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6th January: The tradition of Wassail, cakes & ale & a Lord of Misrule

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2021 by kmflett

6th January: The tradition of Wassail. Cakes, Ale & the appointment of a Lord of Misrule

The tradition of wassailing is one of having cakes and ale on Twelfth Night or Epiphany the following day. Since it is Try January, why not do that. It does underline, if nothing else, how out of touch with seasonal traditions Dry January is.

This time of year is that of few hours of daylight and scarcity of fresh produce so things like cake and ale were and are welcome.

A tradition was to bake a cake with a bean, or possibly a pea or a coin in and the person discovering it in their piece of cake became the Lord of Misrule for Twelfth Night

The traditional Wassail was to go house to house with the following cry:

we are not daily beggars that beg from door to door

But we are friendly neighbours whom you have seen before.

In 2021 Lockdown that is hardly prudent but drinking a glass of ale and eating some cake should still be achievable

There is also a case I think for attempting to reclaim a radical tradition of the Lord of Misrule. A giant model of a naked Nigel Farage paraded through the streets sitting backwards on a donkey would add something to the sum of human jollity, although again in 2021 it would need to be done virtually.

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