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The Origin of Christmas (cont'd)

This in no way takes away from the meaning of Christmas in that certainly Christ was born, and to Christians he forms part of the Trinity which is their God.  The most important thing is that there is now one date where all together Christians can celebrate his birth.  

The background to Christmas  simply gives a better understanding of the circumstance in which Christmas came about.  Certainly would it not be better to celebrate Christmas on one day all together rather then on ten different?  It would clearly seem so.  

Christmas in Greece and Cyprus tends to be quieter then in other western countries. The holiday is preceded in some areas by a time of fasting.  The Christmas period begins on December 6th the Feast of Saint Nicholas, and ends on January 6th the Epiphany. 

Children will sing Carols on the day and evening before Christmas known as "Kalanda-Carol"  They will go from house to house and ask the person who opens the door if they can sing the Kalanda. The person will tell the children to go ahead and say the carols, and the children will then proceed.  It is quite a site to see!  These kalandas are a blessing to the household, and the people who are saying the kalandas often receive gifts. 

It is interesting to note that the word carol has its' origin in Greek.  There used to be a Greek dance a long time ago known as "Choraulein."  This dance was accompanied by flute music and spread to Europe.  The French replaced the flute with the voices of people singing.  A few hundred years ago  the dancing ceased as part of the Choraulein.  The Choraulein also ceased to be performed on any occasion eventually ending up being only performed  on Christmas. 

 

Other Greek Customs and Traditions:

  • Santa Claus The origin of Santa Claus.  Who was he? and his story!
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