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Dear Christmas by Dear Jane
Photograph: Courtesy Warner Music GroupDear Christmas by Dear Jane

The 10 Cantonese Christmas songs to play instead of western tunes

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

Catharina Cheung
Edited by
Catharina Cheung
Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

Hearing the same five Christmas songs playing throughout the city can get grating eventually, but nothing quite makes a holiday than festive tunes. If you’re truly 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: If you haven’t yet, check out where to buy Christmas hampers in Hong Kong, or make plans to visit the best Christmas markets in town.

Happy Christmas on the Battlefield 戰場上的快樂聖誕 by Aaron Kwok

We agree the title sounds a bit weird, but the gist of this song encourages people to put aside their differences and thoughts of hatred and fighting during Christmas time. Though the song was released more than 25 years ago, its sentiments still ring true today. Kwok’s smooth, jaunty vocals tip this song to just the right side of cheesy.

It’s Christmas Again 又到聖誕 by Deep Ng

As is typical of many Cantopop songs, this one's a bit melancholy. Deep Ng sings of being alone during the festive season, without a significant other while everyone else on the streets are all paired up. But he doesn’t moan about the situation and instead twists things on its head, singing, “Even if god ignores me I can get through Christmas / If a partner leaves suddenly at least there’ll be festive lights”. Singles who got through cuffing season unpaired can take heart with this song.


Dear Christmas by Dear Jane

Our favourite local pop rock band Dear Jane has blended a hint of 50s doo-wop into this track, overlaid with bells chiming out Joy to the World. A jolly take on the Christmas romance song, its lyrics are almost swooning with affection, depicting the joy of being with a lover during this time of year, admiring them among the presents and decorations, and kissing them in the midst of everyone celebrating. Paired with the music video, it doesn’t get more Christmas-y than this in Cantopop.

Christmas Present 聖誕禮物 by Miriam Yeung

Miriam Yeung’s light, breathy voice pairs well with this jazz-inspired tune, which evokes the cosy feeling of a light-hearted waltz with a partner. With lyrics that bring up the best of Christmas, like frosty trees, season’s greetings, pretty wrapping paper, and little gifts, we challenge Cantonese speakers to not feel festive with this song playing.


Last Christmas by ToNick

Local band ToNick gained massive popularity in 2010 with their viral hit Last Christmas. A nod to Wham!'s iconic song, ToNick matched the catchy melody of the original song with their own hilarious lyrics about lending money to a friend and never getting it back. Talk about relatable or what.

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 probably says something about Hongkongers that the city’s Christmas anthem is about being left on the shelf and feeling lonely.


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.

Cookies Christmas Song 曲奇聖誕歌 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 group whittled down from nine members to four, before effectively disbanding in 2006, their eponymous Christmas song, however, remains a key member of the Cantopop Christmas canon.


Zero Degree Christmas 零度聖誕 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, while 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 bitterly pray there’ll be someone to share it with you next year. No translation needed.

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 list 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 still a great addition by a Hong Kong singer to any festive playlist.

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