Each year, the European Broadcasting Union presents a day of Christmas music, spanning some 12 hours. It falls on the Sunday before Christmas (Dec 23 this year). Heavy on classical and choral music, the program is in fact 12-one hour broadcasts from individual EBU members. This program will be broadcast on many stations worldwide, including CBC Radio 2 in Canada, beginning at 6 AM local. You can hear it via the internet by going to www.cbc.ca/local , pick a city and click on that city’s Radio 2 stream. It’s also available via BBC Radio 3
A BBC World Service tradition…
“Our Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve 1918. It was planned by Eric Milner-White, who at the age of thirty-four had just been appointed Dean of King’s, after experience as an army chaplain which had convinced him that the Church of England needed more imaginative worship. A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons, and from that date the service has always begun with the hymn ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.
“The service was first broadcast in 1928 and, with the exception of 1930, has been broadcast annually, even during the Second World War, when the ancient glass (and also all heat) had been removed from the Chapel and the name of King’s could not be broadcast for security reasons. Sometime in the early 1930’s the BBC began broadcasting the service
including those to Radio Four in the United Kingdom. In recent years it has become the practice to broadcast a digital recording on Christmas Day on Radio Three, and since 1963 a shorter service has been filmed periodically for television. http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel/ninelessons/index.html
As well as airing on the World Service it will be repeated on BBC Radio 3 and available on demand at the Radio 3 website. 1502-1630 UTC Live from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge.
A Canadian tradition…
Live from Toronto and points worldwide: As It Happens Christmas Eve. (As Christmas Eve is on a Monday this year, it might be heard on Friday evening, Dec 21. It can be heard via CBC Radio One, CBC Northern Quebec Shortwave Service, NPR in the US and Internet Audio)
Greetings are exchanged with units of the Canadian Armed Forces serving worldwide, culminating in a “group carol”.
A reading of “The Shepherd” by the late Alan “Fireside Al” Maitland follows. It’s a very unusual Christmas story about a lost RAF pilot that is not to be missed, and eagerly anticipated every year. (In fact “Fireside Al” stories are broadcast for a few days before Christmas.)
As it Happens can be heard at 630 pm, local time across Canada. http://www.cbc.ca/local
CHML 900 carries a stunning program called “A Paul Reid Christmas” hosted by broadcasting legend, the late Paul Reid. Two hours of stories and music. It airs at 2300 UTC on Christmas Eve. Then throughout the evening, one can hear many hours of Christmas episodes of the old radio shows. Also tune in New Years Eve from 9pm-3am. Can’t hear CHML?
They stream at http://www.900chml.com/
CHML 900 Hamilton, Ontario
On Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, CHML will feature hours of classic radio shows, with a Christmas/New Years theme. Spend the evening with Jack Benny, Fibber Magee and others from yesteryear. Listen beginning around 9pm Eastern. CHML streams at http://www.900chml.com/
Deutsche Welle’s German Service has traditionally suspended regular programming on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to devote that time to holiday oriented programming. http://www.dw-world.de/
In the past, CBC Radio 1 did not run CBC Overnight service as usual on Christmas Eve/Day, Christmas Day/Boxing Day instead Rick Phillips, host of Sound Advice on CBC Radio 1 and 2 presented “Mistletoe And Egg Nog” playing Christmas Music of a symphonic nature and in place of World Radio Network programming on Boxing Day Morning, he played the entire
Nutcracker Ballet by Tchaikovsky, and other major works, pausing only for news on the hour.
For those with access to CFMT – TV, Toronto, one can watch many Christmas/New Year’s extravaganzas from around the world, from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and others. Check your listings as they say. Cable Pulse 24 broadcasts of Daily Planet are extended on holidays too, an opportunity to see television broadcasts from around the world. These normally air at 3 am
Toronto time daily. It used to stream at www.pulse24.com, but apparently no longer.
BBC World Service – The Queen’s Christmas Message
“’And a Merry Christmas to you all!’ Those of us who can remember no other monarch than Elizabeth II have come to hear those words as an indelible part of Christmas Day – that 3pm moment when the racket of Top of the Pops was hushed, and the family paid dutiful attention (more or less) to Her Majesty’s Christmas address to the Commonwealth.
“It was in 1932 that the Queen’s grandfather, George V, made the first Christmas broadcast from Sandringham. Many families now owned a radio set, and they clustered around it eagerly to hear the King speak his seasonal greetings in the stilted tones of the natural amateur. For a while, George VI abandoned the broadcast, feeling it was associated too strongly in people’s minds with his father, but the tradition was revived in wartime.http://www.icons.org.uk/nom/nominations/the-queen-speech
“’To men and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them: to those cut off from fuller life by blindness, sickness, or infirmity; and to those who are celebrating this day with their children and grand-children. To all - to each - I wish a Happy Christmas. God Bless You!’” (From the first “Royal Christmas Message”) http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page385.asp
Queen Elizabeth II has made a broadcast in every year of her reign. It was live until 1960 when the policy was to record it in advance so it could be shown in many countries at an appropriate time. It then moved to the internet in 1999 as well. To this day it remains the one time of the year that the Queen speaks to all the people of the British Commonwealth. Its one of the longer lived broadcasts on the BBC World Service.
(Source: Doghousecharlie http://www.doghousecharlie.com/christmas-programming/)