Today's post shares the celebratons of Christmas Eve In Greece by Jenivieve Elly of Homeschool Educational Resources
The country of Greece and the Grecian Islands seethe with colorful, vibrant culture. At the beating heart of Grecian culture is the church, and the Christian Faith. Every month, there are several “name day” celebrations, which celebrate the different Saints of the Greek Orthodox Christian faith. It is a nation that enjoys a good celebration, with amazing food, and rich traditions. Christmas is no exception.
Christmas in Greece
Christmas in Greece is celebrated on the same day as the United States; December 25, which happens to be the “name day” for Christos, which means “anointed,” or “Messiah.” It was the what early Greek-speaking Christians called Jesus.
Christmas Eve Caroling: Calanda
One of the most exciting traditions is for young people, and children, is to go caroling. It is a very old custom called calanda in Greek.
Small groups of carolers walk along the streets stopping at houses to sing. They first ask “shall we say them.” If they are granted permission, they begin to sing. They also bring instruments with them to play along with. There are very old paintings that show children taking part in this tradition long ago.
The Christmas Eve tradition of singing and bringing joy to the community has its roots in Ancient Greek culture. People who study history have found evidence showing children singing carols thousands of years ago, which often brought a blessing of a happy new year.
Now the children who live in Greece today carry on this beautiful custom, with the goal of spreading love and hope for the coming new year, and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Every song ends with the same verse in Greek:
Σ’ αυτό το σπίτι που ‘ρθαμε,
πέτρα να μη ραγίσει
κι ο νοικοκύρης του σπιτιού
χρόνια πολλά να ζήσει.
In English, it reads:
In this house we have come
No stone may ever crack
And the landlord
May live for many years.
The concept of community is very important to the people of Greece, so a loving blessing to the owners and residents of the homes in the neighborhood is an act of goodwill that offers good luck and prosperity–especially as each family prepares to celebrate the most important holiday of the year; Christmas.
Jen is a work-from-home, homeschooling super mom, who holds a degree in Elementary Education. She is a social media manager, SEO blogger, and is an overall new media savant. The love of her children has driven this entrepreneur to take on her most ambitious concept yet; a conglomerate of content driven media projects centered upon her life as a homeschool mom living in a “tiny house,” and loving every minute of it. Jen's mission is to normalize homeschooling, and her website, Homeschool Educational Resources, provides free lesson plans, printables, and resources for homeschoolers.