Santa drinking hot chocolate with a snowflake cookie.

The origins of caroling can be traced back as far as the days of Rome, but they’ve definitely undergone an evolution throughout the centuries. Most of us are familiar with the image of Victorian Christmas caroling — men in top hats and women in full skirts walking in the snow and singing for their neighbours. You can still see these sorts of carolers (usually professional re-enactors) singing at Christmas Markets and holiday events all through December.

Members of a choir singing from sheet music.

In the 19th century carols were published and experienced a surge of popularity as their appeal widened. It was also popular at that time for carolers to go door-to-door or stand on street corners and sing — usually for charity. While caroling has changed a lot in the last hundred years, the idea is still the same: to spread warmth and goodwill to everyone who hears the songs. Today, these traditions are still alive and well in the form of holiday concerts and choirs.

There are several concerts happening in Gananoque over the holiday season at the Royal Theatre, be sure to check them out and join in the holiday spirit!

A close-up of ancient sheet music.