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  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 3,284
    I do love traditional carols/songs. That one is lovely @pansyface 🥺
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 2,012
    edited November 2020
    Pearl (Harry Styles’s great aunt, see above) our pub landlady was famously curmudgeonly. When the village carol singers turned up she dismissively remarked “Don’t bother coming back next year. Once is enough.” Ask for a glass of wine she’d curtly demand if you intended to drink the whole bottle because she wasn’t going to open it just for one glass. And her take on a white wine spritzer? A glass of wine and an alka seltzer.

    Way, way back when the pub was a raucous drinking den there was one famous occasion when a particularly drunk reveller took on a bet to see if a certain part of his anatomy would fit through the hole in a wheel back chair. “What did you do, Pearl?” she was asked. 
    “I grabbed hold of it, mi’duck, and didn’t let go. That’s what I did.”
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,756
    edited November 2020
    And then she said “Don’t bother coming back. Once was enough”.😁
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,872
    Our big Christmas tradition is the ‘pesebre vivant’ which is a live reenactment of the nativity. A nearby village has a spectacular one, in addition to the candlelit procession - Mary riding through the village on a donkey led by Joseph, the three kings, traditional readings and songs and the all the villagers following the parade -  it has the stable scene, craft stalls evoking a carpenter’s workshop and other activities of the time, the fisherman on the nearby river, shepherds leading their woolly flock, a local damsel minding her chickens. Sadly cancelled this year for obvious reasons but normally all generations, even surly teenagers, participate.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,756
    That sounds like a wonderful thing to see, Nollie.

    Is it only in a few places or is it quite widespread in Catalunya?  Does it take place on a particular day?  Is it an honour to be selected to take part one year  (a bit like our May Queen) or do the same families perform it each year as part of their village tradition? 

    Does the established church approve of it or is it a bit “off grid”?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,683
    Not being local I've done a bit of research.   First thing to know is the Vendé, until about 30 years ago, was famously rural, backward, poor and Catholic but it also has a strong prehistoric presence with dolmens and circles and so on and they had a strong tradition of celebrating the passing of the winter solstice with activities designed to re-affirm  social ties - feasting, drinking, dancing and telling of legends - and solicit fertility in the soil, crops and animals.

    This morphed into feasting and dancing on Xmas Eve before heading for midnight mass and legend then developed that during the time of the midnight mass, all the stones and dolmens got up and danced and earth spirits came out.  Woe betide anyone who was abroad to see them and "lose their way" by not being present in church.  Typical playing on people's suspicious nature.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,872
    Pansyface, it’s pretty widespread and smaller ones take place in churches as well as village squares, usually a week or two before Christmas. Displays of the nativity are very popular, live and static. I know they do occur in some other parts of Spain too. The locals are very welcoming to outsiders, our Dutch neighbours were Mary and Joseph last year. I’m not in the least religious but in this very rural area in a torchlit stone village with the riverside animated by crackling log fires, it’s really rather moving and beautiful.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,756
    It sounds absolutely wonderful. So happy making. Even Obelixx’s jigging stones sound cheerful to me.😊

    It’s amazing how many places still keep the same kind of ideas alive; chasing the dark away, eating and drinking special things, singing special songs, not getting on the wrong side of whatever darker powers there might be out there, encouraging new life to lead us into a brighter future, and valuing the strength that living in a like-minded community brings.

    I think the one thing that modern life has lost is that manacle-like grip that community once had, for better or for worse.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,527
    A couple of years ago the local methodists approached the Friends of Queen's Park to ask if they could put on a peripatetic version of their usual nativity play in the park.  The FoQP were only too pleased and some of us took part.  The church had arranged to borrow a real live donkey from a nearby farm.  On the day, his handler spent an hour chasing him round the field and gave up, so we had to do without him.  Which gave me the opportunity for a paraphrase I'd long cherished but never thought I'd ever have the chance to use:  "All donkeys are equine, but some are more equine than others."
  • pitter-patterpitter-patter Posts: 1,109
    edited November 2020
    @pansyface I’ve found this interesting blog in English; it explains things much better that I did.

    Thank you for sharing the lovely carols. 
    🐾 East Midlands 🐾
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