Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Betty Vanderwielen

To carol or to wassail?


December 6, 2018

Hoag Levins/Public domain

Wassail, the drink of good wishes and holiday cheer, has been associated with Twelfth Night since the 1400s. Some people still make wassail today using a variety of recipes and invite friends to their home.

'Tis the season to go a-caroling.

The custom of going door-to-door singing to one's neighbors harkens back at least as far as the Medieval Period, though no doubt a medieval person transported to our era would have trouble recognizing the tradition.

Leaving aside the detail that few people in our modern era actually go singing door-to-door and much prefer to have carolers come to them via TV, radio, CD or iTunes, a medieval person would have called our caroling activity "wassailing." The original "Here we go a-wassailing," song was changed to "a-caroling" because few modern people know wha...

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