December 12, 2010 by staff
Christmas Pudding, Snacks and sweet treats are regular perk for many American children these days. But that was hardly the case in colonial times, when Christmas was a unique opportunity each year to satisfy a sweet tooth.
“These little treats as sugar and butter needed were not common,” said Eve King of Greenville, SC, a volunteer reenactors Schiele Museum of Colonial Christmas event Saturday. “It was a very special occasion when you made a pudding cake and sweet, because sugar was very expensive. The butter was often scarce. ”
It was the 37th installment of the museum vacation ode to a bygone era. The visitors had a visual, auditory and edible past while learning the origins of Christmas traditions they defend each year – often without even knowing why.
About 30 reenactors donned hats tri-horns, panties, stockings, scarves, dresses and skirts outdoors. They performed the dance of the English countryside, sang songs in the early American rifles and fired among historic buildings decorated with greenery.
A “Procession of the Yule log” was accompanied by a service CANDLES and scripture reading. Those sampled Christmas pudding and drank hot cider and ginger, as they snkd on the farm hinterland recreated.
“It was a wonderful day,” said Suzanne Simmons, a specialist in 18th century Schiele program.
The activities were indicative of what the families participated in Colonial from 1770 to 1800, when the Christmas customs that stand the test of time were already in practice. Many people do not realize that when their ancestors began putting green outside their home in the 18th century, they tried to chase away evil spirits.
The myth was that the spirits could not enter without counting all the leaves on all the green was present, said Simmons. Hence the decision to use pine, fur, cedar, hemlock and other branches of fir needles with tiny innumerable.
Holly was also a position of power. Historically, man or woman who has found a first and entered the house at Christmas would be “making law” for the whole year.
This was one of many bits of information to inform Nicole Creech Charlotte, Jeremy Burton and Jamie Rock Hill, SC The two families have made a total of six young children and a dog at the event.
“Our children are older, but we want to ensure they are culturally aware of how things were,” said Jamie Burton.
King and his fellow reenactor Cook, Louise Jones of Bessemer City, tend to three thick cast iron pots swinging on a crackling fire in a kitchen Colonial. They offered samples of house Christmas pudding, a bread or butter based concoction that is much stronger than the variety of milk are used for modern people.
King said the important Colonial home only suggests how different things were 220 years ago, when he served as a source of heat, a cooking station and a place to heat all the water needed to wash clothes.
“What makes you better appreciate where your ancestors came from,” she said. “And what they had to go through just to survive.”
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