Wassailing, Kukeri, and Mumming Oh My!

A brief introduction to home-to-home visits at Christmas time

Jenna Goldsmith
6 min readDec 20, 2020


With each new Christmas I see, I find myself fascinated with old seasonal traditions. Whether it’s Victorian ghost stories or the pre-Christian symbols of Yule, there’s always something new to discover this time of year.

One thing I’ve learned this Christmas season is how many different old traditions there are which involve visiting neighbour’s houses on Christmas or around Christmas. Modern North Americans are likely only familiar with carolling — where groups of singers travel from house-to-house to sing festive songs and bring cheer — but there are several European traditions, some of which date back to Pre-Christian seasonal celebrations.


image via tell-a-tale.com

Also known as Mummering, the origins of this tradition are unknown, but it was widely practiced in the UK and Ireland…