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Allendale tar barrels

Allendale tar barrels  

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Overview Page
The people of Allendale, Northumberland, welcome the New Year in a spectacular way with their procession of blazing tar barrels. During the evening, men in home-made costume (the guisers) visit the ...
bonfires

bonfires  

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Throughout recorded history, it has taken very little persuasion to get English people to make a bonfire. Not only do fires appear regularly as an integral part of certain calendar customs such as ...
book (divination with)

book (divination with)  

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A well-attested way of finding out one's short-term future, especially for a particular venture, is to open a book at random and read the first words which come to your eye. Some references stipulate ...
Christmas

Christmas  

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Religion
The commemoration of Christ's nativity. The earliest mention of its being celebrated on 25 Dec. is in the Philocalian Calendar, which represents Roman practice in 336. The date was probably chosen to ...
Christmas cards

Christmas cards  

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These emerged in the mid 19th century, combining an older custom of sending New Year verses to friends with the new emphasis on Christmas. The first was designed by John Calcott Horsley, at the ...
Christmas presents

Christmas presents  

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Essential to the modern Christmas, these came to the fore in the 1840s and 1850s, replacing a much older tradition of New Year gifts between adults which by then was in decline. The rapid upsurge of ...
Christmas superstitions

Christmas superstitions  

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Most regional collections report a belief that at midnight on Christmas Eve cattle kneel to welcome the Holy Child, and bees buzz, or hum the Hundredth Psalm (e.g. Harland and Wilkinson, 1882: 253). ...
clothing

clothing  

What one wears is taken by others as an essential signal of status. The proverb is recorded in English from the early 15th century, but an earlier saying in classical Greek is, ‘the man is his ...
coal

coal  

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Carbon-rich mineral deposit formed from the remains of fossil plants. These are deposited initially as peat, but burial and increase in temperatures at depth bring about physical and chemical ...
Easter

Easter  

The most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ and held (in the Western Church) between 21 March and 25 April, on the first Sunday after the ...
eggnog

eggnog  

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Hot, sweetened milk with an egg and brandy or sherry mixed in.
fire

fire  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
One of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology (considered essential to the nature of the signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius).fire and brimstone torment in hell; often ...
foot

foot  

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n. the terminal organ of the lower limb. From a surgical point of view, the human foot comprises the seven bones of the tarsus, the five metatarsal bones, and the phalangeal bones plus the ...
hawthorn

hawthorn  

In Britain, it was traditionally believed that bringing hawthorn blossom, or may, into the house was unlucky.
hobby Horse

hobby Horse  

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A model of a horse or a horse's head, typically of wicker, used in morris dancing or pantomime; traditionally, the framework was fastened about the waist of one of the morris dancers, so that the ...
hoglers

hoglers  

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A puzzle for scholars for years, and their exact nature and role is only now becoming clear. In many surviving parish records, particularly churchwardens' accounts, from the 15th, to early 17th ...
Japanese American Food

Japanese American Food  

In the history of Japanese immigration to America, foodways have represented both stable identity and economic, political, and cultural change. Foods are most commonly related to family rather than ...
love divination

love divination  

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Of all the varieties of divination in English folklore, by far the most common is concerned with love, courtship, and marriage, and most regional collections include several examples. Love ...
midnight

midnight  

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Midnight appointment in US politics, an appointment made during the last hours of an administration, originally with particular reference to those made by the 2nd President John Adams (1735–1826) in ...
Molly dancing

Molly dancing  

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A customary dance tradition performed by men at the Christmas/New Year/Plough Monday season in East Anglia in the 19th century and up to about the Second World War. It therefore comes under the ...

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