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Greek Christmas Carols are sung on Christmas Eve, the 24th of December, according to tradition. Groups of small children go out in the streets, from household to household, singing carols accompanied by a small « trigono » – triangular metallic music instrument that makes a distinctive sound – and receiving money and sweets as rewards.

There are many different Christmas carols in Greece, depending on the areas of the country. They may have totally different lyrics and music, and they may use different musical instruments and dialects.

Here you can listen to a local version of the traditional Christmas carols, sung by amateur women singers in Soufli, a town in the prefecture of Evros in northern Greece. A translation of the lyrics would be: “It’s Christmas, the first celebration of the year, come out to see that Christ in born now. He is born and raised with honey and milk. The lords eat honey, the masters drink milk and the brave men hold the lemon balm. In this house that we have come, may no stone ever crack and the landlord may live for many years!”

Music Library of Greece acquired this recording, as well as the photo and score, among other similar recordings, through the research Program “Recording, study and promotion of the music of Greek heritage in music and dance » in 2000, and recently contributed this collection in Europeana Music Collections.


by Marianna Anastasiou, The Music Library of Greece of the Friends of Music Society.