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Top Ten Christmas Kalanda

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By Victoria Loutas

When Christmas Eve comes around in Greece, plenty of young children get ready to go out to take part in the Christmas Kalanda. Christmas Kalanda is a long lived tradition in Greece where young Greek children go door to door singing Christmas Carols!

Christmas caroling takes its roots in Ancient Greece where young children would carry small boats and sing songs honouring Dionysius. By honouring their god, Greeks began the tradition of praising the head of the household, which has since been continued into Christmas Carolling. 

The sentiment between these two acts of praise is similar, as young children are wishing homeowners health, wealth and happiness through songs they sing.

(Depiction of traditional Greek Christmas Carollers holding boat – Image – TheGreekVibe)

Young children often perform in groups and bring along instruments to accompany their songs. They will knock on a person’s door and first ask, ‘Na Ta Poume?’, asking if they may sing. The answer is almost always yes, and the children sing a sweet Christmas carol and are often invited in afterwards for a Greek treat. 

There are dozens of different Greek Christmas Kalanta that are specific to different regions in Greece, but we’ve listed some of the most popular Greek Christmas Carols that everyone should know!

Trigona Kalanta

Trigona Kalanta is the Greek equivalent of ‘Jingle Bells’. Christmas Carollers often carol triangles and other instruments when they sing, which is where this song got its name from! 

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Kalanta Chistougenna

Kalanta Christougenna is considered the most popular Greek Christmas Carol! It simply translates to Christmas Carol and is a favourite among most Greek households. Follow the lyrics below to sing with your family this Christmas!

kalin esperan arhontes

an ine orismos sas

Xristu ti thia genissi

Na po st’ arhontiko sas

Xristos gennate simeron

en Vithleem ti poli

I ourani agalonte

Herete I fissis oli

en to spileo tiktete

en fatni ton alogon

o vassilefs ton ouranon

ke piitis ton olon

plithos agelon psalousi

to doksa en ipsistis

ke touton aksion esti

I ton pimenon pistis

Ek tis Persias erxonte

tris magi me ta dora

Astro lambro tous odigi

Xoris na lipsi I ora

S’afto to spiti pou’pthame

petra na mi ragisi

ki o nikokiris tou spitiou

Xronia polla na zisi

Agia Nixta 

Agia Nixta is a Greek Christmas Carol meaning ‘Holy Night’. This charming song is short, but sweet and is a popular choice for carollers!

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