Forgotten Christmas traditions to try this year

Forgotten Christmas traditions to try this year

While each family has their own ways of celebrating at this time of year, there are some collective traditions that we all seem to abide by – like eating mince pies, creating our Christmas puddings on a set day and putting up a tree. Did you know that over the centuries there are several Christmas traditions that have gone out of fashion or been forgotten completely? Here are some of the forgotten Christmas traditions we think should make a come back.

Sugar plums

Sugar plums feature in several Christmas stories and poems, like Twas the Night Before Christmas and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Sugar Plums however aren’t actually plums, they’re more of a sweet and in the 1800s were created using caraway seeds or cardamom pods covered in sugar. More modern versions involve dried fruits and nuts.

Putting fruit cake under your pillow

In our opinion, fruit cake belongs in our bellies but there was once a tradition that claims that if you had a slice of fruit cake, you should save some and put it under your pillow so that you would dream of your future  spouse. To this day, fruit cake remains part of the festive menu.

The Lord of Misrule

Granted, only royalty did this but it was still a lot of fun. The Lord of Misrule was popular at court, the jester would be named in charge for the Christmas season and would spend their time coming up with silly rules for other members of the court to do. Eventually Henry VIII banned it but it was brought back by his predecessor before Elizabeth I banned it for good.

Telling ghost stories

Back in Victorian times, one tradition was to tell scary stories to each other at Christmas time. This is likely why A Christmas Carol, one of the most famous stories set at this time of year is essentially a ghost story.

Burning the Ashen Faggot

This tradition dates back to the Saxon ages and was especially popular in the west of England. On Christmas Eve, a bundle of ash branches, known as the faggot, would be rolled into the house and placed on the fire. It would be tied with nine cloths, traditionally tied by unmarried women and set alight. It would be big enough to burn for a long time and would be watched as the first of the cloth to catch light would mean the woman who tied it would be married first in the coming year.

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