Only thirty six days and thirty seven more posts to go! Am I the only one counting down the seconds? Welcome to month twelve, the last full month of The Everyday Lore Project. Now, according to a Richard Saunders (quoted in The Oxford Companion to the Year. An Exploration of Calendar Customs and Time-Reckoning), December is the month where Phlegm and Melancholy increase, which sounds lovely. However he does go on to say ‘Drink often Wine this month’ (p.481) so maybe we shouldn’t complain too much.
As much as I would like to ignore Christmas, it is looming large with its insane amount of folklore, calendar customs, and personal traditions. So now more than ever, given I have so little time left, I need your help to figure out how I should spend my last days of the project. Who knew that after all this time, #FolkloreFOMO would still be a thing?
So what December folklore can you recommend? It doesn’t have to be Christmas themed, after all there are a lot of other things going on this month like Hanukkah, the solstice, Yule, my last full moon, New Year’s Eve… Have you hung up your baubles already, or do you wait for the 24th? Do you fashion an ashen faggot for your fire? Do you go naked revelling on Saturnalia? What about dressing up as Krampus and going for a run? Or do you manically start your tax return? Or is that just me?
Here’s a looksee at some of what I do have coming up:
13 December – Tree dressing ceremony
20 December – Spoon bending
24 December – Watching It’s A Wonderful Life while frantically wrapping presents, and crying when George gets boxed on his bad ear by Mr Gower, finds Zuzu’s petals, and the whole last ten minutes
Please make liberal use of the website’s comment function or ping me an email if you have thoughts on what I can do, plus you can also follow and tweet me @lilithepunk and through the hashtags #EverydayLore and #FolkloreFOMO on Twitter. And if you fancy it, why not subscribe and get these last few days of folklore straight into your inbox. You know it makes sense, there’s far too much going on these days to remember to check in.
Blackburn, B. and Holdford-Strevens, L. (2003) The Oxford Companion to the Year. An Exploration of Calendar Customs and Time-Reckoning, Oxford, Oxford University Press
Chambers, R. (ed) (2004) The Book of Days, A Miscellany of POPULAR ANTIQUITIES in connection with THE CALENDAR including, ANECDOTE, BIOGRAPHY, & HISTORY CURIOSITIES of LITERATURE and ODDITIES of HUMAN LIFE and CHARACTER, Edinburgh, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd
Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Day, B. (1998) A Chronicle of Folk Customs, London, Hamlyn
Hannan, J. (Editorial Director) (2018) Here’s One I Made Earlier, Classic Blue Peter Makes, London, Kyle Books
Kightly, C. (1994) The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, London, Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Jones, J. and Deer, B. (1987) Cattern Cakes and Lace, London, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Leendertz, L. (2019) The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2020, London, Mitchell Beazley
Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books