Tag: history of holidays

Canada History Victorian era

What is Victoria Day and Why Do Canadians Celebrate It?

In my novel, Angel of Mercy, Hettie’s birthday and her marriage to Geoffrey Bartlette correspond with the celebration of Victoria Day.  If you’re American, you may be unaware of this holiday or why Canadians celebrate it. The holiday commemorates the birthday of Queen Victoria who was born May 24, 1819.  It did not become a […]

History United States

This Week in History: New Year’s Day 1920

One hundred years ago today, people were celebrating the start of what would be dubbed in the United States as the Roaring 20s.  What should have been a cause for celebration was slightly tempered.  This was the last New Year celebration before Prohibition would go into effect Jan. 16, 1920. In Boston, revelers gathered at cafes […]

Edwardian era History United States Victorian era

Christmas Shopping in a Bygone Era

The commercialization of Christmas began during the Victorian era.  Retailers encouraged consumers to shop for the holidays instead of giving homemade gifts, and shop employees also decorated their shop windows with lavish displays to attract passersby.  The tradition of Christmas shopping was born. So what were the popular gifts in this bygone era?  Let’s find […]

Edwardian era History United States

School Kids in 1903 Explain Why Thanksgiving Turkeys are Important

“Kids Say the Darndest Things” may be a television show, but kids have been saying what’s on their minds –  and amusing adults – for centuries.  In 1903, the Sioux City Journal in Iowa asked the city’s school children to pen an essay on Thanksgiving turkeys. A sampling of the essays were published on Nov. […]

Edwardian era History

History of Father’s Day

Like many holidays, Father’s Day had a humble beginning. It began as a day of remembrance for fathers who had passed away. In 1908, a Methodist congregation in West Virginia held a service to honor the 250 fathers who had died in a mining accident. Two years later, the first event to be held on […]

Edwardian era History

The History of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a holiday born near the dawn of the 20th century. It was conceived by a woman who, ironically, later degraded the holiday as too commercial and tried to end it. The holiday was not without precedent. Since ancient days, motherhood has been celebrated in some form. The Ancients celebrated their mother goddesses […]

Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Victorian era

A Short History of Easter Traditions

Most of society’s Easter traditions are centuries old. Some traditions — such as candy and egg hunts — are much newer, arriving on the scene when many of our modern traditions did, during the Victorian era. Easter Candy Mass produced sweet treats made specifically for Easter made their appearances in the 19th century. Candy eggs […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Rose's World Victorian era

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Early 20th Century

Today, Valentine’s Day is a holiday to give cards and small gifts to the people you care about the most. What was once the day for lovers now includes parents, children, close friends and extended family. When was the start of our modern Valentine traditions? Like with most holidays, it started with the Victorians. Giving […]

Claire's World Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Rose's World

Boxing Day: A Day for Giving Alms to the Poor

Boxing Day, Dec. 26, is no longer celebrated in most of the United States, although it continues in other English-speaking countries. The holiday originated as the day when churches distributed alms to the poor. Its name comes from the tradition of giving Christmas boxes, Christmas gifts or gratuities paid during the holiday season. The name […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History

Christmas in the 1910s: Decorative and Commerical

Christmas during the Edwardian era was very similar to what we experience today. Our holiday traditions were firmly established by the 1910s: Families, communities and businesses set up Christmas trees. People exchanged cards. Caroling was popular. Lavish meals were served. And it was boom time for retailers. Our contemporary version of Santa Claus also was […]

Hettie's World History World War One

Christmas Truce of 1914: Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men

Many Christmas carols speak about peace on earth, but rarely does it ever happen. One notable exception is the Christmas truce of 1914. It started with a declaration by Pope Benedict XV that a temporary cease fire should be called in celebration of Christmas. “Pope Benedict XV is urging that an understanding be arranged between […]

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