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We Wish You a Merry Christmas

This carol reveals customs. Under the Tudor monarchs, wassailing and mumming were still practised, with carollers and players performing from door to door.

It was bad luck not to reward their efforts with food and drink, including the 'figgy pudding,' or Christmas pudding.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

The first verse of the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, evolved as a festive memory game. The list of objects or animals builds with each verse and forfeits are imposed for forgetting anyone.

According to one interpretation, the carol was created in the 16th ...

Silent Night was a favourite throughout the19th century.

One charming tale tells of mice chewing through pieces of St Nikola's organ, leaving the church without music on Christmas Eve 1818. Schoolmaster Frans Xaver Gruber and priest Joseph Mohr stepped in to save the day by composing a si...

  • This charming carol is based on a 17th century English folk tune, but the symbolism is much older.
  • The festivals of Saturnalia and Yule put great emphasis on evergreens. The Romans would exchange boughs of holly and ivy during the festival, and the Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxon pa...

A favourite Welsh folk song during the 16th century we know today as Deck the Halls only acquired Christmassy words in the 19th century.

Deck the Halls had words that would not have suited the prim Victorians. In the 1860s, Thomas Oliphant changed the lines to suit the dancing mel...

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The Precursor To The Christmas Tree

Church records from the 15th and 16th centuries show that holly and ivy were bought in the winter. Private houses were also decorated with greenery at this time.

The precursor to the Christmas tree can be seen in the pole that parishes would decorate with holly and ivy.

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The 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and last until the evening of the 5th January - also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and were a time of celebration.

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What are the 12 Days of Christmas and what do people celebrate on those days? Read these ideas!

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Sticky Tunes: When Songs Become Earworms

  • The songs that get stuck in our heads, those catchy but often annoying earworms are common, especially the Christmas melodies during the holiday season.
  • New research into these tunes stuck in the brain shows that they are conventional melodies (often instrumental) but have an u...

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