This book shows how holidays magnify the daily activities of early modern life in England. Things like cooking, making holiday clothes, and preparing the household were not necessarily special and different in contrast to the rest of the year, but were amplifications of everyday experiences. The book argues that the English people in the early modern period magnified their daily activities during holidays and recounting these activities in their folklore. Magnified socio-economic, gendered, and even ageist tensions of the writers as well as among the people of whom they write. These tales are told through several forms; for instance in letters, diaries, witchcraft trial pamphlets, chronicles, and folklore, which are the primary source documents that are examined.
1. Foreword by Randi Eldevik; 2. Harvest the Rent and Sing with the Landlord: Identity Through Socio-Economic Practices; 3. Steam the Pudding and Wrap the Present: Holiday Practices of Giving and Receiving; 4. Physical Gift-Giving; 5. Gifts of Social Ranking; 6. Feasting; 7. Misbehave Under the Maypole and Stoke the Fire - Holiday Sports and Entertaining Activities; 8. The Lord of Misrule and Carnival; 9. May Day and Maying; 10. Sow the Debts and Buy the Cloth - Business Transactions as Holiday Practices.