Tuesday, 19 November 2013


Mumming was also popular around Christmas time especially on Christmas Eve. Popular throughout the country and usually enacted simple stories such as King George who usually kills the Turkish Knight or the King of Egypt or some such villain. St George was the original hero but then appeared as King George, probably influenced by the reigns of the four Georges. He was usually responsible for the death of another character, usually the comic relief, but all was well at the end when a Doctor would appear and restore life to all the characters in the play.
The mummers usually followed this simple ethos of good triumphing over evil or it was the rebirth of spring at the beginning of the year. Originally pagan in origin this has been performed for at least eight hundred years and is now the only example of pre- reformation folk drama left in this country.
The Troupe of  Mummers would walk around the district visiting various houses along the way and performing in their play in the kitchen or hall of the residence, probably imbibing many pints of cider and beer along the way. So by the end of the evening many of the verses and songs would have been rather rude!

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