No, I haven’t gone mad and I’m not drunk, I just felt that it was my civic responsibility to alert you to the risk of goblins today.
Now I know that the shops have been full of Easter eggs since New Year [sigh…], but the Christmas season does not officially end until the Feast of Candlemas, or the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, which is today.
“What’s that got to do with goblins?”, I hear you ask. Well, here’s a poem from the 17th-century poet, Robert Herrick, “Ceremony Upon Candlemas Eve”, to explain:
“Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and misletoe ;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress’d the Christmas Hall :
That so the superstitious find
No one least branch there left behind :
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)
So many goblins you shall see.”
This poem is about making sure you take down all of your Christmas decorations – don’t leave that lurking bit of mistletoe! – on Candlemas Eve (last night) otherwise “so many goblins you shall see”. There’s still time, I’m sure it’s still 1st February somewhere in the world!
Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!
Click here to read more about Candlemas over on the Tudor Society.
Picture: Aquatint print of goblins by Francisco Goya from “Los Caprichos”, 1799. Wikipedia.