As a special Holiday treat, we are changing up our usual routine! Instead of featuring an artifact from our collections, the staff would like to feature a special document: Peter Kalm’s Travels in North America, published in 1749. Kalm included a description of Quaker Christmas celebrations in the mid-18th century, about 48 years after Penn left the colony:
“Today Christmas Day was celebrated in the city, but not with such reverence as it is in old Sweden. On the evening before, the bells of the English Church rang for a long time to announce the approaching Yuletide. In the morning guns were fired off in various parts of the town.
People went to church, much in the same manner as on ordinary Sundays, both before and after dinner. This took place in the English, Swedish, and German churches. The Quakers did not regard this day any more remarkable than other days. Stores were open, and anyone might sell or purchase what he wanted. But servants had a three-day vacation period…”
The holiday season is always special at Pennsbury Manor, as we aim to share the welcoming and generous spirit so important to William Penn. We hope you enjoyed our Holly Nights event, which was a smashing success! The staff at Pennsbury wish you a very happy holiday season and hope to see you again in the new year!