A Regency Christmas Quiz
For this quiz, the Regency is defined as 1811-1830.
- Christmas trees lit by candles were common decorations in Regency England.
- Gift-giving was a prominent Christmas tradition in Regency times.
- The Twelve Days of Christmas began on December 26 and ended on January 6 and did not include Christmas Day because it was a solemn, holy day and not one for partying.
- Many Christmas traditions were pagan in origin.
- Although it originated as a pagan ceremony to ensure a good apple crop, wassailing became more of caroling event in the Regency.
- Christmas Pudding, or Plum Cake, contains raisins rather than plums.
- A Christmas Pudding can be made months in advance.
- Finding a thimble in your slice of Christmas Pudding means good luck for the coming year.
- Mince pie and all things Christmas were banned during Cromwell’s reign because they were considered “pagan,” but it all came back when Charles II came into power.
- Originally, mince pie was made with meat and spices and served as a main course.
- The three spices in mince pie—cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg—were meant to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Originally, the Yule Log was from the largest tree that would fit in the fireplace so it would keep burning throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas.
- “Mummers” were traveling troupes of actors who would go door-to-door offering to perform and sing for a few coins.
- In the Regency era, Christmas decorations were often left up throughout the month of January.
- Silent Night was one of the Christmas songs commonly sung in the Regency era.
- The custom of stealing kisses beneath the kissing bough, or even a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling or doorway in a place where people were certain to walk beneath it, became popular in the late eighteenth century.
- Boxing Day was a time to reward servants, tenants and tradesmen with gifts of money and/or food.
- Plough Monday, which is the Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), is when the farm laborers are called back to work after the Christmastide.
- Christmas Eve was the traditional night for wassailing.
- If your piece of King Cake contained a bean, you were crowned “King” for the night.
(from the Sweet N Sexy Divas blog contest)
Regency Researcher Extraordinaire
- False. Christmas trees did not appear until the Victorian era, when Prince Albert brought the German custom to England.
- False. It means “thrift.” Finding a wishbone means good luck.
- False. The three spices were in honor of the Three Magi who came from the Orient to honor the Christ Child.
- False. The Yule Log was the largest and tallest true and was inserted the long way into the fireplace, with the rest jutting out into the room. In the Regency era, it was a large log that would burn at least twelve hours on Christmas Day.
- False. It was bad luck to have them up past Twelfth Day (January 6th).
- False. Stille Nacht was one of many German songs that were exported to Britain during the Victorian era.
- True. Because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, it was tradition to give them the next day off to spend with their families.
- False. Twelfth Night (the evening of January 5th) was the traditional night for wassailing.
- True. Whoever got the pea was “Queen.”
About A Twelfth Night Tale
In A Twelfth Night Tale, the Barlows celebrate the holiday with their neighbors, the Livingstons, and the St. Vincents—a wealthy viscount who is courting the elder daughter Lucy and his three daughters. Andrew Livingston, who has returned wounded from the Peninsula, suffers a few pangs of jealousy as he watches the viscount’s attentiveness to the now-grown-up-and-very-desirable Lucy. Is it too late for him to stake a claim for her?