Christmas Past

400 years of Seasonal Traditions in English Homes
Geffrye Museum

136 Kingsland Road
Shoreditch
London E2 8EA

26 November 2013 -5 January 2014

Christmas Past: A drawing room in 1870. Geffrye Museum, Photo: Chris Ridley

Christmas Past: A drawing room in 1870. Geffrye Museum, Photo: Chris Ridley

Each year, authentic festive decorations transform the Geffrye Museum’s period rooms, giving visitors a magical glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years.  A perennial favourite, many visitors say that the Christmas Past exhibition has become an essential part of their Yuletide traditions.

 Step back through the centuries and discover the origins and meanings of some of the rich and vibrant traditions of Christmas past, from feasting, dancing and kissing under the mistletoe to playing parlour games, hanging up stockings, sending cards, decorating the tree and throwing cocktail parties.

Geffrye Museum, Christmas Past 2013

Geffrye Museum, Christmas Past 2013

Geffrye Museum, Christmas Past 2013

Geffrye Museum, Christmas Past 2013

 A full programme of events will accompany the exhibition.  Festive food will be served in the restaurant, and visitors can browse for original gifts, decorations, cards and books in the shop. 

ALL AGES

 Open Evening: An Edwardian Christmas

Enjoy Christmas Past by candlelight, listen to a seasonal talk, watch a greenery demonstration, sing along to live festive music or bring children to a decoration-making workshop. Enjoy a festive supper in our restaurant or find an unusual gift from the shop. Come and be merry!

Thursday 5 December, 5-8pm.  Free

 Farewell to Christmas

Join us in the Geffrye’s traditional burning of the holly and the ivy, with carol singing, stories about Epiphany and a taste of mulled wine and Twelfth Night cake. Please note that this event takes place in the garden, so wrap up warm!

Sunday 5 January, 3.30-5pm.  Free

 ADULTS

 Concert by Candlelight

Acclaimed group Bocca Aperta returns to the Geffrye with a moving recital of a capella Christmas music under the Christmas tree in the reading room.

Wednesday 11 December.  Museum open from 7.30pm, concert 8pm.

Tickets £16/£13 concs in advance (includes a glass of sherry or port and a mince pie)

Workshop:  Christmas Greenery

Join the Geffrye gardeners to create a festive door decoration with fresh greenery and a mixture of scented, natural ornaments, whilst learning about the origins of our Christmas traditions.

Saturday 14 December, 1.30–4.30pm

Tickets £35/£30 concs (includes short talk, workshop and all materials)

 Exhibition Talk: Christmas Past in Focus

Explore Edwardian Christmas traditions in this informal gallery talk.

Saturday 14 December, 11.30am and 3pm. Free

 

FAMILIES AND YOUNG PEOPLE

 SPECIAL FAMILY DAY
Saturday 7 December.  Free

A lively day of Christmas workshops for children aged 2+, with carol singing for all ages. Workshop places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes in advance.  Children under eight must be accompanied by an adult.

 Christmas Carols (all ages)

Sing along to some favourite Christmas carols with Robinsing Music.

2pm and 3pm

 Workshop: Squeaking and Squawking Decorations (ages 2-16)

Create a sugar mouse or beautiful Edwardian-inspired bird Christmas decoration.

10.30am-12.30pm and 2-4pm

 Workshop:  Festive Gifts Galore (ages 11-16)

Create spicy and aromatic festive soaps and herb bags to give as gifts this Christmas.

2-4pm

Further information

www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

A Living Room in 1965 At Christmas Past at theGeffrye. Photo Chris Ridley.

A Living Room in 1965 At Christmas Past at theGeffrye. Photo Chris Ridley.

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