Monday, 28 December 2009

Mistletoe and Gigues: Christmas Chez Georges-Etienne Cartier

Saturday we spent the afternoon at the Maison Georges-Etienne Cartier, enjoying a Victorian Christmas. Elin and Emmanuel invited us: the curator is one of Emmanuel's friends and he knew the presentation was extraordinary. Not only we were treated to some behind-the-scenes information about how some of the objects made their way to the house, we also very much enjoyed the talks by the three guides, dressed in costume of the mid-19th century. Did you know, for example, that mistletoe is supposed to protect the house, and to greet friends and family with a hug and a kiss offers wishes for a prosperous year to come?

The weekend after Christmas was a particularly good time to visit. Calleur (yes, that's the right spelling) Pierre Chartrand was there with friends to play traditional Quebec music and to lead visitors in dances that have the same origins as square dances that I remember from my own childhood. We even got Lee to dance a waltz at the end, although he sat out the contredanse and set carré.

The exposition closed yesterday, but put it on your calendar as something to do next holiday season.

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