Christmas Eve

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Yes, it's almost here - there's only one day to go until Christmas Day! So, what does Christmas Eve itself have in store?

Well, traditionalists will be putting up their Christmas trees and other decorations today, whilst last minute shoppers will be panic buying, spending (on average) £33 on last minute purchases (if they can get to the shops, that is).

There are many traditions associated with this day, but some have long been forgotten. First there is the tradition of the Dumb Cake (a type of loaf!) which a young spinster would make in silence to help her determine the identity of her future intended.

Christmas Eve was considered a day of abstinence and, as such, was a day when traditionally fish was eaten rather than meat. It is also a day when younger parishioners attend a Crib Service at church.

Of course it is tonight when hopeful children (and some adults) hang up stockings (or sacks!) in the expectation that Father Christmas might fill them to bursting with presents.

And some people attend Midnight Mass with churches welcoming in Christmas Day with a peal of bells (announcing the birth of Christ and the death of the Devil).

You can read more about these traditions (and a number of others) in What is Myrrh Anyway? and Christmas Miscellany, which is still available from good bookshops until they close for Christmas later today.

What is Myrrh Anyway? and Christmas Miscellany make the perfect Christmas stocking fillers!


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