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The Tudor Society
  • New Year in Tudor Times

    As today is New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d share with you some resources for learning more about how the New Year was marked in Tudor times…

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  • New Year and New Year Gifts

    Happy New Year to you all and let’s raise our glasses to another year jam-packed with Tudor history!

    In the medieval and Tudor periods, New Year was the traditional time for gifts to be exchanged between the monarch and nobles. Here are two Claire Chats talks I did on this topic:

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  • Sausages, sponges and silver: Modern New Year vs Roman Saturnalia

    Following on from yesterday’s article Io! Io! Io! Modern Christmas vs Roman Saturnalia, we have another article from Kevin Butcher, Professor of Roman History at Warwick University. If you’ve been watching our Tudor Society Advent Calendar videos, you’ll know that I mentioned Saturnalia in the talk I did on the Lord of Misrule tradition, and this article is interesting because the Tudor monarchs and nobility followed the Roman tradition of gift-giving at New Year.

    Ancient Romans celebrated the start of the New Year as part of a winter festival called Saturnalia – with sausages, sponges and silver given as gifts, alongside human sacrifice.
    Kevin Butcher, Professor of Roman history at the University of Warwick says that it was a time of the year known for inclusivity and role-reversal as well as riotous partying and the exchange of weird and wonderful gifts as New Year presents.
    Romans would make prayers and sacrifices to the gods, sometimes even human, in the hope of gaining the gods’ favour
    Before being moved to 1st January in 153 BC, the Roman New Year began on 1st March.

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  • The ceremony of the New Year’s gifts – video

    In today’s Claire Chats I talk about the origin of the medieval and Tudor custom of New Year gift-giving, the ceremony associated with the monarch receiving gifts and the other traditions associated with New Year – enjoy! Happy New Year and a big thank you for all your support and encouragement in 2015.

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  • Tudor New Year Gifts Video

    Claire discusses the New Year gift rolls of the Tudor monarchs.

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  • Tudor Life January 2015

    New Year Magazine with a huge 70 pages of Tudor madness!

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