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Tag Archives: holidays

How To Make an Election Cake

Election Cake featured in the Puritan celebration of Election Day, one of the important colonial holidays along with Commencement Day and Training Day. (The Puritans had no use for saints days, which they viewed as Papist abominations, and they even ...

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Old New England Holidays We No Longer Celebrate

old new england holidays

Early New Englanders, influenced by the Puritans, were reluctant celebrants for most holidays. Religious festivals, they felt, were un-Christian and pagan. Yet as the 1600s progressed New Englanders began incorporating a number of festivals and celebrations into their calendar. Some ...

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The Six Oldest Synagogues in New England

The oldest synagogues in New England were built well after the first Jewish settlers arrived. Touro Synagogue, the only surviving synagogue from the Colonial era, was consecrated in 1763, nearly a century after the first Sephardic Jews arrived in Newport, ...

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Puritan Easter, or The Devil’s Holiday

  John Winthrop famously wrote in this journal that the Arbella departed for the New World on Easter Monday – March 29, 1630. But upon arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop and his fellow Puritans took pains to avoid ...

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St. Patrick’s Day Quiz

How well do you know the Irish history of New England? If you've been reading the New England Historical Society, you probably know it pretty well. Test your knowledge of New England's Irish heritage by answering the 11 questions below. ...

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Six Christmas Firsts for New England

New England is as unlikely a place as there is to celebrate Christmas firsts. After all, Puritans in Massachusetts and Connecticut officially banned the holiday. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that most New Englanders took the day off, let ...

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