Midwinter Links: Edo in Winter & Society & Santa Claus’ Elitist Origins

Here are some fascinating links with a seasonal theme, and at the end of the post the December posts I have reviewed, revised and reposted. And to remind you, I have a Winter Solstice Virtual Tour on Friday, and a Jane Austen Virtual Tour taking place on Saturday.. Follow the links on the www.chr.org.uk to find out more or book.

The wintery landscapes of Utagawa Hiroshige | with Alfred Haft |

This is a short video of an event held for British Museum members. It’s on YouTube, so it should be available for non-members. It shows, with some animation, beautiful snowy landscapes by the great Hiroshige. It is 12 minutes long.

Santa Claus’ Elitist Origins

I came across Ben Tumin’s conversation with Professor Stephen Nissenbaum on Santa Claus’ Elitist Origins in Tumin’s Skipped History Substack posts. Nissebnaum wrote a highly rated book called the ‘Battle for Christmas’, which pointed out that, before the 19th Century, Christmas was largely outdoors, and a riotous time of debauchery, gluttony, and drunkenness. The ruling classes managed in the 19th Century to change this for a quieter, indoor, family-based experience. Well worth a listen.


Almanac of the Past December Posts:

Here are the posts I have reviewed and republished since the last email for subscribers:

4 Replies to “Midwinter Links: Edo in Winter & Society & Santa Claus’ Elitist Origins”

  1. Many thanks for sharing these links!

    The podcast on Xmas’ elitist origin is brilliant…
    Would be very interesting to know if the same happened in no Anglo Saxon countries like France…

    And beautiful Hiroshige prints!!!

    1. Yes, it is isn’t it! The worrying thing is a blogged about it last year and forgot all about it this year and read it as if it were a great surprise!

      I think the transfer of celebrations from outdoors to indoors probably happened everywhere, and the shortening of the Christmas period happened because of industraliation. So I’m sure similar things happened.

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