The Forgotten History of Caroling

Christmas carols are almost as old as Christianity itself, but the custom of going house-to-house caroling dates to the Middle Ages.

In feudal England, where lords in castles would rule over lands farmed by serfs, the custom of wassailing arose.  The word “wassail” comes from an Anglo-Saxon greeting that means “Be in good health,” and to ensure good health in the new year, groups of peasants would serenade and give blessings to their lord on Twelfth Night—the final night of the traditional Christmas celebration.

In turn, the lord would bless them with gifts and food, such as a wassail cider or figgy pudding, which was centuries later immortalized in the carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”   

Dan O'Donnell

Dan O'Donnell

Common Sense Central is edited by WISN's Dan O'Donnell. Dan provides unique conservative commentary and analysis of stories that the mainstream media often overlooks. Read more


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