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Christmas in History - which traditions/events stick out for you?

(60 Posts)
LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 12:52:09

I thought it'd be nice to have a festive thread to tick along gently through December. I was thinking about how Christmas must have changed so much over the millenia (though I don't really know much about how it was celebrated for the first thousand years!).

The Advent traditions my DH follows go back centuries and they're pretty much the same as what happened in medieval England, in that you look at Advent as a sort of echo of Lent, a period when you're meant to fast in preparation for the big feast of Christmas Day.

I know we say a lot of British Christmas traditions are Victorian, but also I know a lot aren't (lots of medieval/Tudor stuff), and I wondered where it all comes from? And I wonder how different it is in different countries?

TunipTheVegedude Tue 11-Dec-12 20:33:20

No, your boar's head is way better, firstly because my Nativity was really really crap, and secondly because anyone can make little people, but I wouldn't even know where to start with a boar's head. Plus boar's head is WEIRD.

Yes, Advent should be fasting, and then it all STARTS on 25th. I always feel slightly miffed if school starts before 6th Jan.

Badvocsanta Tue 11-Dec-12 20:49:43

The ears were the toughest bit smile
Am dreading ds1 telling me what he wants to render in marzipan this year! He was muttering about shire horses a few days ago shock

MooncupGoddess Tue 11-Dec-12 22:42:40

Is marchpane exactly the same as marzipan? If so v. easy and satisfying to make.

A couple of years ago we had boar for Christmas dinner (shoulder not head though!) and my brother carried it ceremonially into the dining room as we sang the boar's head carol.

Badvocsanta Wed 12-Dec-12 07:58:35

Basically, yes.
It was sometimes flavoured with rose water in Tudor times though

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 12-Dec-12 11:59:54

Mmm. You might have to step on the shire horse plan in a hurry!

mooncup - where do you get boar then? I've only had it in Italy, but if you can get it over here my mum would be thrilled.

MooncupGoddess Wed 12-Dec-12 20:51:09

We ordered it from a superior butcher in South London, LRD. They have farmed boar in the Forest of Dean, I think. It's absolutely delicious - like a gamier version of pork. I think most posho organic butchers should be able to order it in.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 12-Dec-12 20:54:42

Ooh, wow. Very posh. I think you may just have made DH very, very happy!

SoniaGluck Thu 13-Dec-12 19:47:49

LRD Haven't been back to this thread for a few days, as I've only been able to have 5 minutes on the pc here and there.

Sorry it wasn't the right book. Have you found it yet? If you haven't, I could look in my copy to see which collection the cat / mouse story was in originally.

The Rosemary Sutcliff's I particularly want to read are The Queen Elizabeth Story and The Armourer's House which I have fond, but vague, memories of and Bonnie Dundee because I am a great fan of Jacobite type stories. There are probably a few others but I don't have my list of the books I need want to hand.

Incidentally, the copies of The Children of Green Knowe and Hobberdy Dick arrived today. I'm looking forward to reading them both. Just not sure which to read first.

LRDtheFeministDude Sat 15-Dec-12 11:37:54

Ah, I hope you're enjoying your books. smile I've never read Bonnie Dundee or the Queen Elizabeth Story, I must order those!

I think I'll have a look for my book when I go to my mum's at Christmas - easiest way.

I am off shopping this afternoon and I will go past the butcher (who I know will have deer in their skins hanging up to revolt the tourists grin), and I'll see if he has boar. Exciting.

sashh Mon 24-Dec-12 02:57:04

I just thought I'd add alink to an article on Xmas traditions

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