January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

It’s New Year’s Day! Did you know that in the Victorian Era, Fathers wold invite wealthy single men into their houses to meet their daughters in hopes of marrying them off? The men would try different foods of all kinds at the house and stay for a small party before leaving.

Happy New Year from the Oshawa Community Museum!  Thank you for visiting the 2014 Victorian Advent Blog, and we hope you’ll visit again in 2015!

December 31, 2014

December 31, 2014

It’s December 31, the last day of the year, also known as Levee here in Canada! It’s a social gathering held by the Governor General, Lieutenant General and the military in Canada. Levee had been celebrated for years, but it was first tied to New Year’s Eve, in Canada, in 1646. The Governor of New France held the levee in the Chateau St. Louis, and during the levee he informed the guests of what to look forward to in the new year and that they were expected to renew their allegiance to the Crown. The tradition of the levee continued after the Governor Charles Huault de Montmagny was no longer in charge.

Happy New Years Eve Everybody!

December 30, 2014

December 30, 2014

Start writing your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015, because 2014 is nearly over! What would you like to do this year? Eat healthier, be more involved, learn to karate chop or maybe even come to the Oshawa Community Museum more often? Well whatever it is be sure to make 2015 the best year yet.

On this day in history:

1066 – Granada Massacre where a mob killed a large Jewish population of the city

1813 – British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York during the War of 1812

1896 – Canadian hockey player Ernie McLea scored the first “Hat-trick” in the Stanley Cup

1919 – Lincoln’s Inn in London, England, UK admits its first female bar student

2011 – Owing to a change of time zone the day is skipped in Samoa and Tokelau.

December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

If you think winter travel is difficult now you should have experienced it in the pioneer days. In the pioneer days travel was rough, tough and dangerous. Although the frozen mud made it easy for the carriages to move, travelers were often held back by snow storms and blizzards. Passengers would freeze in the carriage, only covered by clothes and maybe some blankets, and drivers would sit in the front out in the open. Every 25 km or so would be an Inn, but they were always overflowing with people. Most of the time weary travelers would be sent off to the next Inn. Men usually had to share beds with 2-3 others or sleep on the floor. Meeting room’s in the Inn’s would be stacked full of people and space was very limited.

From the Oshawa Community Archives

From the Oshawa Community Archives

December 28, 2014

December 28, 2014

Delicious treats for glowing trees, this Christmas you can make your own scrumptious decorations for your tree. An old German tradition tells us that immigrants would decorate their trees with cookies of all kinds of shapes and sizes.

You’ll need: 1 L of white flour, 250 mL of salt, 250 mL of water, a rolling pin, cookie cutters, a drinking straw, acrylic craft paints and varnish and pieces of coloured string, yarn or ribbon.

Step 1: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and add some water then mix with your hands. Keep adding little bits of water until it’s finished and then knead the dough so it feels like clay.

Step 2: Dust some flour onto a table and roll out the dough to less than 0.5cm thick and cut out some shapes.

Step 3: Use the straw to poke a hole at the top of each cookie.

Step 4: Use a spatula to place the cookie on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 150°C (300° F) and bake for 40 minutes. Then remove them from the oven.

Step 5: Let the cookie cool completely before painting then add a layer of varnish.

Step 6: Tie your ribbon through the hole and hang up!

December 27, 2014

December 27, 2014

Have you ever heard of the Declaration of Christmas Peace? It originates from Finland in the early 1300s also known as the Dark ages. The declaration is so popular that nowadays it is broadcast worldwide. Early settlers probably brought it over with them and read it with their family or friends to remind themselves of what Christmas is really about.

Tomorrow, God willing, is the graceful celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior; and thus is declared a peaceful Christmas time to all, by advising devotion and to behave otherwise quietly and peacefully,
because he who breaks this peace and violates the peace of Christmas by any illegal or improper behavior shall under aggravating circumstances be guilty and punished according to what the law and statutes prescribe for each and every offence separately.

December 26, 2014

December 26, 2014

Today is Boxing Day, everything is on sale! WooHoo! But there has got to be more to boxing day than sales… Did you know that boxing day originated in England? The churches would open their boxes for donations and give all that was received to poor and needy families to spread Christmas Love. The wealthier families in England would also box up all their left overs for their servants and treat them with the delicious food as a way of showing thanks and appreciation.

December 25, 2014

December 25, 2014

Charles Dickens said:

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it alive all year!”

Merry Christmas everybody, and a happy New Year!

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December 24, 2014

December 24, 2014

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the Museum, everyone was stirring for this great Christmas season!  For the past four years that we’ve been hosting this Victorian Advent Blog, we’ve shared Clement C. Moore’s classic poem, a Visit From St. Nicholas, every December 24, and this year is no different.  Enjoy this holiday favourite, and have yourselves a very merry Christmas Eve.

 

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads, and Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the winder I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of midday to objects below, when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, with a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As the dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky, so up to the housetop the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard of the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down the chimney came St. Nicholas with a bound.

He was all dressed in fur, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes – how they twinkled, his dimples – how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke of it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; a wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, and laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; he sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

December 23, 2014

December 23, 2014

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why! Sinterklaas is coming to town! Sinterklaas? Don’t you mean Santa Claus? Well the name Santa Claus actually came from the Dutch name for St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas. He wears his big red coat and drives his reindeer-drawn sleigh, but here’s something you probably didn’t know; Sinterklaas is believed to be a descendant of Thor! This means that Santa Claus is part Scandinavian god! Wow, that explains the whole around-the world-in-one-night-thing.

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