T is for Turkey – the history interpreter’s historical advent calendar

Parcel wrapping today. I am going for a subtle brown paper and jolly ribbon look this year. I don’t know who invented brown paper (allegedly around in the C17th as seeds were wrapped in it in order to store them) but you’d think they would have made it a little easier to handle. I once papered a room in brown paper. The end result was fine but it stretched all over the place and was decidely the trickiest wall papering I’ve ever done. My wall papering days are now over as the walls in my cottage are too full of lumps and bumps.

25th December

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main Christian holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. One of the earliest references to Christmas being celebrated on December 25th appeared in Antioch in the middle of the second century. At that time, Christians were still persecuted. It was not until 350 that Pope Gregory declared 25th December to be the official date for celebrating Christ’s birth.


Before turkey became the traditional Christmas meat, pheasant, swan or goose was eaten. It is believe that the first person to bring turkey to Britain was William Strickland in 1526. He sold the six turkeys he brought back from America in Bristol, for two pence each.


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