Greek Christmas Carols – Kalin Esperan Arhontes

Greek Christmas Carols are sung on the Eve of Christmas, the 24th of December, according to the tradition of the Greeks. The lyrics of the several different Greek carol songs in Greek music and tradition are different, since we also sing carols on the New Year’s Eve and the Epiphany.

Groups of small children go out in the streets, from household to household, holding a small “trigono” – triangular metallic music instrument that makes a distinctive sound – and sing the carols, accepting money and sweets.

The Christmas triangle (trigono) is played by holding it with one hand and hitting it repeatedly with a piece of rod made out from iron, or the same material anyway.

There are many different Christmas carols in Greece, and some areas have their own traditional carols with totally different lyrics, making also use of the different local customs and dialects. Several local variations are much longer than the carols you hear on this page.

The basic Greek Christmas carols, the one that most children will sing to you if you find yourself in Athens during Christmas, are the ones we are presenting here. The “title” of the song is “Kalin Esperan Arhontes“, which means “Good evening noble men”.

If children ring on your bell on the 24th, open your door and listen to the Christmas Carols – give them a small reward too!

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