In the mid -17th century, it is believed that Oliver Cromwell and his parliamentary forces decided to cleanse the country of its wasteful, Christmas merriments and put a ban on anyone celebrating the holiday.
He believed it was an un-necessary celebration that threatened Christian beliefs and as you can imagine, this decision wasn’t very popular with the general public. This war on peoples Christmas frivolities lasted until 1660, when the decision was overturned and mince pies and holly were no longer banished.
Before this unpopular decision, Christmas markets and had been commonplace in the UK, selling food stuffs and products related to Christmas.
The Lincoln Christmas market was one of the first to be revived after this time and is still going strong today.
In the UK sometimes they are called ‘Christmas fairs/fayres’ and sometimes they are labelled ‘Christmas markets’. They are usually very similar and consist of a mix of traditional wooden market stalls selling gifts and food, usually some entertainment like music or fair rides and sometimes even an ice rink and other fun activities.
Christmas is one of those special times where you can get together with your family and friends, put the stresses of work behind you and eat/drink too much and be merry. Leading up to Christmas, a fair is a great way to begin the celebrations and find some unusual gifts that you wouldn’t find on the high street.
Here is a round up of some of the best;
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London
Winter Wonderland has it all to get you into the Christmas spirit. Get yourself warmed up with a delicious mulled wine while listening to some live music. Have a go on the fairground rides if you have a strong stomach then browse around the fairs 150 wooden stalls to find some unusual gifts for the family.
There is a circus and an ice rink if you want some more entertainment. Christmas really comes alive here and makes you feel like a kid again.
Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre
If you are in Worcester in November time then a visit to this fayre is a must. It is a little different in the way all the stallholders are dressed in traditional Victorian theme. You will see people as 19th Century ladies, gents, chimney sweeps and urchins giving it a fantastic atmosphere.
They offer a range of gifts and trinkets at the stalls and many, many different foods to munch your way through. Lots of music and small shows will be put on to keep you and the whole family entertained.
A selection of kate and toms properties in Worcester can be found on the Worcestershire property page.
Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fair
Bury St Edmunds comes alive during the 27-30th of November with 300 stalls selling gifts and local produce. Traders from around the UK and mainland Europe descend here to sell their wares.
There will be live, on-stage entertainment and an array of fairground rides. On this same date the local Cathedral also holds a Christmas fayre and there is a medieval fayre at the museum. The streets are literally alive these three days with all sorts of entertainment, it will just be hard to decide where to start.
A selection of kate and toms properties in Suffolk can be found on the Suffolk property page.
British Red Cross Christmas Fair, London
Here you can join in the festive cheer and help a great cause. It’s held at Kensington Town hall and is more of a luxury shopping experience with many upmarket gifts on sale. Items may cost a little more but that extra you spend will go to support a great charity.
Your ticket will include a glass of wine and canapés which is a deal maker for me. While you sip your wine you can peruse the 70 plus stalls and gorge on homemade mince pies.
An ideal property to stay at from kate and toms:
So whether it’s a fair/fayre or market you go to in the lead up to this years festivities, they are all fantastic places to get into the festive spirit. Remember our ancestors who couldn’t even enjoy a simple mince pie under Oliver Cromwell! So go on, reach for that second and third mince pie and glass of mulled wine, I know I’m going to!