A traditional village pub in England decorated for Christmas.
This is The George Inn, the focal point of the community in the beautiful old village of Middle Wallop in Hampshire England.
Inns, this one included, are buildings where travellers can seek lodging, food and drink. They are typically located in the country or along a highway. This one is on the A343 which was an old coaching route starting just inside the county of Wiltshire in Salisbury and finishing in Newbury Berkshire. It passes through a series of Wallops - Over, Nether and Middle, before reaching the Airfield and Aviation Museum in the latter village. It possibly first sprang up when the Romans built a system of roads two millennia ago. Some inns in Europe are several centuries old. In addition to providing for the needs of travellers, inns traditionally acted as community gathering places.
Along with a tree, and bits of tree, holly, ivy and mistletoe, a lot of other materials are used as decorations at Christmas.
Ancient people were fascinated by the way evergreens stayed green through all the bleak days of winter. It proved to them that these trees were still alive and reminded them that spring would come again. The Holly, from ancient times, was used by people in Britain to protect their homes from evil spirits. Witches and warlocks are said to be deterred from entering by the holly's prickly leaves and also by its reputation for holiness.
The Druids, who lived in Britain in pre-Christian times, are responsible for the use of mistletoe at Christmas. They worshipped the oak tree and as mistletoe grew on oak trees they regarded it as a very special plant and thought it possessed magical qualities that kept the sleeping oak alive during the cold winter days. They believed chopping down an oak tree covered in mistletoe promised death to the woodcutter within the year.
In decorating the house with evergreens at Christmas, care must be taken not to let ivy be used alone or even predominate, as it is a plant of bad omen, and will prove injurious.
Christmas ornaments are decorations, usually made of glass, metal, wood or ceramics that are used to festoon a Christmas tree. Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round ball to highly artistic designs. Ornaments are almost always reused year after year, rather than purchased annually, and family collections often contain a combination of commercially produced ornaments and decorations created by family members. Such collections are often passed on and augmented from generation to generation.
Santa Claus is a commonly used figure. Candy canes, fruit, animals, snowmen, angels and snowflake imagery are also popular choices.
November 16th, 2013
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