Thursday, December 23, 2010

NA TA POUME?... ΚΑΛΗΝ ΕΣΠΕΡΑΝ ΑΡΧΟΝΤΕΣ....It's Christmas Eve in Greece and Around the World

Nikiforos Lytras' Famous Painting of Children 
Singing Christmas Carols in Greece
Kalanda  (1872)

One of my favourite Christmas traditions in Greece is the Kalanda or Christmas Carols. 

Early tomorrow morning, on Christmas Eve , our daughter and her schoolfriends will do the rounds of the neighbourhood to sing the Kalanda... a tradition that has come down to us almost entirely intact through the ages, untarnished by commercialism and cynicism. 

In Greece especially, young children in twos or in groups go from house to house to sing the Kalanda, the traditional Christmas carol  'Kalin Esperan Arhontes'.

Usually accompanied by a musical instrument such as a triangle, a recorder, a harmonica, accordion or guitar, this is a wonderful tradition which has come down through the ages almost entirely intact!  

There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of children's voices happily and eagerly asking you as you struggle to open the door bleary-eyed (yes, they come out THAT early...)

Na Ta Poume?, Shall we Sing to you?
In response,it is customary to give the children sweets and a little cash, so most children love to do it, thus raising the pocket money they need for check the pile of coins that you have ready to make sure you have enough!!!

In some of our communities around the world, the Kalanda  are sung by members often as a way of raising funds for the community's  projects, something we thoroughly enjoyed doing each Christmas as children growing up on the other side of the world. It was always fun visiting all the Greek Community homes and being welcomed with a warm smile, a treat and some cash for the Community coffers! Volunteers from the cradle...



Καλήν εσπέραν άρχοντες
κι αν ει - κι αν είναι ο ορισμός σας,
Χριστού τη θεία γέννηση,
να πω, να πω στ' αρχοντικό σας.

Χριστός γεννάται σήμερον
εν Βη - εν Βηθλεέμ τη πόλει,
οι ουρανοί αγάλλονται,
χαίρε - χαίρετ' η φύσις όλη.

Εν τω σπηλαίω τίκτεται,
εν φα - εν φάτνη των αλόγων
ο βασιλεύς των ουρανών
και ποι - και ποιητής των όλων.

Πλήθος αγγέλων ψάλλουσι 
το "Δόξα εν υψίστης"
και τούτο άξιον εστί, 
η των ποιμένων πίστης.

Εκ της Περσίας έρχονται 
τρεις μάγοι με τα δώρα,
άστρο λαμπρόν τους οδηγεί 
χωρίς να λείψει ώρα.

Έφθασαν εις Ιερουσαλήμ, 
με πόθον ερωτώσι
που εγεννήθη ο Χριστός, 
να παν να τον ευρώσι.

Δια Χριστόν ως ήκουσεν
ο Βασιλεύς Ηρώδης,
αμέσως εταράχθει 
κι έγινε θηριώδης.

Ότι πολλά φοβήθηκε 
δια την βασιλείαν,
μη του την πάρει ο Χριστός 
και χάσει την ουσίαν.

X R O N I A    P O L L A.... 
K A I    T O U    X R O N O U !!!

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