The court of Alfred the Great was Christian, deferring to the Pope in Rome for religious guidance. King Alfred rigorously enforced the Church’s mandates from fasting during Lent to Almsgiving throughout the year, and not just at Christmastime.
There was merrymaking and feasting, but it was also a solemn occasion; prayer and attending Mass was foremost since the holiday celebrates the birth of Christ.
One must not forget the food. Meats included beef, pork, turkey, and boar. Available vegetables were carrots, onions, parsnips, and cabbage. Bread warmed on the hearth, and everything was washed down with wine, mead, and ale. Yes, there was always room for dessert with a variety of tasty pies or fruit, such as apples, plums, and cherries. And, like today, a great chef was worth their weight in gold.
Minstrels would play festive tunes, and guests would dance; gift-giving was also practiced.
Over the centuries, customs have come and gone, but the main reason for the celebration remains, celebrating the birth of Christ.
The Briton and the Dane series transports the reader to ninth-century Anglo-Saxon England, a tumultuous period in history when the feared Vikings ravaged all of Christendom. Click HERE to learn more.
About the Author
Mary Ann Bernal attended Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she received a degree in Business Administration. Her literary aspirations were ultimately realized when the first book of The Briton and the Dane novels was published in 2009. In addition to writing historical fiction, Mary Ann has also authored a collection of contemporary short stories in the Scribbler Tales series and a science fiction/fantasy novel entitled Planetary Wars Rise of an Empire. Her recent work includes Crusader’s Path, a redemption story set against the backdrop of the First Crusade, and Forgiving Nero, a novel of Ancient Rome.
Since Operation Desert Storm, Mary Ann has been a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter-writing campaigns and other support programs. She appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work. She has been a featured author on various reader blogs and promotional sites.
Mary Ann currently resides in Elkhorn, Nebraska.
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