December 29th , 2013 10:00 am Leave a comment

Sycamore Shoals to host 18th-century Christmas event

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Sure, what we think of as the traditional Christmas is over.

Photos by Brandon Hicks Images from last year’s Old Christmas at Fort Watauga offer a glimpse at a 1780s celebration.

Photos by Brandon Hicks
Images from last year’s Old Christmas at Fort Watauga offer a glimpse at a 1780s celebration.

But at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, the celebration still has a week to go, culminating in the truly traditional “Old Christmas at Fort Watauga” on Jan. 4 and 5.

Old Christmas follows the colonial tradition of celebrating Christmas as a 12-day holiday, complete with feasting, merrymaking and a host of activities imported from the settlers’ home countries. The 12 days of Christmas ended on Jan. 6 with a larger celebration.

Sycamore Shoals Park Ranger Jason Davis said the park’s Old Christmas celebration will include traditions from different cultures that settled in the area. Each cabin inside the fort will again be the setting for Christmas cultural celebrations.

One cabin will showcase the English tradition of Christmas guns; other cabins will showcase the Irish Holly Wreath, the German Tannenbaum and the Dutch Sinterklass.

“It shows how our Christmas practices of today are connected to these old-world tradition,” Davis said.

Events will be ongoing throughout the day on Jan. 4 and 5. The Washington County Militia will also hold a militia muster and other drills during the celebration.

To see the rest of this story, log on to the Elizabethton Star’s e-edition or pick up a copy of our award-winning print edition, available through subscriptions, in boxes and at vendors throughout Carter and Johnson counties. The e-edition is free to subscribers. Others may pay a daily, weekly or monthly fee to access the e-edition.

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