Sunday, November 30, 2008

Latin Christmas Carols

Soon it will be December (tomorrow!) which means it is time to start planning for Christmas and Hanukkah!

According to John Traupman's Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency (4th edition), this is how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Latin: "Faustem ac felicem Christi natalem (tibi exopto)!" Of course, the Romans didn't celebrate Christmas. They celebrated the ancient holiday Saturnalia, so according to The Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary, Revised Edition (3rd edition, also written by Dr. Traupman) they would have wished each other "Io Saturnalia!" or "Hilara Saturnalia!" (See Mary Beard's Five Things the Roman's Did At Christmas to find out more about Saturnalia.)

Check out the Rosa Latina website for some holiday ideas! Latin teacher and author, Rose Williams, has an excellent selection of free teaching packets available there, including including Holidays for Latin Class.

Kentucky Educational Television Latin Distance Learning has some great activities for winter holiday celebrations, including The Nativity Story in Latin and suggestions for a Saturnalia party.

Visit the Minimus Etc. website to download some very creative materials, including Latin Christmas Carol song sheets, the Animals' Carol, recipes, and several skits and plays that your students might enjoy performing.

Laura Gibbs' Gaudium Mundo blog features an impressive selection of winter holiday songs - Christmas, Hanukkah and secular - in Latin.

Michael Myer has placed Cantica Adventus, a collection of religious and secular Latin lyrics on his school site.

Preces Latinae has a large selection of religious hymns in Latin for the entire liturgical year (In Temporibus Anni), including Advent (Tempus Adventus) and Christmas Time (Tempus Nativitatis). This collection includes familiar songs of praise, including Veni, Veni Emmanuel ("O Come, O Come Emmanuel") and Adeste Fidelis ("O Come All Ye Faithful") as well as many others.