Sycamore Shoals plans Old Christmas celebration for 2015

Published 9:28 am Friday, December 26, 2014

NW 1226 Old Christmas B 4x5C

The presents may have been opened and the decorations put away, but the Christmas celebration is not over yet.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area will celebrate Old Christmas Jan. 3 and 4 in Fort Watauga.
Sycamore Shoals Manager Jennifer Bauer said the celebration serves as an “open house” to allow visitors to experience the traditional Christmas customs of different heritages in Colonial America.
“Visitors will travel from cabin to cabin, or cabin to tent, to see reenactors as they celebrate as different settlers would have done in Colonial days,” Bauer said. “In colonial America, Christmas was celebrated as a 12 day holiday with many traditions and customs.”
The 12 days of Christmas would end on Jan. 6 with a Twelfth Night grand celebration.
During the Old Christmas at Sycamore Shoals, reenactors with the Washington County Regiment of the North Carolina militia will share with visitors different traditions.
Each cabin or tent will feature a different culture for the Christmas traditions. Some examples are the English Christmas Guns, the Irish Holly Wreath, the German Tannenbaum, Scottish First Footing, and the Dutch Sinterklaas.
“It is interesting to see how those Christmas traditions shaped our celebrations today,” Bauer said.
Bauer said even though the weather sometimes doesn’t cooperate with the celebration, it is still usually a well attended event.
“For the time of year it is, there can be snow on the ground, or frigid wind chills and the people will still come out to see the traditions and learn of the 12 days of Christmas,” she said.
Old Christmas will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 4.

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