Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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PAGAN SURVIVALS
skywards, and the peasants join hands, dance, and leap through blinding smoke and cinders, shouting these rude lines :
" Adieu les Rois Jusqu'a douze mois, Douze mois passes Les bougelees."S3
Another French Epiphany chanson, translated by the Rev. R. L. Gales, is a charming farewell to Christmas :
" Noel is leaving us, Sad 'tis to tell, But he will come again, Adieu, Noel.
His wife and his children
Weep as they go :
On a grey horse
They ride thro' the snow.
                                          
The Kings ride away
In the snow and the rain,
After twelve months
We shall see them again." 54
Post-Epiphany Festivals.
Though with Twelfth Day the high festival of Christmas generally ends, later dates have sometimes been assigned as the close of the season. At the old English court, for instance, the merrymaking was sometimes carried on until Candlemas, while in some English country places it was customary, even in the late nineteenth century, to leave Christmas decorations up, in houses and churches, till that day.55 The whole time between Christmas and the Presentation in the Temple was thus treated as sacred to the Babyhood of Christ; the withered evergreens would keep alive memories of Christmas joys, even, sometimes, after Septuagesima had struck the note of penitence.
Before we pass on to a short notice of Candlemas, we may
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