Explore traditions of Christmas Past - like kissing under the mistletoe - at Geffrye Museum

Curator preparing the mid-century room for the Christmas Past exhibition

Curator preparing the mid-century room for the Christmas Past exhibition - Credit: The Geffrye, Museum of the Home,

Geffrye Museum curators have been busy hanging up festive trimmings, so visitors can glean an evocative glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years.

Curator preparing the Edwardian period room for the Christmas Past exhibition

Curator preparing the Edwardian period room for the Christmas Past exhibition - Credit: The Geffrye, Museum of the Home,

The Christmas Past exhibition in the museum’s 11 living rooms, explores the origins and meanings of many rich and vibrant Christmas traditions from 1600 to the present day.

These include feasting and dancing, kissing under the mistletoe, using evergreens for decoration, parlour games, Twelfth Night rituals, decorating the tree, sending cards and hanging up stockings.

The free exhibition will run at the museum in Kingsland Road from Tuesday November 26 to Sunday January 4 2014.

A candlelit open evening with festive music, an exhibition talk and a greenery demonstration takes place on Thursday December 5 from 5pm to 8pm.


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A special family day with Christmas carols and craft workshops takes place on Saturday December 7 from 10am to 5pm.

See our photo gallery on the right hand side.

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