Religious festivals marked an event of religious importance for every month of the year. The rural population of the Middle Ages had their days of rest and amusement, which were then much more numerous than at present. At that period the festivals of the Church were frequent and rigidly kept, as each of them was the pretext for a forced holiday from manual labour. A calendar of Religious other festivals are detailed as follows:
Religious Festivals in January: Twelfth Night Religious festival and feasts celebrating the visit of the Wise Men, or Magi, following the birth of Jesus.
Religious Festivals in February: St Valentine's Day. The Medieval festival celebrating love - singing, dancing and pairing games.
Religious Festivals in March: Easter celebrated by the Mystery plays depicting the crucifixion ( Good Friday) and the resurrection ( Easter Monday )
Festivals in April: All Fool's Day. The Jesters, or Lords of Misrule, took charge for the day and caused mayhem with jokes and jests!
Festivals in May: May Day was a spring festival celebrating May Day when a Queen of the May was chosen and villagers danced around the maypole
Festivals in June: Midsummer Eve, the Mummers entertained at the 'Festival of Fire' reliving legends such as St George and the Dragon. Bones were often burned leading to the term 'bonfire'. The summer Solstice was June 23rd.
Religious Festivals in July: St. Swithin's Day falls on 15th July. Legend says that during the bones of St Swithin were moved and after the ceremony it began to rain and continued to do so for forty days.
Religious Festivals in August: Lammas Day was celebrated on August 2nd. The ' loaf-mass ' day, the festival of the first wheat harvest of the year. Houses were sometimes decorated with garlands and there were candle lit processions.
Religious Festivals in September: 29th September was when Michaelmas celebrated the life of St Michael and the traditional food on Michaelmas was goose or chicken
Religious Festivals in October: October 25th celebrating St Crispin's Day. Revels and bonfires and people acted as 'King Crispin'.
Religious Festivals in November: The Day of the Dead - All Souls Day or All Hallow's Day ( Halloween ) when revels were held and bonfires were lit.
Religious Festivals in December: Christmas celebrations.