Old Christmas: It’s a tradition

Published 12:36 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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Old Christmas is really old – that is, centuries old.

The custom stems from the change to the Gregorian calendar, which declared Christmas to be Dec. 25.

Islanders in the northern villages on Hatteras Island refused to change and continued celebrating Christmas on Epiphany, Jan. 6.

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That tradition continued Jan. 6, 2024 with this year’s version Old Christmas.

It was drizzly day outdoors, but nevertheless the oyster shoot sold out with 24 rounds with 10 shooters per round. Amazed were those who wrongfully assumed that the shoot would not go forward with the weather.

Inside the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Building, as is the custom, Christmas decorations remained up with garlands and lights and a fully decorated Christmas tree.

In the kitchen, Connie Page, Judy Blue and Noah Gentry prepared the traditional dinner featuring chicken and pastry, green beans, potato salad, rolls and lots of desserts. It was served just after 5 p.m. Others helped.

Outside, the oyster cooker was heating up and the crowd started gathering for roasted oysters.

Inside, Carolina Sweaters played for dancing. Barry Wells leads the band with Blake Durham, Tyler Roberts, Conner Roberts and John Saturley.

For those who missed the Old Christmas performance, Carolina Sweaters is playing the Coastal Federation Oyster Roast in Hatteras Village on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. Or catch their performance at Shuck Hatteras III on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2024, as well as other venues during the season.