Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Victorian Christmas {December Daily 19}

Today I went to the Dickens Fair and met up with a friend from high school who I haven't seen in 24 years! It's the most amazing thing when you can reconnect with a friend from the past and be able to continue a lasting conversation for several hours without any awkwardness.

You may be wondering what the Dickens Fair is? Well, in their words it's:
A holiday adventure into Victorian London, partying with hundreds of costumed players in over 120,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance parties and Christmas shops on winding lanes. It's a twilight evening in Charles Dickens' London Town - a city filled with lively and colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamplit shops are filled to overflowing with Christmas presents.

In my words: "It's friggen awesome!"
This was the 1st time I've gone but I first heard about it several years ago. But since we were living in the south bay, I wasn't ever up for venturing up to to the city for it. My loss. But now that we live just a hop skip and jump from where the venue takes place, and definitely inspired by my friend being there for the weekend, I went this rainy day and had the best time!

Many of the people who attend dress in costume and that adds to the fun. My friend and her boyfriend dress in costume every year and it was great being with them and having her tell me all the details of the event.

Walking around, it's like you're walking through the streets of England in the mid 1800s when A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens. There are various shops you can walk into and buy fun trinkets. There are vendors selling roasted chestnuts. And there are spots where various scenes of A Christmas Carol are being acted out.
For instance, this is when the Ghost of Christmas Present brings Scrooge to his nephew's home on Christmas Eve and they listen in on the party making fun of Scrooge being a humbug, yet his ever loyal nephew always defending him.

This was just one of the many acts that happen throughout the day, including Victorian dances at Fezziwig's Warehouse, Carolers wanding the streets and even Can-Can dancers.

If you're lucky, you'll also see the Ghost of Christmas Past and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be walking through the streets as well as all the characters of many of Dicken's tales.
There were many people dressed in Steampunk costume as well as a sighting of Edgar Allan Poe.

One of the vendor shops sells corsets and they have live mannequins modeling their goods.
I was told that it was actually common for men to wear corsets in the 1800s. Whoda knew?

I had so much fun but felt completely illiterate with the storyline of A Christmas Carol. I've never read the tale and I haven't seen a movie rendition in at least 20 years. Janet was extremely knowledgeable about the tale so she told me what I was seeing. But I rented the movie anyhoo to help fill in the blanks and give me a little more enlightenment about all of the characters. Next year, I won't be so clueless!


Ginnie said...

My sister had a post about Dickens' Christmas Carol a couple days ago, Mad, and I've decided to try to find a copy of the movie to add to our DVD collection. It wouldn't be a bad idea to watch it every year at this time! And NO, I didn't know men wore corsets either, but I know some that should! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great way to enjoy A Christmas Carol! And I love, love, love the costuming, even the men in corsets.