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Christmas Carols

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Christmas carols (Kalanta)
Happy religious songs, usually sung at Christmas.

kalanta carols in AthensChristmas carols is a beloved, widespread custom among children all over Greece. Traditionally children are caroling on 3 different days during Christmas holidays. On December the 24th for Christmas, December the 31st for the New Year and January 5th for Epiphany.

Children walk along the city’s streets beating small metallic triangles, entering in stores or knocking on people's doors, asking if they are allowed to sing the carols. Don’t be surprised if you meet really young children losing the lyrics, accompanied by older ones, or really talented children carrying guitars, accordions or harmonicas. In Greek the question is: “Na ta poume?” and people are usually expected to say Yes “Natapite!” and so it begins. Caroling starts early in the morning and finishes in early afternoon.

Having the carols sung at a greek house is considered a blessing, so, if you decide you want to experience this custom and eventually open your door, you will be expected to give the carol singers a small amount of money (around 1 to 2 euros should be enough).
Please keep in mind that this short procedure should take place outside the doorstep and for no reason inside the flat.
Happy Holidays!

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