Did you ever celebrate Greek Christmas and New Year in Greece? Apart from other Christmas traditions, you will hear typical Greek carols all over the country: the “kalanta”. Greece is rich in music and depending on the geographical regions, there are different Christmas and New Year songs, using different instruments and rhythms.
We selected some examples of « kalanta » here below, and at the same time took the opportunity to introduce you to some Greek geography! Enjoy!
Christmas Carol from Crete: Κάλαντα Χριστουγέννων Κρήτης
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
It is also the most populous island in Greece with a population of more than 600,000 people.
Christmas Carol from Thrace, North Greece – Κάλαντα Χριστουγέννων Θράκης
Western Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia, Epirus and sometimes Thessaly, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece. It is also called Greek Thrace to distinguish it from Eastern Thrace, which lies east of the river Evros and forms the European part of Turkey.
In Thrace live about 370.00o people. More than two-thirds of the population are Orthodox Christian Greeks, while the other third are Muslims, who are an officially recognized minority of Greece. Of these, about half are of Turkish origin, while another third are Pomaks who mainly inhabit the mountainous parts of the region.
New Year Carol from Ikaria – κάλαντα Πρωτοχρονιάς Ικαρίας
Ikaria belongs to the Aegean islands – separate islands in the North Aegean Sea, but are often grouped under the general term for tourist or administrative purposes. The largest among them are Lesbos (the third largest island in Greece), Thassos, Samos, Chios, Ikaria, Lemnos and Samothraki.
New Year Carol from the Dodecanese islands – κάλαντα Πρωτοχρονιάς Δωδεκανήσων
The Dodecanese are a group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, of which 26 are inhabited. The most historically important and well-known is Rhodes (Rodos), which, for millennia, has been the island from which the region is controlled. Also, Kos and Patmos are historically very important; the remaining nine of the 12 are Astipalea, Kalimnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Leros, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos and Kastellorizo.
Curious to also see the Omilo-team singing the New Year Carol, as well as Greek children singing their carols in the school?
Every year, Omilo students learn the lyrics of the carols and sing along, while also celebrating the New Year.
Unfortunately, it was not possible during the « corona period », but with the video below you can get a better idea 🙂
To listen to the entire New Year song and read the lyrics go to : https://omilo.com/greek-new-years-song/
In the mood to learn more about the Christmas Holiday Season in Greece?
Then download our FREE eBook « Celebrate Greek Christmas and New Year, Like A Local »,
including Greek texts, audio, videos and English translations