Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, by Clement A. Miles, , at sacred-texts.com
The Origin and Purpose of Festivals—Ideas suggested by Christmas—Pagan and Christian Elements—The Names of the Festival—Foundation of the Feast of the Nativity—Its Relation to the Epiphany—December 25 and the Natalis Invicti—The Kalends of January—Yule and Teutonic Festivals—The Church and Pagan Survivals—Two Conflicting Types of Festival—Their Interaction—Plan of the Book.
Ancient Latin Hymns, their Dogmatic, Theological Character—Humanizing Influence of Franciscanism—Jacopone da Todi's Vernacular Verse—German Catholic Poetry—Mediaeval English Carols.
The French Noël—Latin Hymnody in Eighteenth-century France—Spanish Christmas Verse—Traditional Carols of Many Countries—Christmas Poetry in Protestant Germany—Post-Reformation Verse in England—Modern English Carols.p. 8
Advent and Christmas Offices of the Roman Church—The Three Masses of Christmas, their Origin and their Celebration in Rome—The Midnight Mass in Many Lands—Protestant Survivals of the Night Services—Christmas in the Greek Church—The Eastern Epiphany and the Blessing of the Waters—The Presepio or Crib, its Supposed Institution by St. Francis—Early Traces of the Crib—The Crib in Germany, Tyrol, &c.—Cradle-rocking in Mediaeval Germany—Christmas Minstrels in Italy and Sicily—The Presepio in Italy—Ceremonies with the Culla and the Bambino in Rome—Christmas in Italian London—The Spanish Christmas—Possible Survivals of the Crib in England.
Origins of the Mediaeval Drama—Dramatic Tendencies in the Liturgy—Latin Liturgical Plays—The Drama becomes Laicized—Characteristics of the Popular Drama—The Nativity in the English Miracle Cycles—Christmas Mysteries in France—Later French Survivals of Christmas Drama—German Christmas Plays—Mediaeval Italian Plays and Pageants—Spanish Nativity Plays—Modern Survivals in Various Countries—The Star Singers, &c.
The Church and Superstition—Nature of Pagan Survivals—Racial Origins—Roman Festivals of the Saturnalia and Kalends—Was there a Teutonic Midwinter Festival?—The Teutonic, Celtic, and Slav New Year—Customs attracted to Christmas or January 1—The Winter Cycle of Festivals—Rationale of Festival Ritual: (a) Sacrifice and Sacrament, (b) The Cult of the Dead, (c) Omens and Charms for the New Year—Compromise in the Later Middle Ages—The Puritans and Christmas—Decay of Old Traditions.p. 9
All Saints' and All Souls' Days, their Relation to a New Year Festival—All Souls' Eve and Tendance of the Departed—Soul Cakes in England and on the Continent—Pagan Parallels of All Souls'—Hallowe'en Charms and Omens—Hallowe'en Fires—Guy Fawkes Day—“Old Hob,” the Schimmelreiter, and other Animal Masks—Martinmas and its Slaughter—Martinmas Drinking—St. Martin's Fires in Germany—Winter Visitors in the Low Countries and Germany—St. Martin as Gift-bringer—St. Martin's Rod.
St. Clement's Day Quests and Processions—St. Catherine's Day as Spinsters' Festival—St. Andrew's Eve Auguries—The Klöpfelnächte—St. Nicholas's Day, the Saint as Gift-bringer, and his Attendants—Election of the Boy Bishop—St. Nicholas's Day at Bari—St. Lucia's Day in Sweden, Sicily, and Central Europe—St. Thomas's Day as School Festival—Its Uncanny Eve—“Going a-Thomassin'.”
Christkind, Santa Klaus, and Knecht Ruprecht—Talking Animals and other Wonders of Christmas Eve—Scandinavian Beliefs about Trolls and the Return of the Dead—Traditional Christmas Songs in Eastern Europe—The Twelve Days, their Christian Origin and Pagan Superstitions—The Raging Host—Hints of Supernatural Visitors in England—The German Frauen—The Greek Kallikantzaroi.
The Log as Centre of the Domestic Christmas—Customs of the Southern Slavs—The Polaznik—Origin of the Yule Log—Probable Connection with Vegetation-cults or Ancestor-worship—The Souche de Noël in France—Italian and German Christmas Logs—English Customs—The Yule Candle in England and Scandinavia.p. 10
The Christmas-tree a German Creation—Charm of the German Christmas—Early Christmas-trees—The Christmas Pyramid—Spread of the Tree in Modern Germany and other Countries—Origin of the Christmas-tree—Beliefs about Flowering Trees at Christmas—Evergreens at the Kalends—Non-German Parallels to the Christmas-tree—Christmas Decorations connected with Ancient Kalends Customs—Sacredness of Holly and Mistletoe—Floors strewn with Straw—Christmas and New Year Gifts, their Connection with the Roman Strenae and St. Nicholas—Present-giving in Various Countries—Christmas Cards.
Prominence of Eating in the English Christmas—The Boar's Head, the Goose, and other Christmas Fare—Frumenty, Sowens, Yule Cakes, and the Wassail Bowl—Continental Christmas Dishes, their Possible Origins—French and German Cakes—The Animals' Christmas Feast—Cakes in Eastern Europe—Relics of Animal Sacrifice—Hunting the Wren—Various Games of Sacrificial Origin.
English Court Masking—“The Lord of Misrule”—The Mummers' Play, the Sword-Dance, and the Morris Dance—Origin of St. George and other Characters—Mumming in Eastern Europe—The Feast of Fools, its History and Suppression—The Boy Bishop, his Functions and Sermons—Modern Survivals of the Boy Bishop.
Horse Customs of St. Stephen's Day—The Swedish St. Stephen—St. John's Wine—Childermas and its Beatings.p. 11
Principle of New Year Customs—The New Year in France, Germany, the United States, and Eastern Europe—“First-footing” in Great Britain—Scottish New Year Practices—Highland Fumigation and “Breast-strip” Customs—Hogmanay and Aguillanneuf—New Year Processions in Macedonia, Roumania, Greece, and Rome—Methods of Augury—Sundry New Year Charms.
The Twelfth Cake and the “King of the Bean”—French Twelfth Night Customs—St. Basil's Cake in Macedonia—Epiphany and the Expulsion of Evils—The Befana in Italy—The Magi as Present-bringers—Greek Epiphany Customs—Wassailing Fruit-trees—Herefordshire and Irish Twelfth Night Practices—The “Haxey Hood” and Christmas Football—St. Knut's Day in Sweden—Rock Day—Plough Monday—Candlemas, its Ecclesiastical and Folk Ceremonies—Farewells to Christmas.
By Albrecht Dürer.