A NEW Devon-wide organisation is presenting its second event this winter: “A Westcountry Christmas” at Crediton Library (EX17 2AA) on Sunday, November 26, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
The event is for anyone with a love of Devon Christmas traditions, local carols, music or folklore will find a rich feast of songs and stories.
“A Westcountry Christmas” is being produced by the Devonshire Association’s Music and Folklore Section, DAMFS, which is a new organisation amalgamating two established groups.
It is hosted in association with The Folklore Library and Archive, which is home to the Devonshire Folklore Collection.
The event aims to provide some balance to the modern commercialism of Christmas.
You are invited to come and spend some time experiencing the joy of a traditional Devon Christmas.
Taking place in Crediton Library, the home of the Folklore Library and Archive, well-known author and curator of the Archive, Mark Norman will serve up seasonal folkloric treats with musical embellishments including local carols sung in harmony and winter folk songs.
Mark said: “We are fortunate to have hugely valuable records of our traditions in the county, and this event will be a golden opportunity to celebrate them with some talented musical performers bringing everything to life.
“These sorts of opportunities are rare in the modern world, and we look forward to seeing you there."
Co-presenting with Mark are folksingers and researchers Jacqueline Patten and Paul Wilson.
Jackie said: “It will be good to be able to present material collected in the Mid Devon area so near to where its origins are.
“Christmas was one time in the year when everyone could celebrate with family and friends, a time anticipated from one year to the next.
“It can be very easy to overlook our own traditions while being fascinated by those of places far away.”
She added: “The past shapes the future, understanding it can help us to understand how our country is evolving while it embraces traditions and customs with roots elsewhere."
Jackie was one of the main organisers of a launch event for DAMFS back in October when she introduced “A Musical Duologue” featuring the ever-popular Haldon Duo.
“A West Country Christmas” is happening on Stir Up Sunday when traditionally the cooks of each home would put aside their usual tasks for the day to whip up a pudding for Christmas Day.
“We’ll be asking what’s in a traditional pudding, what superstitions are attached and singing songs to celebrate.
“Well-known and popular food historian Dr Paul Cleave has contributed information about traditional Devonian Christmas menus, both enjoyed at home and in more high-class local establishments such as the old ‘Royal Clarence’ in Exeter.
“So come and enjoy some very local old carols from the Crediton and Sandford areas, Christmas stories and Devon Yule Traditions in an informal setting, with some light refreshments available.”
During the interval, there will be a chance to hear about some of the exciting future plans of The Devonshire Association Music and Folklore Section.
Tickets are £10 and there will be a break for light refreshments.
Numbers are limited and advance booking is advisable.