The people in our parts go carolling beneath the windows of the cottages on Christmas eve. The singers always receive gifts from the mistress or master of the house, or whoever is at home, of a sausage, or a loaf of bread, or a copper coin, depending on what they have. We call the carols kolyadki, and they say that there was once a fool in Christ called Kolyada, whom the people took to be God. Who knows, maybe there was. It's not for us simple folk to say, at any rate. Last year Father Osip tried to forbid the singing of kolyadki round the villages, because he said people were thereby making gifts to the devil himself. But the truth of the matter is that the kolyadki don't have a word in them about Kolyada. People mostly sing about the nativity of Christ; at the end they wish the master, mistress, their children and all the household the best of health.
- Note by the bee-keeper, from Mykola Hohol, "Christmas Eve". Nikolai Gogol, A Selection, pg. 121
The following directories contain sound samples of Christmas carols (kolyadky) recorded by groups in Ukraine and in North America.
Music sample library
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Originally Composed: Sunday, December 21st 1997
Date last modified: Sunday, December 21st 1997