WINTER SOLSTICE IN THE OLDE WORLD MOTHER COUNTRY
T'IS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY - especially in the Winter of the Northern Hemisphere - To stop from freezing, families re-unite, cousins kiss under the mistletoe, and neighbours go back and forth from each others hearths full of feasting and funny stories from the 2015 year!
For migrants to Australia like my Leeds born husband and I Brummy bred, the old ways of our ancestors are recovered from the internet and recorded on a Soundcloud!
It's hot and muggy now and the McNeill-Higgins tribe is expanding and thriving -
we acknowledge the First Peoples who arrived on this Continent approx. 60,000 years ago.
Our shortest day of the year is 21st June, so every year we celebrate the anniversary when hubby and I met at a winter solstice feast in Fitzroy, Melbourne many moons ago.
Our mistletoe on the wattle
OUR ANGLO-CELTIC DNA HAS TRAVELLED ACROSS THE SEA AND THROUGH THE SKIES, AND LEARNED TO VALUE THE CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND CUSTOMS FOR THE ENRICHMENT OF FUTURE GENERATIONS.
WASSAIL all over the Small Island where we came from - Branches in Middlesex, Cheshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Aberdeenshire, Renfrewshire, & last but not forgotten the Island of Ireland.
|In Dublin 2010 cheers to Irish ancestors with a Jameson's whiskey and a tale tell to tell from Gaelic heritage.|
My music selection as I do a bit of old pagan ancestor worship of DNA present, past and future is BLUR - because the Season is a blend of cultural traditions from the Lords and Ladies of Misrule from the Roman Occupation & Saturnalia, Old Norse and Saxon Wais/hail - Good Health - Cheers and hang-over cures....
So gratifying to discover this You-Tube contribution - When Blur were boys/lads/cheeky brats exploring theirmusical and multi-cultural heritage,
|The Wassailing Song|
Wassail, wassail all over the town
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree
With the wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee
THOMAS & THOMASINE are favourite names for the CLARK/Bond/Cannaday kin in 17th century LONDON. Many of the Christmas festivities began on Dec. 21st St Thomas Day, and end on 12th night or Epiphany on January 6th (12th day is old Christmas Day).
Completely ignorant of the Thomasin' tradition of going to the better off houses in the neighbourhood, I went carol singing hoping for a cash bonus.
You didn't have to sing - it was Church sanctioned begging or a redistribution of the wealth...basically asking for goods to get you through winter.
HIGGINS AGRICULTURAL WORKERS OF BREDON, WORCESTERSHIRE/GLOUCESTERSHIRE
By the seventeenth century, wassailing parties were performing an additional service for apple farmers, especially in the southern and south-western parts of England. There was no set date for this sort of wassailing, although it always took place at some point during the Christmas season.
After offering the occupants of the house a drink from the wassail bowl and serenading them, the wassailers would go into the orchards and bless the trees. They did this in a variety of ways, from drinking a glass of cider in honour of the trees, to placing food (often bread soaked in cider) around a tree’s roots or in its branches, to unleashing a volley of gunfire (which may have been intended to frighten away any evil spirits lurking in the orchard).