One of the many Christmas traditions people celebrate is caroling. One account of this tradition is said to stem back to centuries ago when people would gather and sing in a religious gathering. Others say the history of caroling has nothing to do with religion and is instead given the outdated term of wassailing.
No one knows with one hundred percent certainty. But both sides agree it did involve a group of people known as carolers. Legend has it that this group of carolers gathered together and sang in order to be fed, hence the term, “sing for your supper.”
These groups of carolers would travel to various neighborhoods singing their songs. The origin of where caroling began has been disputed with some saying it began in Italy, while others insist it’s an English tradition.
Whichever version is correct, as time passed, door to door caroling died down somewhat but is still very much a tradition especially in smaller towns with a close knit population. For many people, today’s modern caroling involves carolers singing in Christmas parades, at church functions and in private homes.
Related: Christmas Carols History
At home or work Christmas parties, people will gather around a piano or stereo, play Christmas songs and have their own version of caroling. Did you know there’s a day set aside every December for caroling? It’s called Go Caroling Day.
If you want to plan a caroling event for your group or for your family, it’s not difficult. It’s a great way to spread the joy to your family and friends. No one has to have perfect pitch to sing in a caroling group.
All you have to do is be willing to give it a shot. Find out how many people would be interested in going and set a caroling meeting. Pick a date to go caroling and schedule a few warm up singing sessions with your group of volunteers.
Print out copies and staple them together of the carols your group would like to sing and practice until you can sing in relatively harmony. You’re not looking for perfection – you just want to make sure everyone has some familiarity with the songs you plan to sing. You can purchase books, but depending on the size of your group, that could quickly get expensive if you’re the one paying for them.
Know ahead of time where you’re going to go. Some communities have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to trespassers and sadly, carolers would fall under the heading of trespassers in some housing areas.
You don’t have to stick to going door to door if the weather doesn’t cooperate. You can visit children’s hospitals, nursing homes, community churches and more. Plan to go caroling this Christmas season. It’s an experience you’ll always cherish.