I try to keep up with my own little family traditions, like baking Christmas cookies, preparing treats or make our own Christmas ornaments. But there is also a very important Christmas tradition that almost every family in Greece keeps. On the morning before Christmas Eve, the singing of Greek Christmas Carols is taking place, bringing the joyful news to every home.
How the Greek Christmas Carols Tradition Unfolds
There are slightly different details on how this tradition happens from place to place. So, you can find differences in the actual time the Carols are being told, who sings them and what the melody or words of Carols someone uses. One thing in common is that most children sing them forming small groups and knocking on every door in the morning. Adults sing mostly in the evening.
The group will stand outside each home and ask the homeowner: “Shall we sing them?” (Na ta poume?). Only if the door opens, will the group start singing the Carols. Then, the homeowners will listen to the Carols and give a sweet treat, winter fruits or nuts. Also, sometimes they will give a small amount of money to the children singing. Sometimes, a small drink is offered to the adults. The Carols always end in well-wishes for the house and the family that lives there, most of the time with a particular, traditional wording. It is a real Ritual if you think about it, with very specific steps.
To end this very quick analysis, here are a few Greek Carols if you’d like to hear some!
These are the most known Greek Christmas Carols:
But these following Carols are the dearest to my heart since they are the Carols of my village and my grandparents. They brought with them when they had to leave their homes somewhere in the 1920′ due to the war. The region was called Anatoliki Romylia (East Romylia) and now belongs to Bulgaria. Groups of adults still sing them in my village and others.
And here is a beautiful, modern version of the above Carols, worth listening to.
With that, I wish everybody a peaceful and joyful Christmas time!!!