Monday, 23 December 2013

Advent Book Quiz - Day 23

Day twenty-three of our festive quiz

A non-fiction description of Christmas from a different country and century. 

Can you identify the author and title? Submit your answer as a comment below this post - comments won't be published until 3rd January when the answers and winner are revealed. Closing date for entries is 1st January. 

Good Luck!

The Christmas dinner bore a resemblance to the one that I remembered in Scotland except that instead of roast turkey there were geese stuffed with apples accompanied by partridges cooked in sour cream. At the end as a special gesture to her half-Scottish granddaughter, Babushka served a plum pudding. Inside were the usual trinkets, which surprised and delighted young and old. During the dinner, there were pauses when someone would stand up and offer a toast to Babushka and myself in recognition of our name-day, which gave me a delightful sense of importance. 
Towards the end of dinner Yura and Seryozha excused themselves and disappeared into the ballroom. Soon after, Babushka suggested we should leave the table and move towards the closed doors. There we stood waiting. There was an air of expectation. Then, at the tinkling of a bell, all the lights went out, plunging the rooms in darkness. The double-doors were flung wide open. 
And there, against the background of total darkness stood this glorious thing, stretching up to the ceiling, ablaze with lights. I had not seen before a Christmas tree of any kind. The sudden impact of this amazing sight overwhelmed me. 
Everything shimmered and trembled. The beautiful fairy standing on tiptoes, the snow queen on the sledge driving the silver reindeer to her ice castle with the little boy behind her, Red Riding Hood with her basket setting off to see her grandma, the little mermaid swaying gently on the edge of a branch, the princess in her gown and diamond coronet, the evil witch standing beside the cottage which is slowly circling on hens' feet, the gnomes and the little winged angels, the tinkling crystal icicles and the sparkling scattered frost. And over all the glitter, the characters out of fairy tales, the apples, sweets and golden walnuts, there was the brilliance of candles, each pointed flame surrounded by a golden halo encircling the tree, layer upon layer of them, and fusing together into one cascading light of dazzling splendour. 

1 comment:

  1. The House by the Dvina: A Russian Childhood by Eugenie Fraser


Can't make it along the street for a chat? Leave us a comment instead, we love hearing from you.