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