Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hometown Christmas in Lancaster County, PA

Hometown Christmas
Lancaster County Christmas traditions are as varied and diverse as the history that surrounds them. The Moravian Putz, The Ephrata Cloister Christmas, and the Landis Valley Museum’s Days of the Belsnickel are merely a few of the events surrounding Lancaster’s history. Christmas tree lightings and other small-town events are also on the calendar for this Christmas season, so be sure to stick around for a Lancaster County hometown Christmas.
  • The annual Moravian Manor Putz will be on display for this Christmas season. A 16-foot long diorama that is maintained throughout the year by the Lititz Moravian Church, the shows are run by the Moravian Church for the community. The presentation shares the history of the Putz as well as the Christmas Story.
  • The Ephrata Cloister hosts several events throughout the Christmas season.
    • Christmas at the Cloister runs the weekend of December 9 & 10. The program entails seasonal readings and holiday music in the c. 1741 meetinghouse.  
    • Christmas Lantern Tours cover the four days after Christmas this year, December 26-29. During these evenings, student historians guide visitors through the cloister by lantern light, dramatically retelling the history of the Cloister. Registration begins on December 1.
  • The Landis Valley Museum epitomizes the Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas tradition of great food, friendships, and the visit of the Belsnickel—a legendary Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas character.
    • The Days of the Belsnickel tours occur on December 4 and December 14. The tours include food, fun and Pennsylvania German culture. The evening comes to a close with a visit from that infamous character of Pennsylvania German legend, the Belsnickel. A bewhiskered man dressed in fur, the Belsnickel drives a sled and brings switches for the naughty and sweets for the nice during the Christmas season.
    • Other events at the Landis Valley museum this holiday season include a Holiday Bonfire and a Children’s Old Fashioned Christmas.  For more information about these events visit http://landisvalleymuseum.org/.

The ideal hometown Christmas is something that many people dream about, complete with a Christmas tree lighting in the town square. In Lancaster County the dream comes true in many a small-town.
  • Lititz will host its home-town Christmas tree lighting on December 6 this year. The event will take place in Lititz Springs Park with appearances from Mayor Ron Oettel and the Minister of the Moravian Church among other special guests. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage and the audience will enjoy a special performance from the Moravian Trombone Choir.
The village of Intercourse will host its own Christmas celebration on the weekend of December 6 & 7 with storytelling, children’s activities, shopping and business open houses.