Singing About The Twelve Days Of Christmas in St. Croix

A few days ago, I got a copy of the most wonderful song written by Miss Barb’s students at the AZ Academy on the island of St. Croix. They decided to make their own version of the traditional carol – the Twelve Days of Christmas –  but add details that were special to their island and their celebration. It’s a great song, very funny and very singable! Especially the ….. FIVE CENTIPEDES!

Miss Barb tells us a bit more about Christmas in St. Criox: “All of these verses refer to St. Croix traditions and history. They also make Johnny Cakes. They were originally called Journey cakes…made to eat while they traveled. They are delicious! They start celebrating in December and the celebration ends with Three Kings Day in January. They also have an Adult Parade and Children’s Parade.”

And, in case you wondered, the Mocko Jumbie from verse 3 is a colorful stilt walker and dancer seen at special celebrations. What fun!

A Mocko Jumbie in St. Croix

On The Twelve Days of Christmas – Crucian Style
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
An iguana in a Mango treee.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
2 forts with cannons etc.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
3 mocko jumbies etc.
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
4 frogs a singing etc.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
5 centipedes etc.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
6 cruise ships coming etc.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
7 roosters crowing etc
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
8 geckos climbing etc.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
9 lobsters swimming etc
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
10 Crucians speaking etc
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
11 children dancing etc.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
12 steel pans drumming etc.

Special thanks to teacher, Barbara McVicker, for sharing this song and also the idea that the students made drawings of different parts of the song. What a great way to dive into music and mix in history, culture and celebration at the same time.

A happy island holiday to all in St. Croix – especially the bright and creative students of AZ Academy!

Christmas Traditions In Greece – Caroling With A Musical Triangle And Much More!

There are so many beautiful Christmas traditions that vary from country to country around the world. My husband grew up in Greece and loves to remember caroling with a triangle during the Christmas season. He and his brothers and sisters would go door to door and even on the bus to sing special songs with the accompaniment of a triangle. Those who listened and enjoyed the songs would have to give a coin or a small donation to the carolers. What fun!

You can see several traditional carols performed by children in Greece here with English translations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfmTTR3iMT0

As I looked into the holiday traditions I learned a bit more. Although you can hear Christmas carols (calenda) throughout the season, there are three official caroling days – Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and January 5, the Eve of the Epiphany. In many parts of Greece, during the twelve days of Christmas (December 25 – January 6th) fires are kept lighted so that goblins cannot enter a house by the chimney and play tricks on people. In modern Greece, you will also see Christmas trees and boats lit up with fancy lights as Saint Nicolas is the Protector of sailors.

Of course, my husband also loved the special goodies that were made at this time of year. Traditional cookies for Christmas and New Years are melomakarona (semolina wheat, cinnamon and cloves in cookies that are rich with honey) and kourabiedes (rosewater and butter cookies served with powdered sugar). Then there was the tradition he did not care for.

On January 6th, Christmas celebrations wind down with “Theofania” when all waters are blessed. At that time, a cross is thrown into the water and the first to bring it back is supposed to have great luck for the year. Although this is wonderful in Greece where the waters are reasonably warm in January, my husband will never forget diving into freezing and murky waters here in the USA hoping the good luck he would get was not to catch a cold!

Would you like to win a musical triangle plus a few other musical goodies for your holiday fun? Check out my free song page for details: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

Check out the link above to see how you can win this triangle!