The Pagan Origins of British Folk

Festivals & Customs

(Capall Bann Publishing Ltd 1995)


From Yuletide to Hallowe’en the progress of the year has always been marked by folk traditions, festivals and customs recording the changing seasons. Some of these events are nominally Christian because the early church adopted many of the practices and beliefs of the old pagan religions in an attempt to suppress their survival. This policy was not entirely successful and as late as the 11th century CE the Church was forced to issue edicts prohibiting the wearing of animal masks and costumes at midwinter. All over Britain seasonal customs, many originating from ancient times, are still practised by local communities to record the seasonal pattern and agricultural cycle. The Sacred Ring describes these festivals and celebrations that are a powerful reminder of the ancient past. They also provide those of us living in a technological society with a much needed link to nature and the land we inhabit.