Have yourself an even Chinesier little Christmas…

To read the Christmas story in Chinese, click here. But to listen to it dramatized in Chinese, download the mp3s below! (Hint: mouseover the dotted underlined names.)

1. 预言耶稣降生 Jesus’ Birth Foretold
The kids gather for family story time with Grandpa XÄ«miàn, who tells them about Yǐsàiyà‘s promised Mísàiyà who could arrive any time. The kids think “YǐmÇŽnèilì” is a weird-sounding name.

2. 马利亚订婚:天使报信 Mary’s Engagement & the Angel’s Announcement
XÄ«miàn awakes in the night from a dream, which he thinks was more than just a dream. Meanwhile MÇŽlìyà‘s parents arrange her marriage to YuÄ“sè. And then the angel JiābÇŽiliè surprises MÇŽlìyà with some surprising news.

3. 起名叫耶稣 Name Him Jesus
Old geezers Sājiālìyà and Yīlìshābái wheeze their way through some expository dialogue. Sājiālìyà gets the shock of his (long) life when an angel appears to him in the temple and tells him some news. He just can’t believe it, but it comes true regardless. Meanwhile Yuēsè finds out Mǎlìyà is pregnant (and not by him!). He’s not buying all this pregnant virgin Holy Spirit business and makes up his mind to divorce her (though quietly, to help her save face). But before he can act, an angel intervenes.

4. 耶稣降生 Jesus’ Birth
Yuēsè and Mǎlìyà find out they must travel over 100 miles to Bólìhéng because of the mandated census. When they finally get there, Yuēsè has a heck of a time finding somewhere for them to stay. They finally find a place, and the sweet baby Yēsū is born!

5. 牧羊人欣闻佳音 Shepherds Hear the Joyous News
Some lowly shepherds chat idly about how it’s actually not that bad to be shepherds; after all, many legendary Hebrew patriarchs were shepherds! They doze off talking about what they expect the long-awaited Mísàiyà to do when he finally arrives. Then they’re awoken by angels, who send them into Bólìhéng to find their infant Mísàiyà.

6. 西面祝福婴孩耶稣 Simeon Blesses Baby Jesus
Yuēsè and Mǎlìyà can’t understand why God sent the Mísàiyà to them, of all people, in a stable, of all places, and only told some stinking shepherds about it, rather than making it a huge deal for their entire nation. But when they bring Yēsū to the temple, Xīmiàn and the prophetess Yàná are there, and they each have some special things to say. Yuēsè and Mǎlìyà don’t understand it all, though, especially the parts about how the Mísàiyà is not just for the Israelites alone.

7. 博士来访 The Wisemen Visit
Scribes in the temple discuss the rumours of a newborn Jewish Mísàiyà, but the High Priest is having none of it. As they’re speaking scholars from the East arrive, claiming their study of the stars led them to Yēlùsālěng to seek the newborn Mísàiyà. But they’re told there is no such Mísàiyà and sent away. Meanwhile King Xīlǜ hears the rumours of a newborn king and begins plotting to preserve his reign. He sends the scholars from the East to find him in Bólìhéng, the Mísàiyà’s birthplace as indicated by their scriptures.

8. 逃亡埃及 Flee to Egypt
King Xīlǜ is ticked that the scholars from the East somehow were warned not to report back to him the Mísàiyà’s location. He orders the execution of all the infants in Bólìhéng. Yuēsè and Mǎlìyà sneak off during night to Āijí.

The download links are from the Chinese site 基督徒的家园, where they have the entire Bible dramatized and available for free download, one story at a time. Or you can download the entire OT or NT at one go from John at Sinosplice, Bible Stories in Chinese:

…they injected a healthy dose of Chinese culture. Just listen to the way Mary talks to baby Jesus, or the way the Israelites argue with Aaron over creating the golden calf. And then of course, there’s the fun of hearing the voice of God in Chinese, or Abraham sounding like an old Chinese man.

If the above download links down work try this: ChineseChristmasStorymp3s.zip

P.S. — We also have Chinese Christmas art and Chinese Christmas carols.

P.P.S. — Your Christmas still not Chinesey enough yet?

Doing Christmas 2013 in China?

For your Christmas 2013 in China, here’s some Chinese Christmas music, art, vocab, memories, trouble and soapboxes.

Chinese Christmas Music

Chinese Christmas Art

Chinese Christmas Vocab

Posts of Chinese Christmas Past

Chinese Christmas Trouble

Christmas Soapboxes

Traditional Chinese Christmas Songs: 《欢乐佳音歌》 & 《圣诞感恩歌》

A couple Christmases ago we shared mp3s of traditional Christmas songs that had been Chinese-ified. This year you get some genuine Chinese Christmas songs, as in songs written by Chinese in Chinese and in a Chinese style, rather than sounding like corrupted English songs. The first song is especially good for language students; it’s so repetitive that you only have to learn four lines.

I tried to find well-produced recordings of arrangements that would sound good to Western ears, but each link below fails on one or both accounts (this is not surprising for a lot of traditional Chinese music). But the point is that it’s a Chinese song anyway, so you get what you get, which in this case is 10000x tamer than the inebriated felines of Beijing opera.

Mouseover the Chinese below to see the pronunciation. My translation is veeery rough.

《欢乐佳音歌》 Joyous Tidings

#83 in the TSPM hymnal (赞美诗)
Listen: here and here.

欢乐圣诞佳音大家来歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚为王
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King
锡安全地报道救主已降临 耶稣基督甘愿卑贱救众人
Zion the whole earth announces the saviour has come,
Jesus Christ willingly humbly rescues everyone

欢乐圣诞佳音大家来歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚为王
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King

欢乐圣诞佳音大家来歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚为王
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King
普世万民齐来传扬主降生 赐下救恩万众信徒蒙恩深
All the people in all the world, come spread the news that the Lord is born,
bestowing salvation, multitudes of believers receive profound grace

欢乐圣诞佳音大家来歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚为王
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King

欢乐圣诞佳音大家来歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚为王
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King
信徒大家恭敬献上感谢心 天军同唱哈利路亚满天庭
All believers respectfully offer God thankful hearts,
sing hallelujah together with Heaven’s hosts filling Heaven

欢乐圣诞佳音大家来歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚为王
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King

《圣诞感恩歌》 Christmas Thanksgiving

#84 in the TSPM hymnal (赞美诗)
Listen: here and here.

耶稣来人间 神爱世人 / Jesus comes to earth, God loves the people of the world
主为救人类 道成肉身 / The Lord saves humanity, ‘The Word becomes Flesh’
天使唱赞歌 颂主下凡尘 / Angels sing praise, an ode to God who came to earth
神恩真浩大 比海还要深 / God’s grace is truly great, even deeper than the ocean

当年主降生 牧人闻讯 / When the Lord was born, shepherds heard the news
前往伯利恒 朝拜圣婴 / Went ahead to Bethlehem to worship the holy infant
归来乐无限 报告主降生 / Come back with unbounded happiness, reporting the Lord’s birth
全城都传开 基督已来临 / The whole city spreads the news, Christ has come

救主来世界 赐人和平 / The Saviour comes to the world, bestowing on people peace
马槽里安身 四周宁静 / In a manger taking shelter, all around is tranquil
我们感谢主 得闻此佳音 / We give thanks to the Lord, hearing these good tidings
效法三博士 献上一片心 / Imitate the Three Wisemen, offering up hearts of thanks

赞美主降生 万众欢腾 / Praise for the Lord’s birth, universal celebration
我们今得着 神子名分 / We now can have the status of God’s children
生活有盼望 从此享永生 / Life has hope, from now on enjoying eternal life
美满又幸福 全靠主鸿恩 / Blissful and blessed, completely depending on God’s great grace

The coworker who introduced me to these says that both are homegrown Chinese Christmas songs, though I think I hear some traditional Western hymn-i-ness in the second one especially.

Anyway, if you’ve got Chinese Christmas music, please share!

More Christmas music:

For your karaoke repertoire: