OK, this is a self-indulgent post, I'll admit it and give you fair warning.
Today is the Feast of Epiphany. If I were in Greece, I'd be having the day off, and kids would be knocking on my door all morning long to sing the Epiphany carols in exchange for money to buy presents.
Carol singing is an important holiday tradition in Greece. It takes place on Christmas eve, New Year's eve and on the Feast of Epiphany. I have many fond childhood memories of singing carols with my friends and using the money to buy presents for my parents or contribute towards my own Christmas present.
This picture, painted in the 1870's by Nikiforos Lytras, is the most well-known Greek painting with a Christmas theme and one of my personal favourites.
Since I'm in England at the moment, no one has turned up to sing on my doorstep, so I'm having to recreate the sounds of the day via the magic of YouTube. This is what the Epiphany carols would sound like (if a children's choir paid me a visit):
The lyrics roughly translate as follows:
Today is the day of light and enlightment
There is great joy and holy blessing
Our Lady the Blessed Mary
Is down by the Jordan River
She's carrying a harp, a candle she's holding
She's pleading with St. John
St. John, lord and Baptist,
Baptise me, make me a child of God
So I'll be able to ascend to heaven
To gather roses and incense
Good day, good day!
Good day to you, master and mistress!
Since this is an indulgent post, I could even close my eyes and imagine that a cute Cypriot singer turned up to sing for me. This is what he would be sounding like:
I think I know which version I prefer ;-)