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    Staff Pick

    Christmas Traditions: A Celebration of Festive Lore

    A stocking-filler-sized compilation of Christmas lore, revealing the intriguing origins of the traditional festivities. Forty short pieces on individual traditions are each accompanied by charming vintage illustrations from the British Library’s collection of Christmas books, cards and ephemera.

    Origins of the Feast at Christmas

    The decision to celebrate Christ’s birthday on 25 December; the Yuletide festival of Anglo-Saxon England; Saturnalia; evergreens taken inside in midwinter; the original Captain Christmas.

    ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ – Christmas in and out of Church

    Holly symbolizing Christ’s crown of thorns; the role of Midnight Mass; European celebrations of Epiphany and the importance of the Three Kings.

    Christmas down the Ages

    Mistletoe and kissing; the Puritan ban on Christmas; the Twelve Days of Christmas; Dickens’s recipe for Twelfth Night cake.

    The Transatlantic ‘Victorian’ Christmas

    Nineteenth-century romanticisation of Christmas and invented traditions; goose clubs; advent calendars; Christmas cards and gift-giving.

    Modern Traditions

    Individual, sometimes outlandish traditions from around the world.

    Author: George Goodwin

    Brand: British Library Publishing

    Number of pages: 128 pages, with 60+ illustrations

    Binding: Hardback

    Dimensions: 187 x 124 mm