Christmas carols in Evros vary, as refugees from Northern and Eastern Thrace brought with them to the new homeland the customs and traditions from the old one.
The refugees from Northern Thrace narrate the birth of Christ when they sing the carols. They present Virgin Mary as one of all those women that feel the pain of childbirth and ask for the believers’ support. In the village of Mikros Darios, these carols are sung by the youth of the village.
Carols of the refugee villages from the Eastern Thrace are more diverse. The variation in the village of Sitaria in Didymoteicho talks about the later Sufferings of Christ and very little for his Birth, while almost each village has its own lyrics.
It is common for the people in Evros to sing the carols in disguise: accompanied by gaida, they sing different carols in every home, depending on the family’s members and their professions, using improvised lyrics of the moment. The names of masquerades vary, since in Lavara they are called Rogkatsiarides, as in Kornofolia, Baboutsiari in Rigio, Tsamala, Christiasia and Mani of Didymoteicho, Pavginiko in Kastanies, Tempelekia in Nea Vissa, Kortopoula in Fylachto and the list is long.
“Sourvisma” is part of the traditional carols o Evros: children hold a branch from a sourvia, that is an evergreen tree of the region, and with this branch they “hit” the householder, as they sing the carols.