|Medieval Mummers, from the Folklore series of UK Royal Mail stamps, 1981|
Herbert Halpert and GM Story: Christmas Mumming in Newfoundland: Essays In Anthropology, Folklore and History, 1969
Don't be fooled by those dainty hand-on-hip poses. Fifteenth-century revelry during the 12 days of Christmas meant the masked and costumed mummers (versions of which exist worldwide throughout history) not only acting out genteel folk dramas and parading through the streets, but also getting up to all kinds of mischief, drunken loutishness, crime and violence. Nothing changes then - it's just the costumes aren't as good.