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Christmas Caroling Traditions
Sunday, 19 December 2010 13:55

Contributed by Debra Blackburn

carollingThe history and origin of Christmas carols can be traced back thousands of years. The songs that we know as Christmas carols were not really "Christmas carols" at all. Carols meaning; songs of praise and joy can be traced back to Europe. The art of Caroling meant (circle dance) and words were later added to the festive dances to create the tradition of Caroling. These songs were known as Pagan songs that were sung at Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year taking place around December 22.

Churches did not take kindly to these songs and tradition of dance since it was considered to be a Pagan custom and was not suitable for their sacred church services. In 1223 that all changed when Saint Francis of Assisi introduced carols to the church services. Carols gained popularity in the 14th century in the form of religious songs based around the Christ Child or the Virgin Mary. By the 15th century carols were considered an important contribution to the growth of the English medieval music. In 1647 the Puritans took over power in England and everything related to Christmas and Christianity was prohibited. This movement almost banished carols and the art of caroling altogether. By the 19th century however, it gained its popularity back and carols and the tradition of caroling continued. Choir singers began singing Christmas carols based on biblical versus. People would also gather as groups began singing these Christmas carols in the streets, this tradition gained popularity and street carolers soon evolved.

Today with all the electronic equipment who really does Christmas caroling in the streets anymore? Virtual caroling is the new way of spreading the joy and art of caroling. You can do this through almost any electric device and spread cheer throughout the world with only a click of a button. With the exception of a small group of people with the passion and love of traditions, the art of Christmas caroling has all but vanished; but wait, has it?

In the 21st century we have merely change the way we do it. People carol on horseback in San Antonio and Virginia Beach. In St Louis they carol to raise money for their favorite charity. California puts on a big production. Why not put down all the electronic devices this year and join in on the old tradition of Christmas caroling in you neighborhood or local mall.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 December 2010 04:06
 

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