"The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 2018" is an all-new, two-hour compilation of musical excerpts, plus a few short poetry and prose readings, selected from the live Christmas/Winter Solstice Revels stage productions that took place in December 2017, in eight cities across the United States.
Christmas Revels performances have been described as entertaining collections of "traditional and ritual dances, processionals, carols and drama." They are made up of sacred and secular folk materials, plus some composed popular and "art" music, from traditional European and American celebrations of Christmas, The Feast of St. Nicholas, Hanukkah, St. Lucia's Day, the Feast of Fools, New Year's, Twelfth Night, and other end-of-the-year festivals, along with various cultures' hereditary observances of the Winter Solstice, some of which date back to pre-Christian times.
Examples of the kinds of music to be heard in this year's Revels holiday broadcast include seasonal carols, songs, chants, villancicos, hymns and wassails; ritual sword and stick dances, reels, polkas, waltzes, and country, courtly, social, circle, clog and step dances; as well as rounds for peace, rousing pub songs and children's singing-games (some of them with deep symbolic connections to the themes of the season). These various types of music come from such diverse regions and eras as the Celtic lands of Wales and Galicia (in northwestern Spain); early nineteenth-century French Canada; Renaissance Italy; Spanish-speaking Old California; Medieval England, and the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.