Saturday, December 17, 2011

Twelve Days of Tudor Christmas: Mumming

Day Five of our Twelve Days of Tudor Christmas will focus on Mumming. Mumming, or Mummer's Plays, was a common entertainment during the Christmas season. Mummers would usually dress in a guise a perform a play, sometime with a religious allegorical undertone. Common characters in these plays would be Saint George, Robin Hood, a Turkish Knight and Slasher (both opponents of St. George) and later, Father Christmas.

The players would wear costumes which disguised them. They would then go from house to house, or perform in the streets. Mummers would often ask the crowd for money. It was apparently a very lucrative profession, sometimes raising an entire months wages in one night!

Mumming is originally thought to have come to England from Ireland. Like many of our Christmas traditions, it has evolved through time and still practiced today! Pin It


  1. This is interesting, as my son and I have spent the past several days researching Christmas in Ireland and our sources report that mumming was brought in from England by Henry II. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing! Living in the States, I had never really heard of "Mumming" before. It is very interesting, and something I would love to see in person.