Celebrating the 12 days of Christmas in the Newfoundland of yesteryear

12 Dec


The village of Epworth, Newfoundland, on Placentia Bay, during the 1920s. The fish flakes for drying cod are built out over the water of the small harbour.

My parents immigrated from Newfoundland to Toronto in the 1920s, in the days prior to Confederation. As a child, I heard tales of the Christmas celebrations in Burin Peninsula, where my parents and grandparents were born. My mother was born in Epworth (seen in the picture above) and my father was born in Burin Bay. I grew up in Toronto during the 1940s, and marvelled at their stories. One of the traditions of Christmas that fascinated me was “mummering.” The villagers dressed up in handmade costumes, and after dark, visited the homes of the community in disguise to play tricks and perform music in exchange for treats. The other tradition that interested me was the “soup supper”, a fund-raiser sponsored by the church. Each family brought a different kind of soup to the church hall and competed to see who could consume the most. 

Dressing up in costume to go “mummering” during the twelve days of Christmas

A Christmas tale of old Newfoundland

The community “soup supper” at Christmas time in a Newfoundland village

To view posts about Christmas in Toronto throughout the years

Christmas cards mailed in Toronto during the years 1924-1926

I remember the Christmas buffet lunches at the Arcadian Court at the Simpson’s Queen Street Store in Toronto

Christmas at Mackenzie house on Bond Street.

Christmas at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market

The Christmas Market at the Distillery District

Memories of the Christmas windows of the Simpson’s store on Queen Street

Christmas at the Kensington Market

Memories of Toyland on the fifth floor of the old Eaton’s Store at Queen and Yonge Street

The Christmas lights on Yonge Street in the 1950s

The history of Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade

The 1940s Christmas radio broadcasts featuring Santa Claus

Christmas at Toronto’s historic St. Andrew’s Market

Christmas trees and seasonal decorations in Toronto

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Toronto


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