The festivities of Twelfth Night were the most lavish of the year, featuring a great feast with bonfires, plays, music, dancing, and wassailing. The ancient custom of wassailing involved making twelve fires of straw and drinking toasts of cider or ale.
A mock king, called the King of Beans, or Lord of Misrule, was elected by lot: The person getting the slice of the Twelfth Night Cake with a bean in it was elected sovereign for the day. In some places, these kings and queens placed white crosses in the rafters to exclude hobgoblins, witches and bugs.
Conclude your holiday season on a high note by joining the Bergen County Historical Society at Historic New Bridge Landing from 2 to 5 Pm on Sunday, January 9 for a celebration of Twelfth Night. We ask members and guests to bring a favorite food or drink to share in an afternoon of celebration and New Year cheer. At 4 PM, historian Kevin Wright will lead a tour of the Demarest and Steuben Houses. Free.