Lord of Misrule


The Twelve Days of Christmas & The Lord of Misrule

The history is fascinatingly wide and varied and generally all about the party!  In our Twelve Days of Christmas set, there are different aromatic tealights for each day. We suggest that you take inspiration from history in whatever manner appeals to your sense of mischief, appoint your own Lord/Lady of Misrule each night to light the candle and dictate the evenings festivities! The more recent origins of the Twelve Days seems to be confusing as far as dates are concerned some accounts being centred around the birth of Jesus on the 25th culminating with the twelfth day on the 6th and some being centred around All Hallows Eve (Halloween), culminating in Twelfth Night.  Whichever dates you appropriate,  a King or Lord of Misrule was appointed to run the festivities and the twelfth night signified the end of his reign.  The origins of this can be traced back to the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.   Saturnalia was a festival of light leading up to the winter solstice, accompanied with a mass of candles, symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth.

In both the Christian and Roman celebrations, a man was chosen, as a mock King to oversee the festival; whatsoever The Lord Of Misrule dictated, however absurd and chaotic, had to be obeyed, largely pertaining to gambling, partying and presents. Gift giving (Sigillaria) in Roman times was on the 19th December and included candles, perfumes, lamps, cups, statues, masks, pottery and all manner of objects, with items directly measurable to the value placed by the gift giver on the receiver. Another common theme was that, the normal everyday practices were reversed with nobility paying homage to servants. The custom was abolished by King Henry VIII, restored again by Queen Mary and abolished again by Elizabeth I.  In wider Europe it was suppressed by the Council of Basle in 1431, all largely due to the revelry being considered to becoming inappropriate to the more moderate views the Church wished to adopt.