The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

St John The Evangelist

Source: Brand's Popular Antiquities Of Great Britain

W. Carew Hazlitt, Faith and Folklore: A Dictionary of National Beliefs, Superstitions and Popular Customs, Past and Current, With Their Classical and Foreign Analogues, Described and Illustrated.

Forming A New Edition of "The Popular Antiquities of Great Britain" By Brand and Ellis, Largely Extended, Corrected, Brought Down To The Present Time, and Now First Alphabetically Arranged.

In Two Volumes

London: Reeves and Turner, 1905.

Vol. 2, p. 350

The custom of giving wine on the Day of St. John the Evangelist [December 27] is noticed under St. Stephen's Day [December 26]. It appears that the common people in the Moray parish of Duffus, used to "celebrate (perhaps without thinking of the origin of the practice) St. John's Day, St. Stephen's Day, Christmas Day, &c. by assembling in large companies to play at football, and to dance and make merry. That horror at the name of holidays which was once a characteristic of the Puritans and true blue Presbyterians, never took possession of them." "Stat Account of Scotland," vol. viii., p. 399; parish of Duffus, county of Moray. I append what Naogeorgus says:

"Nexte John the sonne of Zebedee hath his appoynted day,
Who once by cruell tyraunts will, constrayned was they say
Strong poyson up to drinke, therefore the Papistes doe beleeve
That whoso puts their trust in him, no poyson them can greeve.
The wine beside that halowed is, in worshp of his name,
The Priests doe give the people that bring money for the same.
And after with the selfe same wine are little manchets made
Agaynst the boystrous winter stormes, and sundrie such like trade.
The men upon this solemne day, do take this holy wine
To make them strong, so do the maydens to make them faire and fine."

The Popist Kingdome, translated by Googe, 1570, fol. 45.

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