Yeah, much as I love a Dickensian Christmas it is sad to see some of those raucous pre-Jacobean traditions gone when you read about them.
Thanks TB.@Thande: This is an exceptional article and has made me think more about my timeline's England's Christmas.
Maybe I'll look into medieval French customs that could end up influencing that world's England's Christmas, as that England was ruled by Kings of France for two hundred years or so.
Certainly, it has given me a good idea on what to do as a "Christmas project", so thank you!
In China they've been portraying Santa with a saxophone for unknown reasons (maybe someone saw The Christmas Invasion and was confused??) and maybe that'll be the next thing Everyone Knows about him, and there'll be a lot of sax music arouind the holidays.Think about how the actions we take today might influence the Christmas of three centuries hence!
Interesting. I discovered Christmas beers are a thing in both Denmark and Belgium, so that's something that has also persisted elsewhere.Christmas ale sort of seems to be making a come back, but mostly in the form of mulled cider or craft ales with a bit of a 'Christmasy' flavour to them.
Mulled cider is more derived from the tradition of Wassailing, which I think is a bit different. The craft ales are a better fit.Christmas ale sort of seems to be making a come back, but mostly in the form of mulled cider or craft ales with a bit of a 'Christmasy' flavour to them.
That's very interesting.Loved the article. I have to say I can see many parallels with traditions i've noticed across Europe. Here in Spain too, Christmas ends on the Epiphany (well, the 7th so that kids can play with their presents) which is when kids get and open their presents from the Three Wise Men (and the 5th all cities have parades).
We also have something similar to what you call a 'Twelfth Cake' (a roscón de reyes in Spanish), which is a round cake, similar to a Galette des Rois in France. Inside of it there is both a little ceramic figure and a bean. If you get the figure, that's good luck and if you find the bean, you pay for the cake.
We don't do (traditionally, we do now) Christmas trees, but nativity scenes.
Since you mention different Christmas traditions, another one is on December 28th. That is the day of the Innocent Saints. It is the Spanish version of April's Fools, the day when Spaniards prank one another and then say 'inocente, inocente' to the pranked person. It is a commemoration, or so it goes, of Herod's massacre of the innocents.
I can also think of a Lord of Misrule-equivalent in the southern Netherlands but on Carnival, not Christmas. During Carnival, each city will have a Prince of the Carnival, usually a randomly-elected person (although in practice, someone belonging to the Carnival brotherhoods).
At the beginning of Carnival week, the city's mayor hands the city keys (and theoretically the power) to the Prince of Carnival for the week. In theory, during that week, the Prince of Carnival is the city's mayor.