Holiday Season

Dec 11, 2012 1:10 PM by Melissa Canone

Old Time Christmas set for December 15

Old Time Christmas will be held at Vermilionville, 300 Fisher Road, Lafayette, on December 15 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Experience the simple warmth and beauty of Christmas past as Vermilionville's historic village brings to life the holiday traditions of yesteryear. Visitors will learn about the traditions and activities associated with the Christmas and New Year's holiday fro French Louisiana in the 17 & 1800s. There will also be plenty of hands on activities for the families as well as a cooking demonstration and more.

Timeline of events

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

-Old-Time Christmas Tour (see details below)

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

-Bousillage Ornaments with Dale Pierrottie

-Gingerbread Cookie Decorating ($1)


10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

-Christmas Storytime with Andy Hébert and Vicky Branton (English and French)

12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

-Children's Performance with Henry Hample and Friends

1 - 3:30 p.m.

-Louisiana Folkroots housewarming music jam at their new office in the historic Begnaud House

Old Time Christmas Tour

Native American Giving at Maison des Cultures - learn how the Native Americans measured their worth by how much they gave others, not how much they possessed. It was believed that if you give your best possessions to others that it would be returned to you in other ways.

Soap Making at Beaubassin - Ingredients in soap making of the old days include lye and hog lard; lye comes from leaching water through wood ash and hog lard is the fat from the pig. Soap making was done in the winter after the boucherie when a hog was slaughtered. Hog lard was a byproduct from this process.

Meet Papa Noël at Le Petit Bayou - Papa Noël, the French Santa Claus, was actually a trapper that would deliver presents such as candy, money or small toys. Children would light a bonfire and leave their shoes by it so Papa Noël knew where to stop. They would also leave carrots for Papa Noël's donkey Gui, which is French for Mistletoe.

Natural Decorating at Beau Bassin - learn about how the Acadians decorated for Christmas using natural materials. They would bring in evergreen clippings from the outside to brighten things up since the weather was so dreary in the winter.

Christmas Carols at L'École - learn about and sing Christmas Carols including "Silent Night," "Jingle Bells," and "Go Tell it on the Mountain." Most of these carols are from the time period of 1765-1890.

Reindeer Food & Apple Cider at Mouton Kitchen - sample apple cider, a popular drink around this time because it was easy to make. Apple cider is different from apple juice in that it doesn't go through a filtration process. As a result it's foggy and chunky, doesn't last as long and tastes different from apple juice. Children will learn how to prepare reindeer food to help fuel them on their journey around the world delivering presents to kids.

Create Wishing Sticks at La Forge - create your own wish sticks as part of a village art project. Everyone will have the opportunity to decorate a bamboo stick and write a wish for the New Year on it. After it is decorated the wish stick will be hung in a tree very similar to cultural traditions found in many countries.

Candle Making at Maison Buller - Candles were a very important tool because there was no electricity and they could only be made in the winter when it was cold enough for the wax to keep its shape and not melt.

Popcorn Stringing & Le Réveillon at la Chapelle des Attakapas (Chapel) - learn about the tradition of popcorn stringing and Le Réveillon. Some families would gather for a nice dinner after mid-night mass on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve called Le Réveillon. Le Réveillon comes from the French word reveil, which means "waking."

Citrus Pomanders at Maison Boucvalt - learn how to make citrus pomanders, a Victorian era air freshener made with citrus fruits decorated with cloves. This house will be the only one decorated with a Christmas tree since most of the elements of modern Christmas are products of the Victorian era.

For more information call (337) 233-4077 or click here www.vermilionville.org

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