Holidays in the 1860s had many of the same traditions we have today but they also had some that we no longer see except in old books or movies.
Come to the Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site from 2 to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec 14., to learn about traditions and games played by children in the 1860s and enjoy a visit from Father Christmas who later came to be known as Santa Claus.
Father Christmas is the traditional English name for the personification of Christmas. Although now known as a Christmas gift-bringer, and normally considered to be synonymous with American culture’s Santa Claus which is now known worldwide, he was originally part of an unrelated and much older English folkloric tradition. The recognizably modern figure of the English Father Christmas developed in the late Victorian period, but Christmas had been personified for centuries before then.
Gent into the holiday spirit with some hot apple cider or “Wassel” and traditional peppermint sticks. Park staff and volunteers will be in period attire in preparation for the upcoming Holiday season.
Kids ages 12 and under can meet Father Christmas, have their picture taken and enter the random drawing to be the lucky child to turn on the lights for the historic site’s holiday tree.
The evening will wrap up with the official historic site tree lighting at 5:30 p.m.
Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic site is located in southeast Missouri at 118 E. Maple St., Pilot Knob. For more information about the event, call the site at 573-546-3454.
For more information about Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites, visit the web at mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.