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The customs and ceremonies of Britain : an encyclopaedia of living traditions

Author: Charles Kightly
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Thames and Hudson, 1986.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"What must the Tichborne family do every year to avoid invoking Lady Mabella's curse? Where do men run through the streets with blazing barrels of tar on their heads? How was the old man of Braughing's life saved by some dead leaves? When is the luckiest time of year for a wedding? Who is "the Burry Man"? Throughout the British Isles, hundreds of fascinating customs and ceremonies -- many of them centuries old --  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Dictionaries
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Charles Kightly
ISBN: 0500250960 9780500250969 0500275378 9780500275375
OCLC Number: 13744876
Description: 248 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Responsibility: Charles Kightly.

Abstract:

"What must the Tichborne family do every year to avoid invoking Lady Mabella's curse? Where do men run through the streets with blazing barrels of tar on their heads? How was the old man of Braughing's life saved by some dead leaves? When is the luckiest time of year for a wedding? Who is "the Burry Man"? Throughout the British Isles, hundreds of fascinating customs and ceremonies -- many of them centuries old -- continue to be observed. Charles Kightly ... unfolds a broad and colourful tapestry of those that survive to this day -- folklore and calendar customs, royal ceremonies, remnants of life in the Middle Ages and of vanished farming ways ; the proud observances of ancient towns and the less ordered merry making of the countryside ; the festivals of the Church and the relics of deep rooted pagan beliefs ; sporting traditions ; commemorations of loved, hated or merely eccentric people ; or celebrations of deliverance from plagues and perils past. Some have found national (and international) fame -- changing the guard at Buckingham Palace, Burns night, the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, Royal Ascot. Others are mysterious customs perpetuated in the remoter corners of Britain -- Turning the devil's stone, "Burning Bartle", theMari Lwyd of South Wales and Lanark's "Whuppity Stourie" ... Charles Kightly relates the myths but also examines the known historical facts and suggests convincing explanations. Arranged alphabetically by custom, his book gives the dates, times and locations of the ceremonies, and an extensive regional index of place names also pinpoints the events in a particular area ..." -- Inside front cover.

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