WARMING CHRISTMAS EVENTS
Once again, we are having a magical Christmas at the Falstaff Experience-Tudor World in Stratford upon Avon.
FATHER CHRISTMAS TOUR
Thursday 22nd November - Saturday 22nd Dec 2012
A tour with Father Christmas himself! Ho! Ho! Ho! Every evening from the Christmas lights switch on, Santa will be giving tours of the building for his little friends (or his Elf if he is busy in Lapland).
£5 adults, £3.50 children, £13 family ticket (2+2)
HAUNTED TAVERN TOWN TOUR
Friday 7th December 2012
Dashing Jack will be giving a light heart ghost tour of the haunted Taverns of Old Stratford Town. The tour includes one pub stop for fortification before proceeding to the dead centre of town - the grave yard! Wooooo
For over 18s only. £9.50pp
CHRISTMAS GHOST TOUR
Monday 24th December 2012
A Christmas Eve Ghost
Tour by lantern light, preceeded by a warming glass of mulled wine and mince pies to warm the spirits - at 6pm!
NEW YEAR'S EVE GHOST TOUR
Monday, 31st December 2012
A spooky New Year's Eve Ghost Tour by lantern light, preceeded by a sparkling glass of buck's fizz - at 6pm!
If you are a party of 15 or more, why not book a fun night out with one of our Dashing Jacks on the night of your choice!
To book any of the above or to find out about private bookings please ring Kingsley Glover, Education & Events Manager, or Amy James, PR & Marketing Manager on 01789-298070.
Christmas in Stratford upon Avon
This year the Christmas lights will be switched on a week earlier than usual on Thursday 22nd November . The Town Council is working with organisations such as the Christmas Lights Company to make sure that Christmas in Stratford upon Avon is a magical as ever.
Christmas lights switch on – 22nd November
BBC radio presenter Malcolm Boyden will present the event and keeping the crowds entertained with festival songs and carols by the Willows School Choir, accompanied by KES king’s Brass band, from 4:00 m. the Mayoress, Elaine Lloyd, wilk be switching the light son from the Town Hall at 4:30pm.
Santa Claus will be making an appearance on the balcony at the Town Hall in Sheep Street but also be staying on for the entire evening to meet the children at his Grotto in the Town Hall. Why not come on a tour with Father Christmas at 5:30pm at the Falstaff Experience afterwards or any evening at 5:30pm until the 22nd December?
Parking (town centre)
To add to the festival spirit, Stratford upon Avon District Council have kindly waived parking charges in the town centre car parks from 4:00pm until midnight and from 6:00pm until midnight on the following four Thursdays for late night shopping.
Christmas Market in Waterside (end of Sheep Street)
11am to 5pm on Sundays and 10am until 9pm on Thursdays
Sunday 25th November
Thursday 29th November
Sunday 2nd December
Thursday 6th December
Thursday 13th December
Thursday 20th December
Sunday 23rd December
A Tudor Christmas
Christmas was celebrated throughout Europe anywhere between early January through to late September. Pope Julius I decided to adopt 25th December as the actual date of the Nativity thereby using existing feast days and celebrations and attributed to the birth of Christ rather than any ancient pagan ritual.
One such festival involved the Feast of Fools, presided over by the Lord of Misrule. The feast was an unruly event, involving much drinking, revelry and role reversal. The Lord of Misrule, normally a commoner with a reputation of knowing how to enjoy himself, was selected to direct the entertainment. The festival is thought to have originated from the benevolent Roman masters who allowed their servants to be the boss for a while.
The burning of the Yule Log is thought to derive from the midwinter ritual of the early Viking invaders, who built enormous bonfires to celebrate their festival of light. The word 'Yule' has existed in the English language for many centuries as an alternative term for Christmas.
Traditionally, a large log would be selected in the forest on Christmas Eve, decorated with ribbons, dragged home and laid upon the hearth. After lighting it was kept burning throughout the twelve days of Christmas. It was considered lucky to keep some of the charred remains to kindle the log of the following year.
Carols flourished throughout Tudor times as a way to celebrate Christmas and to spread the story of the nativity. Celebrations came to an abrupt end however in the seventeenth century when the Puritans banned all festivities including Christmas. Surprisingly carols remained virtually extinct until the Victorians reinstated the concept of an 'Olde English Christmas' which included traditional gems such as While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night and The Holly and the Ivy as well as introducing a plethora of new hits - Away in a Manger, O Little Town of Bethlehem - to mention but a few.
The twelve days of Christmas would have been a most welcome break for the workers on the land, which in Tudor times would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop, restarting again on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night.
The 'Twelfths' had strict rules, one of which banned spinning, the prime occupation for women. Flowers were ceremonially placed upon and around the wheels to prevent their use.
During the Twelve Days, people would visit their neighbours sharing and enjoying the traditional 'minced pye'. The pyes would have included thirteen ingredients, representing Christ and his apostles, typically dried fruits, spices and of course a little chopped mutton - in remembrance of the shepherds.
feasting would have been the reserve of Royalty and the Gentry. Turkey was
first introduced into Britain in about 1523 with Henry VIII being one of the
first people to eat it as part of the Christmas feast.
Tinsel was made out of real silver with machines that pressed the silver into thin strips. Silver was durable, but it tarnished easily and later versions were also made out of pewter, a tin alloy.
A Tudor Christmas Pie consisted of a Turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a pigeon. All of this was put in a pastry case, called a coffin and was served surrounded by jointed hare, small game birds and wild fowl.
And to wash it all down, a drink from the Wassail bowl. The word 'Wassail' derives from the Anglo-Saxon 'Waes-hael', meaning 'be whole' or 'be of good health'. The bowl, a large wooden container holding as much as a gallon of punch made of hot-ale, sugar, spices and apples. This punch to be shared with friends and neighbours. A crust of bread was placed at the bottom of the Wassail bowl and offered to the most important person in the room - hence today's toast as part of any drinking ceremony.
These events are based at this ancient building, which is famously haunted throughout the world and has appeared on numerous paranormal shows (including Most Haunted and the Unexplained Channel) and does not include any other establishment, unless stated.
@ The Falstaff Experience 2007