Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations
   Decorating houses and churches with evergreens is an old custom; London streets were decorated too, in John Stow's time (Stow, 1598 (1602): 123).
   Churchwardens' accounts throughout the 16th century record payments for holly and ivy, and at Westminster as late as 1647 'for rosemarie and baies that was stuck about the church'; other sources add cypress, laurel, box, and yew (Brand, 1849: i. 522-3). In homes, the centrepiece was the Kissing Bush (Bough or Bunch), known all over England from the 18th century until superseded by the *Christ-mas tree. Basically, it was constructed from two hoops at right angles, intertwined with ivy and holly, and fixed to the ceiling; from it hung apples, oranges, streamers, sugar mice, and, most importantly, a sprig of *mistletoe.
   More elaborate decorations became fashionable in Victorian times, including greenery festooned over mirrors and pictures, and, later, paper garlands, hanging confections, and seasonal mottoes embroidered or picked out in artificial flowers. German influence is likely here; Hannah Cullwick, maid to a London family, thought it 'a German way' when a fellow servant put up paper festoons and coloured candles for Christmas in 1871 (Cullwick, Diaries, ed. Liz Stanley, 1984: 184-5). Tinsel, baubles, and other artificial adornments are now ubiquitous.
   Traditions differ sharply on when to take decorations down and what to do with them. *Twelfth Night is generally mentioned nowadays, though some say they must be removed on this date, others on its eve. In earlier records, they stayed up till *Candlemas (2 February). Once taken down, many sources state the evergreens should be burnt - especially the mistletoe, according to Charles Igglesden, otherwise 'all who have kissed beneath it will be foes before the end of the year' (Igglesden, c.1932: 69-70). Others insist they should never be burnt. Occasionally, they were fed to cattle.
   See also *holly, *mistletoe.
   ■ Opie and Tatem, 1989: 76; Brand, 1849: i. 519-25.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Christmas worldwide — Christmas around the world redirects here. For other uses, see Christmas Around the World (Bradley Joseph album). The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world, varying by country and region. Elements common to many areas… …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas — Day redirects here. For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation) and Christmas Day (disambiguation). Christmas …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas in Ireland — is the largest celebration of the year[citation needed] and lasts from December 24 to January 6,[citation needed] although December 8 is traditionally viewed as the start of Christmas[citation needed] with many putting up their decorations and… …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas flowers — are the popular flowers used during the festive season of Christmas. In many nations, flowers and plants form a major part of the Christmas decoration. Poinsettia, Christmas cactus, holly, Christmas rose[disambiguation needed  ], ivy …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas Village, Philadelphia — Location Dilworth Plaza, City Hall Philadelphia Address 1400 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19107 Website …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas in Wonderland — Theatrical release poster Directed by James Orr Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas Tree Shops — Type Subsidiary Genre Bargains, closeouts Founded 1970 Headquarters Yarmouth Port, Ma …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas decoration — A Christmas decoration is any of several types of decorations used at Christmastime. The traditional colours of Christmas are pine green (evergreen), snow white, and heart red. Blue and white are often used to represent winter, or sometimes… …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas tree — For other uses, see Christmas tree (disambiguation). A lit up Christmas Tree with ornaments [1] The Christmas tree, also known as a Yule tree, is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real o …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas ornament — Common thin blown glass ornament empty inside, a typical frosted glass bauble …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”