For many one of the joys of Christmas is the pantomime. And before anyone shouts out “Oh no it isn’t!” or some other predictable line from the audience, it is not the modern panto but the traditional version which concerns us here.
This is a ‘tradition’ which dates back to at least the late 13th century, for there is documented evidence of Edward I’s daughter being entertained by “Mummers of the court”. As a word ‘mummer’ is thought to come from Old High German and mean ‘disguised one’. Such disguises were required for the tradition of the Mumming Play, a story involving St George, the dragon, one Captain Slasher, a Turkish knight, King of Egypt, a doctor and men-at-arms.
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