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A Medieval Christmas

My novels Lions of the Grail and The Waste land take place in medieval Ireland and, as Christmas time approaches, sometimes I'm asked what Christmas would have been like for Richard Savage and the other characters from the books in their time. 
Most people are aware that Christmas would have been different in medieval times. However a lot of our modern traditions reach right back to at least seven hundred years ago, perhaps even further. However, as is often said, “the past is a different country”, and they can appear in slightly different guises. I’ve written before about the rather frightening Nordic Christmas traditions but this post will concentrate on what was going on seven centuries ago in British Isles at this time of year. We are lucky enough to have a picture of what Christmas was like, at least for the elite of society, the lords and ladies in their castles, as a unique piece of writing that includes these details has survived.
The poem now known as “Sir Gawain and the…

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