What’s in a Christmas Carol
Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols. They were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced around stone circles The word “carol” is derived from the old French word caroller, which means dancing around in a circle. It was derived from the Latin choraula, which in turn came from the Greek “Chorus” (χορός).
Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived. Early Christians took over the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas and gave people Christian songs to sing instead of pagan ones...