Through myth, fairy tale and legend, powerful women are depicted as dark, cruel and calculating, and they are often naturally associated with winter – a season where all warmth withdraws, and the land is covered with snow and ice, and life is no more than a battle of survival against the elements.
The appearance of a Turkish knight, Beelzebub, and a horse’s skull mark out a centuries old winter tradition in rural communities across Britain.
Christmas is over, New Year has been well and truly celebrated, and most of us are back at work by January 4th at the latest. All we have to look forward to is the rest of January, a month which is cold, dark and devoid of any reason for fun and games. But what about Epiphany? The rest of world enjoys hearty festivities on this day so why are we Brits so ignorant of its importance? Let’s break out the Prosecco again and take a look. And maybe start a petition to Bring Back Epiphany!
Plants play a major part in the many customs surrounding the Christmas festivities. The Yule log for example, was essentially associated with Christmas Eve, for on the evening of that day it was traditional to transport the log to the fireplace, ignite it and allow it to burn for at least 12 hours if ill-luck was to be avoided.
Who is la Befana, the Italian Christmas witch?