#22: Twelfth Night: The Holiday

Dear Friends,


Today is actually Twelfth Night, so Company Manager Noel, her staff and wonderful volunteers threw us a big party!  I’ll tell you all about it, but first, some background info: 

Some scholars believe that Twelfth Night, or What You Will, has Twelfth Night as one of its titles because it was commissioned to be performed before the Court at Whitehall Palace on Twelfth Night (January 5) of 1601.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Twelfth Night:

Twelfth Night is a holiday in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany,  concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas, and is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking”.

The celebration of Epiphany, the adoration of the Magi, is marked in some cultures by the exchange of gifts, and Twelfth Night, as the eve or vigil of Epiphany, takes on a similar significance to Christmas Eve.

In some traditions it is taken to mean the evening of the Twelfth Day itself, the sixth of January. This apparent difference has arisen probably due to the old custom of treating sunset as the beginning of the following day. Therefore, according to confluent ancient traditions of the tides of time, Twelfth Night would have been celebrated as occurring on the twelfth day as different to the present custom of celebrating the day prior.

The foods and drink are the center of the celebrations in modern times, and all of the most traditional ones go back many centuries. The punch called wassail is consumed especially on Twelfth Night, but throughout Christmas time, especially in the UK. Around the world, special pastries, such as the tortell and king cake are baked on Twelfth Night, and eaten the following day for the Feast of the Epiphany celebrations. In English and French custom, the Twelfth-cake was baked to contain a bean and a pea, so that those who received the slices containing them should be designated king and queen of the night’s festivities.

In some countries, and in the Catholic religion worldwide, the Twelfth Night and Epiphany marks the start of the Carnival season, which lasts through Mardi Gras.


So in the tradition of EATING, we ATE.  Noel & Co. prepared a feast:

Beef Stew, King’s Cake (direct from New Orleans), Polish Sausage, Pulled Pork, Fruit, Veggies, Chips, Dip, Sweets, Hot Apple Cider and more.

We also had our very own Lord of Misrule: Volunteer Bob Ashmore, who was a marvelous Master of Ceremonies.  In addition to stuffing our faces, we watched a skit performed by talented members of the Junior Board, learned (and attempted to execute) a traditional square dance, and had a drawing for kitchy prizes including paperweights and ashtrays.  I won a paperweight, myself, although it’s more like a doorstop, weighing in at close to TEN POUNDS.  And it’s crystal clear with little fishies trapped inside.  And it’s about the size of a football.  How have I gone so long without one?

As for the King’s Cake (which was delicious), a tiny plastic baby was hidden inside, the tradition being that whoever received the slice containing the baby (and hopefully didn’t choke on it) must host the next party.  Our illustrious director, Paula Suozzi, found the baby.  When I hear when the party is, I’ll let you know.

And yes, the little plastic baby was totally creepy.

I’ll keep you posted,


ps. Thanks again to the following volunteers:

Georgia and Tom Houle                     

Deviled Eggs

Bob Ashmore

South of the Border Beef Stew/Lord of Misrule

Jessie Moffat

Wassail (cider)

Marcy Kearns

King’s cake

Lady Mum (Sharon Kearns)

Veggies – complete with Mardi Gras colors!

Kristin Godfrey

Pulled pork sandwiches

Carrie Van Hallgren

Cookies and Polish Sausage

Jenny Gluekstein

Dancing instruction

Lisa Petrillo


Maddy Major


Bob and Linda Muselman

Bite size Italian sausages in red sauce with fresh Italian bread and butter

Bruce and Sally Kehl

Veggies and fruit

  Greg and Bibi Rosner        Desserts

Adam Jacobi                            Chips



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