Old Christmas at Ft. Watauga this weekend

Published 2:48 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023

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“Old Christmas” is being celebrated this weekend at Sycamore Shoals State Park. In Colonial America, Christmas was celebrated as a 12-day holiday with many traditions and customs. These 12 days of feasting was a grand celebration. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sycamore Shoals State Park, the Washington County Militia will host their annual Old Christmas Celebration. Each cabin in the fort will be the setting of Christmas, New Year, and 12th Night traditions as celebrated by the settlers of different cultures on the colonial frontier. Many of today’s Christmas customs are taken from centuries old practices such as English Christmas Guns, the Irish Holly Wreath, the German Tannenbaum, Scottish First Footing, and the Dutch Sinterklaas. This weekend’s event is sure to become a holiday tradition with your family year after year. In the above picture, Chad Bogart, of the park staff, and an Old Christmas celebrant go wassailing at a former celebration.

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