Christmas caroling — going door-to-door or standing on a nook singing pretty Christmas songs, ideally in Victorian garb — is at present primarily regarded as an enthralling and innocent signal that Christmas is close to. However in actuality, it has a very attention-grabbing historical past — one which’s hinted at by a lesser-known phrase for caroling: wassailing.
Wassail (pronounces WOSS-ul), one other title for decent mulled cider, can hint the roots of its title to the Outdated Norse time period ves heil and Outdated English was hál, which means “be wholesome!” The center ages customized of “wassailing” concerned peasants going to the properties of their feudal lords and receiving wassail and meals in return for a blessing (inspiring songs together with “Right here We Come A-Wassailing” and “We Want You A Merry Christmas”), which in flip impressed the custom of going door to door singing Christmas carols.
It sounds harmless sufficient, however often wassailing would devolve into bands of drunk males banging on the doorways of rich townsfolk and demanding free meals and drinks.
Humorous to suppose that when the earliest carolers sang “Now deliver us some figgy pudding,” they really meant it! It is simply considered one of many bizarre Christmas traditions from world wide.