The church bell rang in the distance and you knew it was time…

Indeed the time had come to light a candle. Like a witchy calling signal to prepare, the robe was pulled on and the hood pulled up, the candle lit and protected in a lantern. Three deep breaths and a procession began its march up to the old Oak tree. There he stood strong and proud, arms outstretched covering the expanse below. Gathering beneath his shadow, lanterns held aloft the Mummers strum their drums. Taking a seat on a hay bale next to friends, the show began. The story of Yule played as comedy; there were wolves, thunder gods, sun gods, workmen, an Oakman, a symbolic burning and the birth of Santa.

When the Mummers had finished it was time to pass around the mead. Honey and silky it tasted divine. We gathered with our lanterns once more for the march back down the hill (to the pub), robes were shed (well it was a bit cold so some of us stayed in them to keep warm), more mead was drunk and our blessings sent forth into the air. The church bell rang in the distance and we knew it was time…

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