What's a wassail? And how did items like mistletoe, candy canes, nutcrackers and sugar plums become part of our Christmas traditions?
Visitors can expect to find answers to those questions and more as they take part in a Victorian Christmas celebration at The Castle in Marietta over the next couple of weekends.
The tours will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. the next two Sundays, at a cost of $10.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Leah Magyary, education director at The Castle, helped trim the huge tree with traditional ornaments in the mansion’s front window Wednesday aft
"The entire house will be decorated for the holidays, and as people walk through there will be someone in each room to explain more about celebrating Christmas during the Victorian era," said Leah Magyary, education director at The Castle.
She said the annual event is a mix of history and the Christmas celebration that will include a special sampling of traditional Victorian treats in the museum's kitchen at the end of the tour.
"The upper classes during the Victorian era were quite extravagant as they celebrated and entertained at Christmas," Magyary added, noting the way we celebrate the holiday today has origins in Victorian times.
If you go
What: Victorian Christmas at The Castle. 418 Fourth St., Marietta.
When: Sundays, Dec. 2 and 9, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10 for tour.
For information: Call 373-4180, or visit mariettacastle.org
Those touring The Castle on Dec. 9 will be treated to musical performances by the Trillium Piano Trio as well as by students of the violin and cello, she said.
Scott Britton, The Castle's executive director, said there has been a Christmas event held at the facility every year since it opened to the public in 1994.
"We talk about the origins of many Christmas traditions, and invite people to come and see how the holiday was likely celebrated by those who lived here when the home was built in the 1800s," he said. "The Victorians were known for overdoing their holiday celebration. And it was all about family and friends-a real festive season that marked the true meaning of Christmas."
Britton said the Victorian Christmas event has itself become a popular annual tradition for many area residents.
"It's just a nice, traditional Christmas celebration," he said.