How Christmas Was Celebrated in the Middle Ages

Long before Santa Claus, Christmas carols and light-dotted Christmas trees, the people of medieval Europe celebrated the Christmas season with 12 full days of feasting and merriment culminating in Twelfth Night and the hoarse coronation. of a “King of maladministration”.

Christmas in the Middle Ages was preceded by the month-long Advent fast, during which Christians avoided rich foods and excess. But all bets were off from the morning of December 25, according to Anne Lawrence-Mathers, a historian at the University of Reading in the UK where she specializes in medieval England, a period that roughly spans from 5th century AD to 1500 AD.

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