All Sections
action:article | category:NEWHAMPSHIRE02 | adString:NEWHAMPSHIRE02 | zoneID:2
Welcome guest, you have 2 views left. | Register | Sign In



Shaker Village was decorated with traditional Christmas trimmings at the Canterbury Christmas celebration at Shaker Village Saturday. (DAN SEUFERT PHOTO)

Canterbury Shaker Village welcomes guests curious about history

CANTERBURY - Hundreds of visitors came to Shaker Village Saturday afternoon as volunteer Shaker history buffs and local artists showed, through short plays and informative displays, how a faith based on human purity once enjoyed Christmas.

The fifth-annual "A Christmas in Canterbury" is a two-Saturday event that concludes next Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. at the 694-acre Shaker Village, which is dedicated to preserving the 200-year legacy of the Shakers.

The Shakers, a denomination that formed in late 18th century England and soon moved to New England, believed in personal communication with God and felt a caretaker-like devotion to mankind and to the Earth.

Living a self-sufficient lifestyle, they came to be known for their architecture, crafts, and furniture.

Though the Shakers were known for their simple, tranquil way of life and daily work routines, they treasured Christmas as a time to celebrate by helping and giving to each other and to their community as a whole, said Sally Stanton of the Shaker Village.

On Christmas, Shakers made a special effort to forgive each others' sins and made small, often useful presents for each other. Negative emotions were suppressed in favor of the greater good.

"They celebrated in a very simple way," Stanton said. "Because it is so simple, it shows what Christmas can be like without all the commercialism."

As the parking lots filled with cars, candle-lit lanterns lined paths to several of the 25 restored original Shaker buildings and four reconstructed Shaker buildings. Children rode horse-pulled hayrides outside.

In one house, actors dressed in 19th century costumes portrayed a Shaker schoolhouse during the Christmas season, with a large hand-decorated Christmas tree at the front of the room. In another house, actors portrayed a doctor and a nurse.

Dozens huddled in one house to hear traditional Christmas tunes performed acoustically by the Jordan Tirell-Wysocki Trio. In another building, Marcel Durette, a teacher at the Homestead Woodworking School in Newmarket, demonstrated the art of wooden ornament-making.

In the basement of one building, an ongoing gingerbread spectacular displayed 15 entrants' gingerbread cakes and pastries.

The winner will be determined by Shaker volunteers on Saturday and will receive a $200 prize.

A People's Choice Award will also be given.

Stanton said the last Canterbury Shakers, who have died in the past few years, used to sit and greet visitors as they arrived.

"It's easily one of the favorite events here," Stanton said.

For more information, go to shakers.org.

dseufert@newstote.com

3

Comments


To improve the chance of seeing your comment posted here or published in the New Hampshire Union Leader:

  • Identify yourself. Accounts using fake or incomplete names are suspended regardless of the quality of posts.
  • Say something new, stay on topic, keep it short.
  • Links to outside URLs are discouraged, if used they should be on topic.
  • Avoid comments in bad taste, write well, avoid using all capital letters
  • Don't cite facts about individuals or businesses without providing a means to verify the claim
  • If you see an objectionable comment please click the "Report Abuse" button and be sure to tell us why.

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

Be the first to comment.

Post a comment


You must sign in before you can post comments. If you are experiencing issues with your account please e-mail abuse@unionleader.com.


action:article | category:NEWHAMPSHIRE02 | adString:NEWHAMPSHIRE02 | zoneID:59
     

FOLLOW US
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed
Union Leader app for Apple iPad or Android *
Click to download from Apple Apps StoreClick to download from Android Marketplace
* e-Edition subscription required