The Regency Advent Calendar!

Cobalt Fairy

Hey there my beautiful Ladies and Gents!

Please don’t tell me that it is too soon for the Christmas Season! Because, the first of December marks its beginning for me! And yes, I have already put on my Christmas decorations and made my advent calendar! I am just counting the days now!

Many of my friends accuse me of being too much of a Christmas enthusiast, but really, the end of Thanksgiving marks the beginning of Christmas. Period. And since it’s my favorite holiday, it inspired me to research about the Regency Christmastime as well! As it turns out once more, I was born in the wrong time and era! 

Because, even though nowadays Christmas is becoming more and more of a commercial holiday, it had a whole different meaning back in the day! And the festivities and parties lasted for days!

Stir it up Sunday 

Stir it up Sunday started as early as the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day! And what better than the family gathering together to make the pudding that would be served on Christmas Day

But it was a ritual even more important than simply cooking together for fun. They recited prayers and they also used 13 ingredients to make it, symbolizing Christ and his twelve Apostles. After the family stirred the pudding, tiny charms were added to the pudding to reveal their finders’ fortune. Okay, how amazing is that?

December 6th : St. Nicholas Day

Instead of exchanging presents on Christmas day, like we do today, children would receive their gifts on St. Nicholas day instead! Well that saved parents a lot of nagging and impatience till Christmas day for sure!

December 21st: St. Thomas Day 

This was a day in which poor widows or elderly women would go out for “thomasing” at the houses of their neighbors. What does this mean? They essentially asked them for food or small gifts and wheat was the most popular of all! And I simply find this very charitable!

December 24th: Christmas Eve 

Oh Christmas Eve! This was the day of putting up the decorations actually and all the greenery and flowers that would remain until the end of the festivities. As if I would have waited for so long!

December 25th: Christmas Day 

The big day everyone was waiting for always began with going to church! And then what? An all you can eat dinner of course! It seems that boar’s head was a traditional favorite, but they also said that eating minced pie every day until the Twelfth Night would bring a year of happiness. But I am sure it would bring me nights of nightmares, lol.

December 26th: St. Stephen’s Day or Boxing Day

Ah more charity! Boxing day was all about giving to the poor! And probably the only day off servants ever had. Food, money and small gifts were distributed to the less fortunate and rich lords went out hunting!

December 31: New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve celebrations varied across the country, but one thing is certain. They had a party and embraced the new year like we still do today!

January 1: New Year’s Day 

And for our superstitious friends, New Year’s Day was all about predicting the new year! For instance, “one custom was to hook a flat cake on the horns of a cow. If the cake fell off in front of the cow, it foretold good luck; if behind, bad.” And I wish someone had done this for 2020 lol!

January 6th: Twelfth Night 

The final, but my favorite day of all the Regency celebrations! Epiphany or Twelfth Night marked the ending of Christmastime and it was a time for going a little crazy! People dressed up in extravagant costumes and had to stay in character for the festivities until they crowned the king and queen of the evening! The elaborate colored cakes and parlor games were so scandalous and out of control that Queen Victoria had to ban the day altogether in 1870! And what a pity that was!

Now that you have the whole picture of the Regency Advent Calendar, don’t you wish you lived back then once more? 

I’d really like to see your thoughts on their celebrations! 

Written by: Hazel Linwood

Source: English Historical Fiction Authors

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