a georgian christmas celebration

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christmas celebrating in georgian period


  • A Georgian Christmas Celebration

  • Georgian Christmas Traditions In the Georgian period there was some traditions that included the Christmas tree, the traditional food ,for example the Christmas pudding and the mince pie, wassail bowl, the twelfth night, the Yule Log, The Kissing Bough or Ball all of this being the most representative Christmas tradition for the Georgian period.

  • Popularity of ChristmasTo start, Christmas wasnt celebrated in the cities as much as it was in the country. Not until the advent of Dickens A Christmas Carol (1843) did Christmas become popular in London. In country homes where Christmas was celebrated, decorations went up on Christmas Eve and might stay up until Epiphany (January 6). Depending on the part of England, you might use evergreen boughs, holly, ivy, rosemary, and Christmas Rose. You might also use mistletoe, although it grows mostly in the western and southwestern parts of Britain. Our traditional mistletoe in the doorway would more likely have been a kissing bough--a hanging structure of evergreens, apples, paper flowers, and dolls representing Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus.

  • The Family Reunion on Christmas

  • Christmas Trees

    Christmas trees are often thought to have been introduced by Prince Albert in the 1840s. In fact, the idea has been around much longer, originating from pagan festivals when the qualities of greenery and light were in demand during mid-winter. Earlier Christmas trees (pre-1840s) were much smaller than today and stood on a table

  • The Traditional Christmas tree

  • Christmas Pudding

    Christmas Pudding or plum pudding is eaten at the end of the Christmas dinner. Christmas pudding originates from a 14th century porridge called frumenty that was made of mutton and beef with currants, prunes, spices and wine. By the late 1500s it slowly changed into a plum pudding as cooks added breadcrumbs, suet and eggs to bind and thicken it. To give it more flavour, they also added beer or spirits. Plum pudding became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it, citing it as a lewd custom and describing its rich ingredients as unfit for God-fearing people. In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal and by Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today.This is the 1714 recipe for King George Is 9lb (!) Christmas pudding -

  • The Christmas Pudding

  • Other Traditional PlatesMince Pies were not as we know them today they were originally filled with chicken eggs, sugar, raisins, lemons and oranges.Wassail bowl :This was similar to mulled wine and was made of the Richest and raciest wines, highly spiced and sweetened, with roasting apples bobbing on the surface

  • Twelfth NightTwelfth Night marked the end of the festive season and was the highlight of the Christmas celebrations in Georgian England.The Twelfth Night ball was one of the grandest of the year and sometimes took the form of a masquerade or fancy dress ball. The popular custom of choosing a household king or queen on Twelfth Night involved baking a centrepiece Twelfth cake containing a dried bean and a dried pea. The man who found the bean in his slice was elected King for the night; the lady who found the pea, the Queen. Even if they were normally servants, their temporarily exalted position was acknowledged by everyone, including their masters. By the early 19th century, the cake had become very elaborate, with sugar frosting and gilded paper trimmings, often decorated with delicate figures made of plaster of Paris or sugar paste.

  • The Yule LogThe Yule log was chosen on Christmas Eve. It was wrapped round in hazel twigs and dragged home, to burn in the fireplace for the 12 days of Christmas. A piece of the Yule Log was saved to light the following years Yule Log.

  • The Yule Log

  • The Kissing Bough or BallThe tradition of kissing under a bunch of foliage is centuries old. By the late 18th century, kissing boughs and balls were common. They were usually made of holly, ivy and rosemary, with mistletoe hanging underneath. Spices, apples, oranges, oat ears, wax dolls, candles or ribbons could also be included.

  • Christmas DayChristmas Day might start with a trip to church, followed by a lavish dinner of boars head, which was really the head of a pig, as wild boars became extinct in England approximately 1185. You might also have turkey (which had been brought to England from the New World in 1550), along with plum pudding, march pane (what we often call marzipan), and gingerbread. Christmas Day was also the day on which a gift or tithe was given to the landowner. Note, however, it was not a widespread tradition to give each other gifts. Again, period diaries indicate it was more common to give a new toy to the children in the family than for the adults to exchange gifts.

  • A Georgean House decorated

  • The Day after ChristmasThe day after Christmas was Boxing Day, on which you gave presents or boxes to those who had given you good service during the previous year. It was also a traditional day for fox hunting.