Shannon here: Inspirational epic fantasy author, Janalyn Voigt starts a new tradition for her husband, shares a little history on the twelve days of Christmas, several Medieval recipes for romance, and a chance for 3 winners to each win an e-book copy of her debut novel, Dawnsinger. Comment on this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Nov 22nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janalyn:
Guides and Recipes to Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas
My husband is already urging me to break out the Christmas decorations. Each year, long after everyone else has packed up their ornaments until next year, he argues to keep them on our tree. Honestly, when it comes to Christmas, he’s like a kid. I love that about him, and I’ve decided he’s onto something. This year, our Christmas will be a little different. (Honey, this post is for you.)
What if Christmas could last longer than a day? Well, in medieval times it did. Christmas Day ushered in twelve days of celebration that lasted until Epiphany, or Twelfth Day (January 6th). While Christians often celebrate Advent, we tend to overlook the Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s easy to rush into the secular way of focusing on the next big thing, in this case New Years. And yet, taking our time with Christmas helps us meditate over and over on its meaning, with Christ at the center.
Three ancient feasts in the days following Christmas help us to focus on different aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus.
1. The feast of Saint Stephen on December 26 is a day for giving leftovers to the poor (as noted in the carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’). Here’s an idea for a celebration of the feast of Saint Stephen.
2. The feast of Saint John on December 27, celebrates the disciple that Jesus loved. Here is a beautiful celebration of the feast of Saint John that can be enacted with plain grape juice rather than wine, if desired.
3. The feast of Childermas (as described in the haunting Coventry Carol) takes place on December 28, in honor of the children murdered by Herod as he tried to destroy the Christ child. This feast commemorates all children who die unjustly, whether by abortion, war, or abuse. It serves to remind us with gratitude of Christ’s love and compassion for children. Here’s a moving celebration of Childermas.
Twelfth Night is a riotous celebration befitting the joy of Christmas. One Twelfth Night tradition involves the eating of a cake with a bean baked into it. The person who finds the bean sits at the high table as king or queen of the feast until midnight. Festivities focus on the visit of the Magi and the coming of the star of Bethlehem.
Epiphany commemorates the beginning of the proclamation of the gospel—Christ’s manifestation to the nations, as shown in three different events: the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the turning of water into wine.
In ancient times, the feast of Epiphany (January 6) was celebrated with more gusto than Christmas Day because it represented the culmination of the Christmas festivities with the purpose of sending Christians out to spread the joy of the gospel.
Medieval Recipe Collections
About Janalyn: When Janalyn Voigt was a child, her father read classic literature to her at bedtime, instilling in her a love of story. With a teacher’s encouragement, she decided to become a writer at the tender age of twelve.
Beginning with DawnSinger, Janalyn’s medieval epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, carries the reader into a land only imagined in dreams. Janalyn is also working on a romantic suspense novel set in a castle. She is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.
When Janalyn is not writing, she loves to find adventures in the great outdoors.
Janalyn posts interesting details from her research, travel journals, author journals, and updates about her books at her Creative Worlds website.
About the book – Dawnsinger: Trouble stirs between nations and rebellion threatens Faeraven.
When Kai returns with the supposed DawnKing, Lof Shraen Elcon cannot trust that the Elder youth truly is the prophesied deliverer. Driven to prove himself, Elcon banishes the boy and embarks on a peace-keeping campaign into the Elder lands, where he falls in love with an Elder princess betrothed to another.
Sometimes the deliverance of a nation comes only through the humility of one.
Declaring his love would shame the nations, but Elcon is torn. As war approaches, Elcon’s choices lead him on a journey of discovery that will either settle the lands or leave them mired in conflict. Can his kingdom ever be united, or will the consequences of his decisions forever tear asunder the fabric of Faeraven?
Here’s an Amazon purchase link for DawnSinger: http://www.amazon.com/Dawnsinger-Janalyn-Voigt/dp/1611162009/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1384147654&sr=8-1
Come back Nov 18th for Kimberly Johnson!