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Carol singers

CAROLS WERE first sung in Europe thousands of years ago but then they were pagan songs sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations, as people danced around stone circles.

The word ‘carol’ means dance or song of praise or joy and these songs used to be sung during all four seasons but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has survived. Before public carol singing became popular, bands of official singers called ‘Waits’ were lead by important local leaders. The name ‘Waits’ originated as they only sang on Christmas Eve which was also known as Watchnight or Waitnight because of the shepherds watching their sheep when the angels appeared to them and the Christmas celebrations began.

Here in the Algarve there is a group that raises money for charity and keeps fit at the same time. The Silves Keep Fitters meet every week at the Silves Football Club gym. The mixed group of all ages and fitness levels are put through a gentle programme of flex and stretch, incorporating tai chi and yoga by Pat Hitchinson.  For the past eight years they have been raising money for Castelo de Sonhos, in particular the baby starter packs for young, single mothers and poor families. Along with other fund raising events they have formed a Christmas choir. This has grown over the past twelve years since Pat led a group of carol singers around the streets of Armação, ending the evening by singing carols in front of the church. Now they are in popular demand!

For only three euros per session, Pat would be delighted to see new members from 10.30am to 11.30 each Wednesday morning. Getting involved with this group would be good for you and for charity – what more could you ask for? Contact 919 318 030.

You can meet, and hear, this friendly group at the NETWORK Christmas Fayre on December 1 at the Hotel Garbe.