Academic journal article Folk Music Journal

Wassailing: Reawakening an Ancient Folk Custom

Academic journal article Folk Music Journal

Wassailing: Reawakening an Ancient Folk Custom

Article excerpt

Colin Cater and Karen Cater. Hedingham, Essex: Hedingham Fair, 2013. 252 pp. Illus.

Index. ISBN 978-0-9556475-5-0. S:16.99.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Wassailing is probably the most widespread and popular of all revival customs. Cohn Cater, who uses the term 'reawakening' rather than 'revival', has co-written with Karen Cater a comprehensive description of this folk custom. Cater divides his descriptions into two principal sections: the first, up to the mid-twentieth century; the second, the events that emerged from the folk clubs that became a feature of the general post-war folk revival. These two time periods are subdivided geographically and thus the book provides a very comprehensive description of the range of wassailing customs, especially as they exist today.

A feature of the published book that identifies it with certainty as a Hedingham Fair publication is the use and integration of illustrative material. After the early historical chapters, Cater describes wassailing as it is currently known in most of the areas in which it appears. …

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