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Elizabethan Customs & Festivals

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

Elizabethan Life - Elizabethan Customs & Festivals
Elizabethan Customs & Festivals played a major role in Elizabethan Life. The Feasts, Fairs and Festivals were all held at the same time of year giving Elizabethan people something to look forward to in their everyday Elizabethan lives. The Customs and Festivals were generally related to the Church.

All Elizabethans were expected to attend Church every Sunday so were very aware of the customs and festivals which were celebrated within the Church calendar. Most of the Lower Class population were illiterate so the Church gave the people a framework to the major events of the year.

Elizabethan Customs & Festivals  - Religious Feasts, Fairs and Festivals
Feasts Fairs and Festivals were all common occurrences and were celebrated during specific times of the year most of which were dictated by the Church and religious festivals. A calendar of Elizabethan Customs & Festivals  in terms of religious feasts, fairs and festivals is detailed as follows:

January Elizabethan Customs & Festivals
Twelfth Night Religious festival and feasts celebrating the visit of the Wise Men, or Magi, following the birth of Jesus

February Elizabethan Customs & Festivals
St Valentine's Day. The Elizabethan festival celebrating love - singing, dancing and pairing games

March Elizabethan Customs & Festivals
Easter celebrated by the Mystery plays depicting the crucifixion. ( Good Friday) and the resurrection ( Easter Monday )

April Elizabethan Customs & Festivals
All Fool's Day. The Jesters, or Lords of Misrule, took charge for the day and caused mayhem with jokes and jests.

May Day Elizabethan Customs & Festivals
Summer festival celebrating May Day when a Queen of the May was chosen and villagers danced around the maypole

June Elizabethan Customs & Festivals 

Midsummer Eve, the Mummers entertained at the 'Festival of Fire' reliving legends such as St George and the Dragon. Bones were often burned leading to the term 'bonfire'. The summer Solstice was June 23rd

July Elizabethan Customs & Festivals

Swithin's Day falls on 15th July. Legend says that during the bones of St Swithin were moved and after the ceremony it began to rain and continued to do so for forty days.

August Elizabethan Customs & Festivals

Lammas Day was celebrated on August 2nd. The ' loaf-mass ' day, the festival of the first wheat harvest of the year. Houses were sometimes decorated with garlands. Candle lit processions and apple-bobbing was featured.

September Elizabethan Customs & Festivals

29th September was when Michaelmas celebrated the life of St Michael and the traditional food on Michaelmas was goose or chicken

October Elizabethan Customs & Festivals

October 25th celebrating St Crispin's Day. Revels and bonfires and people acted as 'King Crispin'

November Elizabethan Customs & Festivals

The Day of the Dead - All Souls Day or All Hallow's Day ( Halloween ) when revels were held and bonfires were lit

December Elizabethan Customs & Festivals

The feasts and Christmas celebrations

Elizabethan Life
Elizabethan Era Index

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