ALES TO MARK IMPORTANT LIFE EVENTS.

ALES TO MARK IMPORTANT LIFE EVENTS. I had never heard of an “ale”. This wikipedia entry says: “The Parish ale was a festival in an English parish at which ale made and donated for the event was the chief drink….Thus there was the leet-ale (held on “leet”, the manorial court day); the lamb-ale (held at lamb-shearing); the Whitsun-ale (held at Whitsun), the clerk-ale, the church-ale etc. The word ‘bridal’ originally derives from bride-ale, the wedding feast organised to raise money for the couple. The bid-ale, once very common throughout England, was a benefit feast to which a general invitation was given, and all those attending were expected to make some contribution to help the object of the benefit, usually a poor person or family or some other charitable cause.”

The entry quotes an article about medieval ales in the Manchester Times from 1870: “When they had wearied themselves by exercise, the revellers returned to the replenished board; and not seldom the feast, designed to begin and end in a day, was protracted into a demoralising debauch of a week’s or even a month’s duration.”

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One Response to ALES TO MARK IMPORTANT LIFE EVENTS.

  1. Annalisa says:

    In one of my favorite works of historical fiction (Catherine, Called Buddy), th narrator, who is a teenage girl, expresses bafflement at how many different celebrations call for ale: bridal ales, birth ales, funeral ales. I can look up the quote if you like.

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