A brief history of Christmas carols

With so many Christmas traditions to look forward to at Christmas, we often don’t bother to ask how they come about. One of the many cultures of the season is our beloved Christmas Carol. Perhaps, it is safe to say that many people love Christmas carols. 

The custom of Christmas Carol is one the world can’t do without when it comes to celebrating the season. But what is the origin of Christmas carol? Where did it all begin? To help you with that is a short history of Christmas carol.

History of Christmas carols 

The origin of Carol dates back to thousands of years in Europe. The songs that were sung at the Christmas season then were not Christmas songs. Instead, they were pagan songs sung during the celebrations of the Winter solstice, with people dancing around circles of stones. 

This celebration is usually on the 22nd day of December. The word ‘Carol’ itself stands for the dance of singing songs of praise.

The original pagan celebration in the winter solstice was taken over by Christians later on, where a Roman bishop made the song titled ‘Angel’s Hymn” to be sung during a Christmas service. Later in the tradition of singing hymns at Christmas, services became more prevalent in churches in Europe. Although they were initially composed in Latin, they were then sung in the common languages of the people.

The first Carol was written in 1410, although they are barely known today. The Christmas carols in those times were mostly about Mary and Jesus and based on other bible stories surrounding Jesus. They were sung initially as entertainments but later became more popular in churches.

 Soon the tradition of Carols became popular when the church organized carol services. Many orchestras and choirs were put together to sing Christmas carols. With time new Christmas Carols were written, and the tradition of Christmas carols spread to the streets. 

Today a special day and service are set aside to sing Christmas carols, with the tradition of Christmas carol singing at services with candle lights referred to as “Carols by candlelight services.”

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