Mince pies, Christmas trees, robins, an old man with a beard filling your stockings with gifts? What have they got to do with a baby being born in a Middle Eastern stable?
Christmas is probably the biggest and most widely celebrated of all the religious festivals, but what do you really know about it? Isn’t celebrating a birth in the desert lands of Roman-occupied Israel at odds with the wintery images of evergreen foliage, chocolate yule logs and reindeer?
Now you can explore the origins of Christmas with this unique whole-school experience. The Holly King – the original Santa – will come to your school along with the Ice Queen, with a range of interactive fun activities to help children understand why mid-winter festivals were so important in pre-Christian society, and how they became attached to the Christian festival of Christmas. Our workshops are designed to inspire children, with practical activities and hands-on exploration.
For our Christmas workshop, we can take large numbers of children across the whole primary age range, making it a very cost-effective activity for schools. The topics we cover can include:
- Why do we use the 25th December, when Jesus might well have been born in spring, summer or autumn?
- Traditional dancing, singing, mummers play
- Why do we use holly, robins, reindeer, mince pies, turkey and what on earth is wassailing?
- How Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Tudors and Victorians celebrated Christmas
- Who is the Lord of Misrule and what does that means in your classroom?
- The influence of Charles Dickens and Washington Irving
- Making gifts, pomanders, cards, Christmas decorations
- The stories behind Christmas carols, the Nativity play, and angels and shepherds
- Why Father Christmas is really green!
The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly wears the crown!