About the history of “Christmas Caroling”. The “Social Media” of another period in time.
“”The concept of carol in its origins has actually nothing to do with Christmas,” Abraham says. Medieval carols were liturgical songs reserved for processionals in the 12th and 13th centuries. And though modern carols sometimes take their form from these original carols — starting with a refrain, followed by verses of uniform structure — they’re separate entities.
The act of traveling to different homes comes from a different tradition altogether, albeit a similarly ancient one. In England, the word wassail — derived from the Old Norse ves heill meaning “be well, and in good health” — came to mean the wishing of good fortune on your neighbors. No one is quite sure when the custom began, but it did give us the song, “Here We Come-A-Wassailing” — sung as carolers wished good cheer to their neighbors in hopes of getting a gift in return. (“A Wassailing” also evolved into the popular “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” — its last verse, “Bring us some figgy pudding” stems from the wassailers’ original intent.)”—