Exhibition celebrates the spirit of Christmases past

Have your say

A “FASCINATING insight” into how Scots celebrated Christmas – or were prevented from doing so – over more than 400 years is being presented at a new exhibition in the Capital.

Archivists at the National Records of Scotland have uncovered documents, dating to the 1500s, which shed light on how attitudes to Yuletide celebrations have changed through the ages.

The documents, photos and artefacts which help reveal exactly what Christmas meant to our ancestors are now going on show at a free display.

Part of the exhibition reveals how Christmas celebrations were an illicit pleasure in post-Reformation Scotland, with the kirks seeking to punish festive revellers. In December 1574, St Nicholas Kirk session in Aberdeen scolded 14 women for “plaing, dansink, and singin off filthy karrells on youll day”.

The exhibition, entitled Christmases Past, runs until January 18 at General Register House in Princes Street.

Audrey Robertson, acting keeper of the records, said: “This free display gives a timely and fascinating insight into how the way Scots celebrate Christmas has changed through the ages.”