Christmas in Appalachia was not always celebrated on December 25th. Whether because calendar reform in 1752 had removed 11 days, turning December 25th into January 6th, or because January 6th marked the arrival of the three wise men on the 12th day of Christmas, many Appalachian people celebrated Old Christmas on January 6th. On Old Christmas Eve, they believed that animals could pray. Young people enjoyed raucous activities, setting bonfires and going serenading, which involved shooting guns and firecrackers as well as singing. Old Christmas Day was usually observed quietly, with church going, family meals, community Christmas trees, and stockings containing fruit, nuts, and candy. Old Christmas was a far cry from today’s gift-centered celebration.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Young Adult Choir, Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church, 2001 Mountain Heritage Award Comments
SEPT. 29, 2001
Winner: Young Adult Choir of Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church.
Accepting Award: choir director Cornell Proctor
The Young […]
- Dinner on the Ground Dinner on the Ground in the Upland South from Appalachia to the Ozarks, is an outdoor picnic held at Decoration Day events. The term originally referred to eating in a churchyard or […]
- Ben Long Ben Long, an internationally acclaimed American painter, grew up in Statesville, North Carolina. In the 1970s the then unknown artist persuaded the priest in charge of two small, rural […]
- All Souls Episcopal Church
George Vanderbilt established All Souls Episcopal Church in 1896 to serve the workers on his Biltmore Estate near Asheville. The church was the centerpiece of the village he […]
- Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church In May 1867, having been led by the spirit of God, newly freed slaves from Charleston joined with their ministers to establish the Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church in East Flat Rock, […]