According to the traditional Christian calendar, tonight marks ”Twelfth Night” or the Eve of Epiphany, the end of the 12 days of Christmas. Epiphany Eve is the traditional time to take down Christmas greenery.
Twelfth Night was a part of the year-end festivities in the British Isles and France. These celebrations originated in the Fifth Century when French and English churches created the “Feast of Fools.” Temporary Bishops and Archbishops of Fools play-acted, revelled and generally caused mischief. By the Fifteenth Century, such ceremonies were banned from church by the French government due to lewd behaviour.
Celebration of such Twelfth Night festivities by the Mid-Nineteenth Century were replaced with “Mummer Plays,” which are still performed today throughout the British Isles. The troupes of performers are known as Morris Dancers and consist of six men who dance complex steps to the accompaniment of an accordion or fiddle. One of the men is dressed as a woman and is called Maid Marian! Other characters include Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. Another man dressed in a horse-skull mask and a wide-hooped petticoat chases young women and covers them with his skirt. He is known as the hobby horse.
Stay on your seats folks, the English Theatre Club’s “Robin Hood and the Golden Honey” is back! Our Lady Marion however is enacted by a woman actress!