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'Old Christmas' Celebration set for January at Sycamore Shoals

Staff Report • Dec 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Christmas isn’t over yet! European migrants brought Old World holiday traditions to America, from the Dutch Sinterklaas, German Tannenbaum, and Scots-Irish Lighted Windows, to the Twelve Days of Christmas and "Old Christmas" celebrated on January 6th.

In Colonial America, Christmas was celebrated as a twelve day holiday with many traditions and customs. Does The Twelve Days of Christmas sound familiar? These twelve days of feasting, and merrymaking ended on January 6th or "Twelfth Night" with a grand celebration.

On Saturday, January 5th from 10am-4pm and Sunday, January 6th from 10am-3pm, the Washington County Militia will hold their monthly Militia Muster and Old Christmas Celebration. As you walk through the gates of Fort Watauga you will travel back in time to an 18th century Old Christmas "Jollification". Each cabin in the fort will be the setting of Christmas traditions as celebrated by the settlers of different cultures on the colonial frontier. Witness such customs as English Christmas Guns, the Irish Holly Wreath, the German Tannenbaum, and the Dutch Sinterklass.

And see how our Christmas practices of today are steeped in these old world traditions!

Get the most out of the Holiday Season and visit Sycamore Shoals State Historic Site for a fun, entertaining, and educational family outing. Arrive ready to be filled with the spirit of Christmas.

It’s an event that is sure to become a tradition with your family year after year.

Visit with the Washington County Militia and Discover the Early Roots of our modern Holiday Celebrations.

Activities Throughout the Weekend Include:

Open Hearth Cooking – Daily Frontier Life

Flintlock Rifle & Musket Firing – Old Christmas Traditions

This Event is Sponsored by the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia

For more information about other exciting living history events call Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area at 423-543-5808 or visit us on the web at



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