While most children chime on metal triangles, others play harmonicas or melodicas for extra effect. In holidays of old, more authentic musical instruments provided a melody for the “calanda”, a tradition which has been practiced for centuries by every child, colouring Christmas with special merriment. The strumming of the laouto (similar to the lute), banging on the davul (a drum played with mallets) and whistling of the floghera (a wooden flute) still set the tone for family gatherings and celebrations to this day, just as they did hundreds of years ago.
“From Persia three Wise Men arrive
With their gifts
A bright star shows them the way
Without any delay.”
Even after Christmas Day, the festivities are far from over; one way in which Greece differs from the rest of the world is that there is a special New Year’s Eve carol here as well. Once more, the streets ring with children’s voices on a crisp winter morning as young carollers burst into song, a song that’s been sung by every person on the island and will be for many years to come.
“To this house we have come
May no stone ever crack
And the landlord
May live for many years.”