The Greek Christmas Carols, called “Kalanda” in Greek, is a very old custom that remains unchanged until today. Children in groups knock on the doors of houses, ask “Shall we tell them?” and sing the carols accompanied by triangles or other musical instruments. When they finish, the homeowners give them sweets or money and they exchange wishes. Different Carols are sung on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Epiphany. Even for Christmas there are different carols in various parts of Greece, with the following being the most popular all over the country.

Good evening noble people
If this is your will,
The holy birth of Christ
May I sing in your noble house

Christ is being born today
In the town of Bethlehem
Skies rejoice
The whole nature is happy.

Inside the cave (He) is being born
In a manger for horses
The King of the universe
The Poet of all

A crowd of angels are singing,
“Ossana in excelsis”,
And holly is
The faith of the shepherds.

From Persia three magi are coming
With their gifts
A bright star shows them the way
Without any delay

In the house we have come
May no stone ever crack
And the landlord of the house
May live for many years

Καλήν εσπέραν άρχοντες,
αν είναι ορισμός σας,
Χριστού την Θείαν γέννησιν,
να πω στ’ αρχοντικό σας.

Χριστός γεννάται σήμερον,
εν Βηθλεέμ την πόλη,
οι ουρανοί αγάλλονται,
χαίρει η φύσις όλη.

Εν τω σπηλαίω τίκτεται,
εν φάτνη των αλόγων,
ο βασιλεύς των ουρανών,
και ποιητής των όλων.

Πλήθος αγγέλων ψάλλουσι,
το Δόξα εν υψίστοις,
και τούτο άξιον εστί,
η των ποιμένων πίστις.

Εκ της Περσίας έρχονται,
τρεις μάγοι με τα δώρα,
άστρο λαμπρό τους οδηγεί,
χωρίς να λείψει ώρα.

Σ’ αυτό το σπίτι που ‘ρθαμε,
πέτρα να μην ραγίσει,
και ο νοικοκύρης του σπιτιού,
χίλια χρόνια να ζήσει

The Carols painted by Nikiphoros Lytras-1872

Nikiphoros Lytras was one of the greatest Greek painters, born on the island of Tinos, who painted the famous painting of “ Christmas Carols”.

He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Munich and was a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. His paintings were inspired from Greek history and mythology as well as Greek traditions and everyday life. The painting shown is called “Christmas Carols” and is one of his most famous. Looking at the painting carefully, you can see children from various origins, nationalities and costumes (observe the drummer) as well as a statuette down on the right that resembles the Winged Victory of Samothrace, currently displayed at the Louvre.

Post Author: m.heczko

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