The Christmas Revels
England’s Mellstock Band in this year's Christmas Revels show. (Photo: Roger  Ide)

England’s Mellstock Band in this year's Christmas Revels show. Photo: Roger Ide

When the days grow short, the night long and cold, humans gather and sing — at a fireside, an advent wreath, a menorah.

For thirty-eight years — and now all around the country — crowds have been gathering for the Christmas Revels. Winter solstice dance and song and carol, from Renaissance Italy, Armenia, Georgia, Mexico, Sephardic wanderers, and America’s Underground Railway.

This year, the Revels have gone back to their roots in old England, with a tale from Thomas Hardy and the English countryside.

This hour, On Point: Winter solstice, and the Christmas Revels.

You can join the conversation. When it’s dark and cold, in the depth of winter, are you ready for some revelry? Have you done it with the Christmas revels?


With us in our studio are…

Patrick “Paddy” Swanson, artistic director of the Christmas Revels.

George Emlen, music director of the Christmas Revels.

Dave Townsend, founder of the Mellstock Band of Oxford, England. He plays the concertina.

Mary Casey, traditional singer and featured soloist with the Christmas Revels.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 6, 2015
Eric Baker, co-owner of the Mo Money Pawn Shop, poses for a photo at the shop Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Phoenix.  (AP)

American gun policy front and center in the 2016 campaigns after the shootings in Oregon. We’ll look at who stands where on guns.

Oct 6, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, photo, Dorothy McIntosh Shuemake, mother of Alison Shuemake, browses a picture collage of her daughter at her home, in Middletown, Ohio. Alison Shuemake, 18, died Aug. 26, after a suspected heroin overdose. (AP)

American addiction. From prescription painkillers to heroin. The numbers are staggering. Why?

Oct 5, 2015
Singer-songwriter Sara Barielles on the cover of her new memoir, "Sounds Like Me." (Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles goes fully confessional in her new memoir, “Sounds Like Me.” She joins us.

Oct 5, 2015
The newest version of the Apple mobile iOS system allows ad-blocking software on mobile browsing for the first time. (Abdullah Syahbal / Flickr)

Are ad–blocking, bots, and mobile gutting economic viability of the internet? We’ll take a close look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »
Our Week In The Web: September 25, 2015
Friday, Sep 25, 2015

But seriously — where ARE our podcasts running off to? Plus, more Jewel.

More »