WHERE: London, England
WHEN: 08 January 2023
In England, the Epiphany is not celebrated. But if you are on vacation during this period, don’t worry. Every year, on the first or second Sunday of January, Twelfth Night is celebrated, an event that takes place in the Bankside area of London.
The celebration is quite young but, in reality, its roots are well rooted in good weather, bringing together ancient customs and characters from the popular and folk tradition.
At one time, it was celebrated to bid farewell to the last moment of leisure before returning to the labors of the fields.
The event is also the right occasion to end the Christmas and New Year celebrations in the best possible way, and to put all the decorations aside. In fact, the British believe it is bad luck to keep them too long!
Photo ©, Garry Knight
Dances, songs, dances. A suggestive procession. And, for the occasion, a special cake, which contains a bean and a pea: the two lucky ones who find them in their own slice will be acclaimed King and Queen of the event!
The event takes place in London, in the Bankside area, the borough of Southwark near the Thames, between Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge.
The area is perfectly accessible by public transport. London Blackfriars is a Thameslink and Southeastern railway stop. You can also get to Blackfriars on the London Tube Circle and District Line.
From this link, all the information on how to get around London.
The Holly Man is transported from Beelzebu along the banks of the Thames, accompanied by wassailers and mimes who act alongside other characters in masks and costumes.
Dances, dances, and games follow. Eventually the cakes will be distributed and the lucky ones who find the pea and the bean will be proclaimed King and Queen.
The procession continues through Borough Market to George Inn Southwark. Between dances, don’t forget to toast with wassail, a kind of hot and spicy cider typical of this period.
The Twelfth Night takes place this year on Sunday 08 December 2023, starting at 14:00.
As per tradition, the event is totally free and there is no ticket purchase.
*All contents are purely indicative. Before attending the event, please consult the official website.
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