The fascinating origins of the Christmas carol

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Origins of the Christmas carol: Carols were first performed in the pre-Christian era as pagan songs sung at Winter Solstice.

Early hymns: The first Christmas hymn of the Christian Church is believed to be 'Angels Hymn,' composed in 129 CE.

Piae Cantiones: As more carols became available to the wider public in paper form, the 15th century.

Medieval carols: Other popular carols that have their origins in the late medieval period include 'Coventry Carol' and 'O magnum mysterium.

Wassailing: In the early 15th century in England, incantations were being recited by groups of wassailers.

'Boar's Head Carol': One of the oldest printed carols is the 'Boar's Head Carol.' Composed in 1521.

The Christmas carol tradition develops: In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi began hosting his Nativity plays in Italy.

Warmly welcomed: The Lutheran reformation warmly welcomed Christmas music, so much so that the German priest and theologian.

Medieval carols: Other popular carols that have their origins in the late medieval period include 'Coventry Carol' and 'O magnum mysterium.

'Good King Wenceslas': Among the carols included in Piae Cantiones is an early version of 'Good King Wenceslas.

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