Well, I'm off to an elaborate living historic tradition this morning - a working class one at that - and how many of those are left? It's called mumming and in Philadelphia it has just been made street legal again after a few years indoors. (Cynics say it was an election-related ploy, this authorization of their parades outdoors.)

There is no Civil War connection. Mumming was outlawed on pain of imprisonment in 1808 until revived in 1903. Now, the Philadelphia mummers cannot get a TV channel to carry their New Year's parades after 2004, so before the tradition disappears entirely I'd like my daughter to experience it.

Here's an English description of Mumming, and an alternate take as well.

This is the best summary I've seen of the origins of Philadelphia's mumming. Skip past the Greek and Roman parts!

What is it with the music, though? It seems to me that the mummers seized hold of the pop music prevalent at the time of their revival and never let go: I'm looking over a four-leaf clover, and all that.

The weather is fine. It'll be a great day to live some history.