Medieval Christmas Traditions
The customs, traditions, festivity and the ways of celebrating Christmas in medieval times was different as compared to all the other regions of the world, as it is obvious that every region has its own culturally bound traditions and customs and the way they celebrate their festivals depends upon their traditions and culture. The medieval period celebrations for Christmas involved its own unique kind of festivity, food, entertainment and decorations. Among these festivities and tradition, the most famous one is the burning Yule log that was considered as a “wheel of the year” where the Druid people would keep it burning for 12 days of Christmas and would keep a part of the log for the next year celebrations of the event. In addition to that, before burning the Yule log, they would write their unwanted traits and characteristics on that log and the belief behind this custom was that their bad and unwanted traits and characteristics would also be burnt and goes away with the log.
Food is the most important and a center of attention for most of the people regarding any festival. Medieval period Christmas also had its own kinds of special food specially made for the event. The variety of food included Peacock that was served as a roasted bird, wassails that was a special drink for the event and was believed to serve for the better health and wellbeing of those who would drink it, mince pies to which three essential spices-including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg- were added. These three spices were believed to be the three gifts given to the Christ child. Goose and turkey were also served as specially cooked Christmas food items. Moreover, Humble pie was a special dish made from the heart, liver and brain of the deer which served the purpose of trademark Christmas food. In addition to these, Christmas pudding and a variety of desserts was also served specially for the children.
Special kinds of trees for the event included the oak, evergreen which was believed to symbolize the everlasting lives for the Christians, the ash trees which were believed to be the signs of good luck, holly, ivy and mistletoe were among the list of important plants of the special religious occasion.
The amusement element was also not neglected and was made the part and parcel of the festivity of this event which included dramas, songs, carols, special games set to music and many interesting games. Medieval time’s people were nonetheless in making their Christmas interesting and memorable.