traditions – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

Blog

‘To Be Queen o’ the May’ – The History of the May Queen

In this special blog we use the remarkable photographs and illustrations contained in our Newspaper Archive to trace the tradition of the May Queen over one hundred and fifty years, as well as exploring the origins of this fascinating ritual. We start out at Wymering, just outside of Portsmouth, in 1867. It was here, in the ‘latter part of the month of merrie May’, that a May Queen was crowned. The Illustrated Times tell us that the event is looked

Continue Reading

Tags

Halloween in Communities

Halloween in communities How Halloween is viewed varies from place to place and its traditions are just as diverse. A sense of how Halloween is treated in a given place can be glimpsed in its portrayal in cinema, music, and literature. Treat yourself to a poem written on the topic by John Mayn, printed in 1805 in The Scots Magazine. A notice in the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News mentioned a Halloween tradition practised in ‘olden times’ in Scotland.   Another Halloween tradition we

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Halloween in history

Black cat

Of witches and witchcraft As we kick off our Halloween celebrations and delve into the history, contained within the newspapers, of witches and witchcraft (and supernatural beings), it is imperative that we preface this — perhaps unnecessarily — with an important disclaimer and reminder: witches, in the sense of practitioners of malevolent powers to do evil works, never existed. Those persecuted during the sixteenth century and onward were, more often than not, local healers and midwives. In 1562, Queen Elizabeth

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Valentine’s Day Throughout the Ages

Valentine’s Day in its present iteration is inexorably linked to both romantic love and commercialism. It inspires strong feelings, both for and against this day of chocolate boxes and heart-shaped cards. However, the day and its traditions have not been static. In performing a simple search for ‘Valentine’s Day’ on The British Newspaper Archive, you can start to see the ways in which the holiday — and its reception — have changed (and, occasionally, stayed the same) over the years.

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,