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Traditions of the Twelve Days of Christmas-Theofany

Throughout the festive period of Christmas, New Year’s and until the Theophany, customs in Kilkis are both interesting and important.


On the Christmas Eve, as in all of Greece, the Christmas carols are sung. Groups of young boys and girls get out on the streets to carry the good news of the birth of Christ. These songs give greetings to the family men of the house with the familiar phrase "Good evening lords, the divine birth of Christ I came to announce to your house..."

More carols are sung, depending on the origin and the specific region of the people, e.g. Pontos, Thrace; or depending on their profession, e.g. Farmers, ranchers, etc.

The people usually offer various treats or money to the youngsters singing the carols.

If someone did not open their door, the carols took the form of teasing, such as "My Lord, in your cape there are a thousand lice, others spawn, others thread, others gather eggs..."

Other Christmas Traditions

  • Custom "Kolinte". It revives in the region of Paeonia, on Christmas Eve.
  • Custom "Rousalides". It’s celebrated from the third day of Christmas until St. John’s Day.


Like in every part of Greece, the New Year's carols are sung, welcoming the new year. The youngsters go from house to house singing carols and the housekeepers welcome them joyfully rewarding them with goodies or money.

The most common song is the "First day of the month and first day of the year, My tall rosemary, may we have a good year, etc."

The first foot of the New Year. Amuchwidespread custom, according to which the first visit of the New Year plays a role on what will happen throughout the year, so the first person to come in the house was of great importance. A person considered a hoodoo oughtto be avoidedtoenter the house first, while a lucky person entering the house for the first time that year would bring good luck.

The custom of "Camel" in Kilkis , is revived onNew Year’s Day

The custom of "Momoeron" starts from the New Year’s Day until the Theophany and it is revived by the Pontian Association of Kilkis.


An important celebration of Christianity with a special celebratory ritual is the sanctification of the waters, which always attracts the participation of many believers.

On the Epiphany or Theophany the waters are sanctified in order to make the evil spirits disappear, which, as the tradition says, are circulating from the day of the Christ’s birth until his christening.

During the ceremony of blessing the waters in Kilkis, in the places where there is no lake or river, the waters around the church or at the baptismal font are sanctified.

The sanctification of the waters of Lake Doirani, rivers Axios and Gallikos are impressive with the immersion of the Holy Cross, wheere young people, dive into the waters to retrieve it.

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