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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

The Elizabethan did in fact celabrate the New Year with gifts and celebration, especially since it took place during Christmastide. Queen Elizabeth recieved many gifts, but also gave gifts too. Here are some she recieved:

-Gold coins in embroidered pouches
-Garments (sleeves, partlets, ruffs, forparts)
-Sweet bags (scented, usually stuffed into pillows or pomade balls to cary around)

A few notable gifts include an chess board and pieces made entirely out of marzipan, a small watch encased in a bracelet-the first wrist watch ever-given by Elizabeth's favorite courtier the Earl of Leicester, perfumed gloves, and gold toothpicks!

The Queen in return would give a silver cover cup of a particular weight, delivered by messenger, or picked up on a voucher.

Among ordinary folk, gifts may include oranges, a bunch of rosemary, brooches, marzipan, and wine.

Prosperous citizens may send gifts of fowl or rabbits to the mayor, who will provide a feast in return. In one account, the earl of Northumberland was awakened on New Year's morning by minstrels, followed by a fanfare of trumpets. He received his gifts, and then gave gifts to his household. He held a feast at noon, processing into the Hall in great state. He then watched a play followed by a bergomask, interspersed with pageants.

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