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History and the Holidays

Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Wednesday, Dec. 25, at 8 p.m.
Repeats Thursday, Dec. 26, at 12:30 a.m.

Also airs on Fusion on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m.

Join the popular royal historian and TV personality Lucy Worsley as she brings to life a magnificent Tudor Christmas, exploring the rituals and riches of the 12-day holiday as it was celebrated during the reign of King Henry VIII. With Worsley as our guide—in lavish period costume—we discover that many of our current traditions, from carols to Christmas cake, from gift-giving to mulled wine, have surprising Tudor origins.

The Tudor celebration of Christmas was an extravagant 12-day period of food, music, dance and tradition that began on Dec. 25 and concluded on Jan. 5, the eve of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. Through interviews with historians and newly accessible archival materials, Worsley reconstructs the particular activities performed each day, revealing that the king and his subjects celebrated Christmas in a nationwide spectacular that brought all levels of society together for an extended holiday of indulgence and merry-making.

Donning period garb and rolling up her sleeves, Worsley prepares feasts, learns to decorate in Tudor style and does a bit of caroling while also offering up a fascinating portrait of a nation at a pivotal time in history.

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