs to get you in the holiday spirit

Move over Bublé, step aside Mariah – this is how Hong Kong does Christmas

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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It's that most wonderful time of year again, and nothing quite makes a holiday than festive Christmas tunes – as much as they may get on our nerves sometimes. So, if you're sick of hearing who George Michael gave his heart to last Christmas, and you can't bear to hear another minute of how much Mariah Carey wants you for Christmas, then it's about time to put these Cantonese Christmas songs on full blast. Happy Holidays!

RECOMMENDED: Put your sweatpants on for a festive feast at home, and sip on bottled cocktails available for takeaway or delivery.

Lonely Christmas by Eason Chan

Let's be honest, this is the first song that comes to the minds of around 99 percent of Hongkongers when you ask them about Cantonese Christmas songs. It should be no surprise that Hong Kong's Christmas anthem is about being left on the shelf and feeling lonely, what with social distancing and all.

Merry Christmas, I Love You by Jacky Cheung

On the other side of the spectrum, Heavenly King of Cantopop Jacky Cheung sings of a beautiful relationship in the wintertime in this 1994 classic. What could be more Hong Kong – and cheesy – than the lines at 1:32, which can be very roughly translated as "Even though there is no snow, I'm still thankful that I get to be with you"? Classic.

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Cookies Christmas Song by Cookies

It's true that most Cantopop songs are known to be angsty and broody, and more often than not about heartbreaks. Breaking that stereotype, however, is the Cookies Christmas Song by Cookies, one of Hong Kong's very few (somewhat) successful attempts at a girl group. While the ground whittled down from nine members down to four, before effectively disbanding in 2006, their eponymous Christmas song, however, remains a key member of the Cantopop Christmas canon.

Zero Degree Christmas by RubberBand

Rock band RubberBand released this song on their album Beaming, which came out in July 2009 (talk about Christmas coming early). Despite the odd timing, this tune is one of those perfect tracks to play near the fireside, in the glow of the lights on the Christmas tree, and watching the snow falling outside – if Hong Kong ever had firesides, full-sized Christmas trees or snow that is. Alternatively, you could queue this up right after Lonely Christmas as you down your second bottle of merlot and hope there'll be someone to share it with you next year. No translation needed.

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White Christmas by Justin Lo

We must admit, it's hard to beat the idyllic Christmas that western Yuletide music often evokes. Irving Berlin's classic is covered here by singer-songwriter Justin Lo, who manages to hit a certain nostalgic spot.

My Private Christmas Song by Eason Chan

You didn't think we'd bookend this with a cover of a Western song right? Around eight years after the release of Lonely Christmas, Eason Chan released this song in his February 2011 album Stranger Under My Skin. It's an intimate track with just piano and vox, which immediately reminds us of the Frank Sinatra classic Drinking Again. While this track probably isn't as iconic as the others on this list, it's a great English addition to any festive playlist.

Get into the festive spirit

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