Greek Language Blog

New Year’s Eve Carols in Greek Posted by on Dec 29, 2021 in Culture, Holidays, Music

Χρόνια πολλά! Today, I will ignore all the bad things, related to the pandemic, and I will write about κάλαντα (carols).

Photo by Luke Hodde on Unsplash

Τα κάλαντα are traditional songs with roots to the Byzantine tradition and they announce a religious holiday which is about to come. They are sung by children or men on Christmas Eve, on New Year’s Eve and on the Epiphany (Θεοφάνεια). They are addressed to the owners of the house. When the song is over, the carolers (καλαντιστές) get money.

Every region in Greece has one or more different versions of κάλαντα and its own traditional instruments. However, in the big cities, children use only a triangle. Τα κάλαντα are also sung by choirs or marching bands to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Republic and to other important people.

In this post, we will talk about τα Πρωτοχρονιάτικα κάλαντα της Κεφαλονιάς: New Year’s carols from the island of Cephalonia. I tried to translate the meaning of the sentences because a literal translation would make no sense.

If you want to know more about Greek traditions, check this.

You can listen to the song here.


Άγιος Βασίλης έρχεται, Γενάρης ξημερώνει,

ο μήνας που μας έρχεται, το χρόνο φανερώνει.

The holiday is announced:

“Saint Basil is coming, January is dawning,

the month which is arriving, is revealing the new year.”


Την άδεια γυρεύουμε, στο σπίτι σας να μπούμε.

τον Άγιο με όργανα, και με φωνές να πούμε.

“We are asking permission to come into your house

to sing about the Saint with instruments and with our voice.”


Εκοίταξα στον ουρανό, και είδα δυο λαμπάδες,

και με το καλωσόρισμα, καλές σας εορτάδες.

Wishes to the owners of the house:

“I looked up and saw two candles,

and because of your welcoming, I wish you happy holidays.”


Και πάλι ματακοίταξα, και είδα δυο στεφάνια,

και με το καλoνύχτισμα, καλά σας Θεοφάνεια.

Saying goodbye and wishing well for the next important religious holiday:

“I looked up again and saw two crowns.

And with my goodnight wish, I wish you a happy Epiphany.


Χρόνια πολλά!

Drawing and photo by Rania Kyrki

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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.


  1. Αλεξάνδρα:

    Καλή Χρονιά με υγεία.
    Να’ μαστε καλά όλοι.
    Χρόνια πολλά!