The staff at Pennsbury Manor are scurrying everywhere getting ready for our annual Holly Nights this week, but in reality William Penn’s home would have been quiet and uninterrupted over the holiday season. Quakers did not believe in setting apart certain days as more “holy” than others, so they typically let the 12 days of Christmas pass by uncelebrated.
But we at Pennsbury just can’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate this special season! Our classic Holly Nights, a two-evening candelit event, includes some of our favorite 17th-century traditions that William Penn would have known as a child growing up in England. Our amazing volunteers will be Wassailing the apple orchard, burning evergreens to bless the New Year, brewing beer, cooking a sumptuous feast in the kitchens, and much more!
I thought about writing up a post about some of the holiday traditions Penn would have known, having been raised in a typical 17th-century Anglican family, but Colonial Williamsburg and their partners at the Jamestown Settlement have already done it! Click here to read their amazing article and pick up some cool ideas for your own holiday merry-making!
By Hannah Howard, Volunteer Coordinator & Costumier