The Historic Interpreter

Twelfth Night Party

Today’s post is the last installment for Christmas Season 2014.  It is not about celebrating the New Year, but rather about the traditional celebrations of Twelfth Night, the last big party of the holiday season in the Georgian Era.  Before we go into the period traditions of the celebrations of this holiday, let us begin by talking about what Twelfth Night is, and how Christmas season celebrations have changed over the years.

The origins of the Twelfth Night celebration go back to pre-Christian traditions in Europe.  The Roman winter celebrations of Saturnalia and the Celtic Yule feasts continued even after Christianity began to dominate in the region.  Many Celts believed in the  “Sacred King” who would be sacrificed to the land.  His spilled blood anointed and fertilized the land.  Catholic priests preaching the Gospels to the Celts discouraged such sacrifices, but allowed the people to continue their celebrations.  The “Sacred King”…

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