Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Swallows are coming - Τα Χελιδονίσματα

The 1st of March is traditionally recognized as the beginning of spring and the return of the swallows, τα χελιδόνια, in Greece. To celebrate their return, children sing the "χελιδονίσματα", or the "swallow's carols". These carols are similar to traditional carols but rather than expressing the anticipation of Christmas, they tell us of the joys of spring. This is a very old tradition dating back to ancient Greece, and the carols themselves differ from region to region. Children create a swallow and mount it on a stick with a bell around it's neck. Some examples can be found in the following video of the students of the School of Music in Komotini, Greece.



Coloring page of a χελιδόνι

Spring carols from various parts of Greece and background information on March 1st from Matia
From Prasini Priza... connect the dots and make a χελιδόνι

From Paidika, make a
χελιδόνι mask

From the Τετράδιο Εργασίων Μελέτη Περιβάλλοντος Α' Δημοτικου print out
page 41 for a handout and craft idea for celebrating Τα Χελιδονίσματα

From the Ανθολόγιο Λογοτεχνικών Κείμενων Α' & Β' Δημοτικού,
pages 141-142 for a cute handout.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, this is a wonderful song the children are singing! Where can I find the words to this song?

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  2. I think they are singing some variation of the following:

    'Ηρθε, ήρθε χελιδόνα,
    ήρθε κι άλλη μεληδόνα,
    κάθισε και λάλησε,
    και γλυκά κελάηδησε¨
    "Μάρτη, Μάρτη μου καλέ,
    και Φλεβάρη φοβερέ,
    κι αν φλεβίσεις κι αν τσικνίσεις,
    καλοκαίρι θα μυρίσεις.
    Κι αν χιονίσεις, κι αν κακίσεις,
    πάλιν άνοιξη θ' ανθίσεις."

    There are many versions of the Χελιδονίσματα, as they vary from region to region. For some more versions of the song, take a look at the Matia link I have posted.

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