Christmas always provides us with an excuse to dig out from the stores objects relating to the festive season. This year, on display in our temporary Show Space until the beginning of January, are a few of our favourite Christmas things. These range from items related to the traditional Christmas entertainments of the pantomime and ballet to a collection of humble tinplate toys. Every one of these was imported from Germany and sold on London’s streets for a penny in the early years of the 20th century. Let’s see what’s inside the Museum of London stocking…
The 6th of January is the feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Three Magi, Kings or Wise Men to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem, bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In medieval times this was a very important feast day, as it marked the twelfth day after Christmas and the official end of the Christmas period. This idea lives on in the tradition of taking down Christmas decorations by the 6th. Read the full post
There are many elements of medieval Christmas celebrations that are similar to our modern traditions and some that are very different. Here are just a few ways that medieval people enjoyed the festive season (or not). Read the full post
Christmas time with its festive atmosphere, long-kept traditions and joyful merrymaking is such an essential part of our calendar that it’s difficult to imagine things have not always been this way. However, before Queen Victoria’s rule, Christmas was hardly celebrated in Britain. Read the full post
Christmas pudding has long been a staple of Londoners’ festive tables. Traditionally incorporating dried fruits, spices, sugar and alcohol this festal favourite is a representation of extensive British trade – and of the exotic bounty brought through London’s docks at the peak of Empire. Read the full post
The Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia started on 17 December each year and lasted for seven days. In many ways the Roman festivities were similar to our modern Christmas traditions, featuring drinking, eating, decorating houses, present giving, singing and playing games. I wondered whether it would be possible to celebrate Saturnalia using objects from our Roman collections. I had a little hunt and here’s what I found… Read the full post
Planning a festive visit to the museum see our critically-acclaimed Sherlock Holmes exhibition? We’ve put our detective hats on to discover the best the City of London has to offer this Christmas to turn your cultural trip into a full festive experience in the heart of the city! Read the full post
We all have our Christmas Day traditions and this year I decided to start a new one. As a passionate cyclist, rather than starting the day with present opening and bucks fizz my husband and I, along with two friends, jumped on our bikes and began our Christmas with a cycle through the city.