Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain

Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain

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By (author) Ronald Hutton

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  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Format: Paperback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 38mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 15 February 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192854488
  • ISBN 13: 9780192854483
  • Illustrations note: 1 figure, 5 maps
  • Sales rank: 122,974

Product description

Comprehensive and engaging, this colourful study covers the whole sweep of ritual history from the earliest written records to the present day. From May Day revels and Midsummer fires, to Harvest Home and Hallowe'en, to the twelve days of Christmas, Ronald Hutton takes us on a fascinating journey through the ritual year in Britain. He challenges many common assumptions about the customs of the past, and debunks many myths surrounding festivals of the present, to illuminate the history of the calendar year we live by today.

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Author information

Ronald Hutton is Reader in History at the University of Bristol.

Review quote

a fascinating volume, which any future study of calendar rituals - or of 'pagan residues' in popular culture - will have to take into account. Margaret Cormack, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies, 2000. Students of religion will be impressed by the ample evidence the book provides, not for the survival of pagan religious practices in a Christian era, but for the survival of Catholic practices in a Protestant one. Margaret Cormack, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies, 2000. Well produced and written in a pleasing style, it is a rich source of information about late-medieval calendar customs whose scope extends far beyond the Middle Ages. Stations of the Sun belongs in the reference collection of any college library. Margaret Cormack, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies, 2000. a tour de force from one of the liveliest and most wide-ranging of practising English historians this unfailingly stimulating, learned and engaging book places a relatively neglected aspect of English social history firmly on the map. Eamon Duffy, TLS

Table of contents

1. The Origins of Christmas ; 2. The Twelve Days ; 3. The Trials of Christmas ; 4. Rites of Celebration and Reassurance ; 5. Rites of Purification and Blessing ; 6. Rites of Hospitality and Charity ; 7. Mummers' Play and Sword Dance ; 8. Hobby-Horse and Hord Dance ; 9. Misrul ; 10. The Reinvention of Christmas ; 11. Speeding the Plough ; 12. Brigid's Night ; 13. Candlemas ; 14. Valentines ; 15. Shrovetide ; 16. Lent ; 17. The Origins of Easter ; 18. Holy Week ; 19. An Egg ad Easter ; 20. The Easter Holidays ; 21. England and St George ; 22. Beltane ; 23. The May ; 24. May Games and Whitsun Ales ; 25. Morris and Marian ; 26. Rogatide and Pentecost ; 27. Royal Oak ; 28. A Merrie May ; 29. Corpus Christi ; 30. The Midsummer Fires ; 31. Sheep, Hay, and Rushes ; 32. First Fruits ; 33. Harvest Home ; 34. Wakes, Revels, and Hoppings ; 35. Samhain ; 36. Saints and Souls ; 37. The Modern Hallowe'en ; 38. Blood Month and Virgin Queen ; 39. Gunpowder Treason ; 40. Conclusion