A Very Tudor Christmas: 30 November – 5 December 2023

Christmas today is over so quickly, but Christmas in medieval and Tudor times was twelve days of eating, drinking and making merry after the fasting of Advent.

Tudor people knew how to have a good time, and even more so at the royal court, where the Lord of Misrule presided over the entertainment, which included disguisings, pageants and more.

In this six-day event, historian and author Claire Ridgway explores the history of Christmas and brings to life the twelve days of merriment that the Tudors enjoyed, both at the royal court and in towns and villages around the country.

Learn all about the Tudor Christmas in this interactive online event through video talks, Zoom Q&A sessions and Zoom discussions.

Place: Online, here on a private part of this website, and via Zoom. Join in from the comfort of your own home.

Dates: 30 November – 5 December, plus four "Tudor talk" Zoom discussions leading up to the event (2 in October, 2 in November).

Price: Full price $99, early bird price $85 (valid until 30 September 2023) with coupon code EBCHRISTMAS.

Hosted by me, historian and author Claire Ridgway, this completely online event will feature talks and zoom calls over six days.

If you don’t know me, I'm the author of fourteen history books, including On This Day in Tudor History, and the founder of the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society sites. I've always enjoyed connecting Tudor history lovers with experts and I became even more passionate about this during the recent worldwide pandemic. People couldn't travel to see historians and authors speak, they couldn't participate in physical events, and some people just don't have the opportunity to do so anyway. I had experience of bringing Tudor history to people online so I decided to create online Tudor history events where people could learn about their favourite era and characters without leaving home, talk Tudor to their heart's content with other like-minded people (not people whose eyes glaze over!), share their views and “grill” reputable historians in real time. It's important to me that I choose experts who are interesting to listen to, who really know their stuff, and who are truly passionate about their subjects and enjoy sharing this passion with others.

I've been overwhelmed by the response to my previous six events, with many people signing up time after time! I invite you to join us for A Very Tudor Christmas. Let's learn and have fun while doing it!


  • Thursday 30 November – Talk on The Origins of Christmas and New Year - Claire kicks off our Christmas event by examining the history of Christmas from the Nativity and the celebrations by early Christians to the Medieval Christmas and how it incorporated traditions from winter celebrations such as Saturnalia, the Solstice and Kalends.
    Q&A and discussion via Zoom with Claire at 10pm UK / 5pm New York time.
  • Friday 1 December – Talk on Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas - Nowadays, we mark Advent with chocolate Advent Calendars, and Christmas lasts just a few days. but in Tudor times, Christmas was a huge celebration after the fasting of Advent. Claire looks at the ritual involved with Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas.
    Q&A and discussion via Zoom with Claire at 10pm UK / 5pm New York time.
  • Saturday 2 December – Talk on Christmas Food, Drink, Music and Entertainment - Christmas was a time to be merry in Tudor times, but how did our 16th-century ancestors celebrate? Claire explores festive food and drink, and the music and entertainment enjoyed over the Twelve Days of Christmas.
    Q&A and discussion via Zoom with Claire at 10pm UK / 5pm New York time.
  • Sunday 3 December – Talk on How did the Tudor monarchs mark Christmas at court? - Claire looks at what the primary sources tell us about the entertainment enjoyed over the festive period at the Tudor royal courts.
    Q&A and discussion via Zoom with Claire at 10pm UK / 5pm New York time.
  • Monday 4 December – Talk on Christmas after the Reformation and Beyond - How did the celebration of Christmas change after the English Reformation and moving into the 17th century when its rituals were seen by some as the “trappings of popery” and there was a Puritan ‘War on Christmas’? Claire examines how Christmas has changed over the centuries.
    Q&A and discussion via Zoom with Claire at 10pm UK / 5pm New York time.
  • Tuesday 5 DecemberChristmas Party! We'll end our Christmas event with an informal Christmas party via Zoom. Wear your favourite Christmas sweater or party outfit, bring a Christmas treat and tipple, and be ready to socialise and spread goodwill! You'll also be able to ask questions or raise points that you may not have had chance to ask during the event. Join in via Zoom at 10pm UK / 5pm New York time.

Tudor Christmas Bonuses

FREE e-book

All attendees will receive an e-book copy of "'Twas the Night Before Tudor Christmas" by Laura Loney and illustrated by Kathryn Holeman. This wonderful book is far more than a poetry book. It includes more than 30 original Tudor-inspired activities, games, ideas and recipes to bring a twist of Tudor to your modern Christmas! And it's sumptuously illustrated by Kathryn Holeman.

Four FREE zoom chats

Between October and the event, there will be four informal Zoom chats for all registered attendees. This will give participants the chance to get to know each other and talk Tudor.
These will be on 15 and 29 October, and 5 and 18 November.

Meet our Expert

Claire Ridgway

Historian Claire Ridgway is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the best-selling author of 14 history books, including "The Boleyns of Hever Castle" (co-written with Dr Owen Emmerson), "The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown", "George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat" (co-written with Clare Cherry, "The Anne Boleyn Collection" and its two sequels, "On This Day in Tudor History", and "On This Day in Tudor History II".

Claire is also the founder of The Anne Boleyn Files and Elizabeth Files blogs, The Tudor Society, and the popular Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube Channel. She contributed to the recent BBC docudrama "The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family", has written for BBC History Extra and All About History Magazine, and been featured on a number of podcasts and radio stations internationally.

Claire will be speaking to us throughout the event and hosting our zoom call discussions.

What's included

  • 6 days of talks and Q&A sessions.
  • Membership of our private Facebook group where you can interact with Claire and others who are part of the event.
  • Transcripts - of all the chats and talks for you to enjoy.
  • Recommended reading and resources list.
  • Lifetime access to recordings and transcripts.
  • Regular Zoom call discussions leading up to the event so that you can get to know other event participants and enjoy discussing history.
  • PLUS a digital copy of 'Twas The Night Before Tudor Christmas by Laura Loney and Kathryn Holeman.

By the end of this event, you'll have a fresh understanding of how the Tudors celebrated Christmas and New Year.

Register here

Full price $99.00
(approximately £81.20, AUD 154.00, €93.50)
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Many thanks for this brilliant event as well as the gifts and all the work involved. I’ve enjoyed it so much.