FESTIVE FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY - Friday, 30 November 2012

Head to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds this December for a Victorian Christmas with a twist.

Forget images of a traditional old gentleman in a scarlet Santa outfit – the Royal Armouries’ Father Christmas will welcome his young visitors from a red and gold throne, sporting eye-catching green robes and a cloak.

The Clarence Dock museum’s Hall of Steel will house a specially-created winter wonderland grotto, home to the “green” Father Christmas.

Museum Director Peter Armstrong said, “Both Father Christmas and Santa Claus are both normally associated with bringing children gifts. The two are in fact entirely different stories. Father Christmas was originally part of an old English midwinter festival, and traditionally wore green as a sign of the return of Spring.

“Tales of St Nicholas, known as Sinter Klaas in Holland, came via Dutch settlers to America in the 17th century. He became known as Santa Claus in the English-speaking world and with him came his unique gift distribution system – the reindeer and sleigh.”

Green Father Christmas in the hall of steel

Royal Armouries’ Christmas festivities start on December 1 and run until December 23. Father Christmas will hold court in his Victorian-style grotto on Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 4pm (£5 per child and includes a gift).

During the week, families can enjoy children’s Christmas craft activities, plus museum tours.

The Hall of Steel will be specially decorated to get everybody in the festive mood – with a cobblestone path leading to the grotto, 10 decorated trees, lanterns, giant snowflakes and lots more.

For more information and the latest news about the Royal Armouries:

Royal Armouries website
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Notes to editors