Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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CANDLEMAS
Candlemas Eve was the moment for the last farewells to Christmas ; Herrick sings : —
"End now the White Loafe and the P And let all sports with Christmas dye,"
and
"Down with the Rosemary and Bayes, Down with the Misleto; Instead of Holly, now up-raise The greener Box for show.
The Holly hitherto did sway ;
Let Box now domineere Until the dancing Easter Day,
Or Easter's Eve appeare." 7*
An old Shropshire servant, Miss Burne tells us, was wont, when she took down the holly and ivy on Candlemas Eve, to put snow­drops in their place.75 We may see in this replacing of the winter evergreens by the delicate white flowers a hint that by Candlemas the worst of the winter is over and gone ; Earth has begun to deck herself with blossoms, and spring, however feebly, has begun. With Candlemas we, like the older English countryfolk, may take our leave of Christmas.
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