Old Salem Preserves Old Christmas Traditions

6:32 AM, Dec 27, 2013   |    comments
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Though Christmas has come and gone, Old Salem is still adorned with historic holiday spirit--exhibits and shops that offer a glimpse of 19th-century Moravian Christmas, which community members can see and experience firsthand during the last few remaining days of the Old Salem holiday tours.

The tours began in November and run through Tuesday, December 31. Hours of operation for both guided and self-guided tours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am. through 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from seven dollars (children) to $26 (adult, two-day pass), depending on which kind stops visitors want to see. Prospective visitors can purchase tickets online or at the Old Salem Visitor Center, located at 900 Old Salem Road.

Holiday tour operators describe the tour experience as "a step back into time, when the holidays were simpler, less stressful and more focused on faith and family." The tours depict the décor, cooking and religious traditions of a 19th century Moravian Christmas. Moravia was a historical country in central Europe, which now is present-day eastern Czech Republic. The Moravian Church is a protestant denomination to which inhabitants of Old Salem once belonged.

Tourists of Old Salem can see the Single Brothers' House and museum, as well as other sanctuaries once precious to the Old Salem Moravians. The Single Brothers' House once was a living space and worship center for the Single Brothers' Choir, which was a group of unmarried Moravian men.

WFMY News 2's Meghann Mollerus spoke Friday with Joe Mount and Erin Glant, who teach visitors about the traditions and Christmas interpretations of the Single Brothers' House Saal. Mount encouraged any interested community members to attend the holiday tours' one-time concert Friday afternoon. "Peter and the Wolf" will feature music by Prokofiev, featuring the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players' Woodwind Quartet and percussion. It runs from at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium in the Old Salem Visitor Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students with an ID and for children ages 12 and under.

Aside from musical and religious aspects of the tour, food is depicted as a pivotal aspect of 19th Century Moravian Christmas. The C. Winkler Bakery bakes treats from a 200-year-old oven and sells them to tourists. The Minksch Garden offers tourists a glimpse at a Moravian winter garden, which contains seasonal foods grown during Moravian Christmases.

For more information on exhibits and shops on the Old Salem Holiday tour, visit the event's home page.

WFMY News 2

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