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Christmas Customs and Traditions


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PREFACE CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The Origin and Purpose of Festivals Ideas suggested by Christmas Pagan and Christian Elements The Names of the Festival Foundation of the Feast of the Nativity It's Relation to the Epiphany December 25 and the Natalis Invicti The Kalends of January Yule and Teutonic Festivals The Church and Pagan Survivals Two Conflicting Types of Festival Their Interaction Plan of the Book PART I THE CHRISTIAN FEAST CHAPTER II CHRISTMAS POETRY (I) "Ancient Latin Hymns, their Dogmatic, Theological Character" Humanizing Influence of Franciscanism Jacopone da Todi's Vernacular Verse German Catholic Poetry Mediaeval English Carols CHAPTER III CHRISTMAS POETRY (II) The French Noel Latin Hymnody in Eighteenth-century France Spanish Christmas Verse Traditional Carols of Many Countries Christmas Poetry in Protestant Germany Post-Reformation Verse in England Modern English Carols CHAPTER IV CHRISTMAS IN LITURGY AND POPULAR DEVOTION Advent and Christmas Offices of the Roman Church "The Trhee Masses of Christmas, their Origin and their Celebration in Rome" The Midnight Mass in Many Lands Protestant Survivals of the Night Services Christmas in the Greek Church The Eastern Epiphany and the Blessing of the Waters "The Presepio or Crib, its Supposed Institution by St. Francis" Early Traces of the Crib "The Crib in Germany, Tyrol, &c." Cradle-rocking in Mediaeval Germany Christmas Minstrels in Italy and Sicily The Presepio in Italy Ceremonies with the Culla and the Bambino in Rome Christmas in Italian London The Spanish Christmas Possible Survivals of the Crib in England CHAPTER V CHRISTMAS DRAMA Origins of the Mediaeval Drama Dramatic Tendencies in the Liturgy Latin Liturgical Plays The Drama becomes Laicized Characteristics of the Popular Drama The Nativity in the English Miracle Cycles Christmas Mysteries in France Later French Survivals of Christmas Drama German Christmas Plays Mediaeval Italian Plays and Pageants Spanish Nativity Plays Modern Survivals in Various Countries "The Star Singers, &c." POSTSCRIPT PART II PAGAN SURVIVALS CHAPTER VI PRE-CHRISTIAN WINTER FESTIVALS The Church and Superstition Nature of Pagan Survivals Racial Origins Roman Festivals of the Saturnalia and Kalends Was there a Teutonic Midwinter Festival? "The Teutonic, Celtic, and Slav New Year" Customs Attracted to Christmas or January I The Winter Cycle of Festivals Rationale of Festival Ritual: (a) Sacrifice and Sacrament (b) The Cult of the Dead (c) Omens and Charms for the New Year Compromise in the Later Middle Ages The Puritans and Christmas Decay of Old Traditions CHAPTER VII ALL HALLOW TIDE TO MARTINMAS "All Saints' and All Souls' Days, their Relation to a New Year Festival" All Souls' Eve and Tendance of the Departed Soul Cakes in England and on the Continent Pagan Parallels of All Souls' Hallowe'en Charms and Omens Hallowe'en Fires Guy Fawkes Day "Old Hob," the Schimmelreiter, and other Animal Masks" Martinmas and its Slaughter Martinmas Drinking St. Martin's Fires in Germany Winter Visitors in the Low Countries and Germany St. Martin as Gift-bringer St. Martin's Rod CHAPTER VIII ST. CLEMENT TO ST. THOMAS St. Clement's Day Quests and Processions St. Catherine's Day as Spinsters' Festival St. Andrew's Eve Auguries The Klopfelnachte "St. Nicholas's Day, the Saint as Gift-bringer, and his Attendants" Election of the Boy Biship St. Nicholas's Day at Bari "St. Lucia's Day in Sweden, Sicily, and Central Europe" St. Thomas's Day as School Festival Its Uncanny Eve "Going a-Thomassin'." CHAPTER IX CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE TWELVE DAYS "Christkind, Santa Klaus, and Knecht Ruprecht" Talking Animals and other Wonders of Christmas Eve Scandinavian Beliefs about Trolls and the Return of the Dead Traditional Christmas Songs in Eastern Europe "The Twelve Days, their Christian Origin and Pagan Superstitions" The Raging Host Hints of Supernatural Visitors in England The German Frauen The Greek Kallikantzaroi CHAPTER X THE YULE LOG The Log as Centre of the Domestic Christmas Customs of the Southern Slavs The Polaznik Origin of the Yule Log Probable Commection with Vegetation-cults or Ancestor-worship The Souche de Noel in France Italian and German Christmas Logs English Customs The Yule Candle in England and Scandinavia CHAPTER XI "THE CHRISTMAS-TREE, DECORATIONS, AND GIFTS" The Christmas-tree a German Creation Charm of the German Christmas Early Christmas-trees The Christmas Pyramid Spread of Hogmanay and Aguillanneuf "New Year Processions in Macedonia, Roumania, Greece, and Rome" Methods of Augury Sundry New Year Charms CHAPTER XVI EPIPHANY TO CANDLEMAS "The Twelfth Cake and the "King of the Bean" French Twelfth Night Customs St. Basil's Cake in Macedonia Epiphany and the Expulsion of Evils The Befana in Italy The Magi as Present-bringers Greek Epiphany Customs Wassailing Fruit-trees Herefordshire and Irish Twelfth Night Practices "The "Haxey Hood" and Christmas Football" St. Knut's Day in Sweden Rock Day Plough Monday "Candlemas, its Ecclesiastical and Folk Ceremonies" Farewells to Christmas CONCLUSION NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX

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