The 12 Days of Christmas

You know the song The 12 Days of Christmas, right? Chances are, you know at least part of it (Five Gold Riiiiiings!), but did you know it might have been a way of secretly teaching young English Catholics their faith when Catholicism was frowned upon in England? That’s the theory proposed by Canadian English teacher and hymnologist Hugh D. McKellar. His interpretation of the song … Continue reading The 12 Days of Christmas

A Very Harry Christmas

Trees, turkey, wrapped presents, and crackers—most of today’s holiday traditions actually stem from the Victorian period (Prince Albert brought the tradition of a decorated Christmas tree over from Germany when he married Victoria, and together they made it popular). Curious about how Christmas was celebrated at the court of Henry VIII? There’s some great info to be found here and here. Amongst the tidbits:

Those lucky Tudors got to party for 12 days (hence the 12 Days of Christmas). Their celebrations went on straight through to January 5, the day before the Feast of the Epiphany. During those 12 days, commoners and nobles alike would take some time off, visit friends, and share minced pies, which typically included 13 ingredients to represent Christ and his apostles. A little chopped mutton would be thrown in to remember the shepherds.

Continue reading “A Very Harry Christmas”