Christmas in the New World


The first account of the English pioneers celebrating Christmas in the New World is from the pen of the soldier author John Smith:

The next night being lodged at Kecoughtan; six or seaven dayes the extreame winde, rayne, frost and snow caused us to keep Christmas among the Salvages, where we were never more merry, nor fed on more plentie of good Oysters, Fish, Flesh, Wild-foule, and good bread; nor never had better fires in England, then in the dry smoaky houses of Kecoughtan.

Smith was referring to the traditional keeping of Christmas for 12 days, as he and his men did not reach Kecoughtan until December 31, 1608.  Unlike their pilgrim and puritan brethren who would come to the shores of the New World later, the men and women of the first colony had no problem with celebrating the Feast of the Nativity, with feasting, games and good cheer.  May all of our readers have the Merriest of Christmases today.

Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 6:23 am  Comments Off on Christmas in the New World  
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