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York Becomes Home of Medieval Christmas Celebrations

York Becomes Home of Medieval Christmas Celebrations York’s historic Barley Hall is hosting a special exhibition exploring the lost Christmas celebrations of ordinary citizens of the city in the Middle Ages. Christmas can be a stressful time, with so many presents to buy, a tree to decorate and so much to food to prepare that […]

The Medieval Magazine: A Medieval Christmas (Volume 2 Issue 31)

Happy holidays from Medievalists.net! Medieval holiday traditions, the story of how Nicholas became Santa Claus, and some tasty treats for your holiday feast. As it gets chilly outside, we’ve also got a few articles connecting medieval studies with climate change too! Inside this issue: From Ale to Wassail: Lady Matilda’s Guide to Surviving a Medieval […]

Epiphany: Three Kings Day

A look at the history behind Epiphany and Twelfth Night.

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages: How did people stay warm? What did they eat? What did they do?

Advent in the Middle Ages

Advent in the Middle Ages

A Christmas Crib as a Meek Heart of the Late Mediaeval Christian

In the summer of 2013 the Rijksmuseum acquired a rare Late Gothic Christmas Crib (c. 1510-20). In the 15th century tangible aids – devotionalia – were promoted to support meditation, to accomplish as it were a link between God and the soul of the believer.

Bah! Humbug! Complaining about holiday gifts 1600 years ago

Christmas has long been associated with gift giving, but one suspects that Asterius of Amasea would not like seeing all those presents under the Christmas tree!

Is Yule Cool – Or An Old-Fashioned Medieval Celebration?

The end of the year is a messy mixture of different celebrations. Whatever your personal or religious background, the original celebration was the winter solstice – celebrated by our ancestors for thousands of years. We take a look beyond modern history and find some interesting customs that have survived the test of time.

The Earliest Christmas Tree

One of the most iconic traditions of Christmas is having a tree in your house, decorating it and placing the presents underneath. How early did this tradition begin?

The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra

Around the fourth century in what is now Turkey, a boy of humble circumstance became a man revered for his many virtues.

Sal ich von den Ioden liten große pin? – Integration and Isolation in the Medieval German Christmas Play

I would like to start with two responses to the performance of Christmas plays that provide some insight into their effect on the socialization of the Christian communities in which they were performed.

Saint Lucy’s Day: A Light in a Dark Time

Scandinavian and Sicilian girls eagerly await the arrival of Saint Lucy on 13 December.

A Medieval Christmas: Such Splendid Sight Was Never Seen

Take in this medieval play in Toronto on Friday December 13th and Saturday, December 14th

Matthew Paris and the Royal Christmas: Ritualised Communication in Text and Practice

In the Chronica majora, and its abbreviations, Paris opened each year with a description of how and where the king held Christmas.

Christmas in the Qur’än: the Qur’änic account of Jesus’s nativity and Palestinian local tradition

The confluence of this evidence strongly suggests that the traditions associated with Kathisma church gave rise to the rather peculiar account of Christ’s Nativity found in the Quran.

Richard III’s raucous Christmas parties

Just as the company Christmas party can lead to embarrassing situations, some 15th century festivities could also lead to scandal.

Seven Medieval Christmas Traditions

Christmas in medieval Europe could include feasting, gambling, one-day marriages, boy bishops and trolls.

Poculi Ludique Societas shows how to perform a Christmas play, medieval style

A Medieval Christmas: Go We hence to Bethlehem’s Bower – playing this weekend in Toronto

Medieval Christmas Cookies Still In Fashion

So what does a Christmas cookie from centuries ago look like? This time of year, a bakery in Pennsylvania Dutch country is busy making cookies the same way they were made in medieval Germany, and their edible pieces of art history have attracted customers from all over the globe.

Christmas Cards with medieval images on sale from Bangor University

Cards show a miniature of a bishop consecrating a church, and the decorated opening page of a special Mass celebrated during the Christmas season.

Christmas in the Middle Ages

What are the origins of Christmas? How it was celebrated in the Middle Ages?

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