Victorian Americans loved their celebrations, holidays, and reasons to party. Mardi Gras, in North America, has been around since pre-American Revolutionary War. I share tidbits about the background of Mardi Gras, how it was celebrated during the staid and usually straight-laced Victorian era, and some of the challenges present to law enforcement in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Wow! I can only imagine!
When did Americans begin celebrating the Punxsutawney Phil, acknowledging the groundhog’s emergence from its den…and whether or not it saw its shadow? Is this a new observation, or an old? We know Victorians celebrated a wide variety of holidays we still acknowledge, and some we don’t. Did the Victorians’ superstitions embrace the Groundhog and his Shadow? Come see!
This article contains the transcription of a brief recounting of one five-year-old boy’s letter to Santa Claus, published in Chicago Daily Tribune on December 26, 1883. The vintage newspaper report sheds light upon the attitudes and perceptions of our late Victorian-era ancestors, a young and well-to-do boy’s Christmas wish-list, and how his parents must have attempted to impress upon him an awareness of the good he might do for others. I find it interesting that residents of the Old Ladies’ Home are referred to as “inmates”.
Oktoberfest is a multi-national celebration of German culture, held annually in Munich, Germany and in many other locations worldwide. German immigrants to the United States before and during the Victorian Era brought the custom with them. The sixteen-day festival of parades, music, food, and folkloric dancing begins on the third Saturday of September each year. The 2016 holiday begins today, September 17, 2016.
This menu was posted in 1892 in a Pittsburgh, PA newspaper, but not the instructions– which those of us who are amused by history and cooking and the way things once were may well find fascinating. So this article is all about that menu… and how the home cook may have accomplished such a daunting task to celebrate the FIRST big holiday of the year.