By Josh Marais –
The Norse god of mischief, enchanting folk tales and the heady scent of pine forests conjure up the magical atmosphere of a Nordic winter this Christmas in Chatsworth.
Deep Midwinter: A Nordic Christmas in Chatsworth is inspired by Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway where the long winters are embraced with traditions to celebrate the light and beauty of nature.
The Devonshire family has a long history of celebrating Nordic culture and its connection to wilderness and nature, with pieces from the Devonshire collections that have inspired this Christmas season being woven into the displays.
Visitors to Chatsworth will be taken on a journey through the forests and folklore of the Nordic region. A procession of radiant Santa Lucia wreaths by candlelight dressed in foliage down the chapel hallway evokes the Swedish Festival of Light that illuminates the dark days of mid-winter each December.
Giant Finnish Himmeli Christmas decorations hang in the Green Satin Room along with nearly 50,000 paper straws used to create this striking installation. These delicate geometric structures have been popular in Nordic countries for centuries, predating the tradition of the Christmas tree. Traditionally, Himmelis was hung above dining tables to ensure a good harvest for the coming year.
A delicious handmade gingerbread house sits proudly on the piano in the Ante Library. Building a gingerbread house is an age-old Christmas tradition for many northern families and the aroma of ginger and spices will add to the immersive experience.
Norse god Loki will delight and surprise with stories, music and magic tricks, marking a welcome return to character-driven performance this Christmas after a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
Full of mischief, Loki will have a few tricks up his sleeve in the Great Dining Room where the lavishly set table is surrounded by wood, bringing the Norwegian fairy tale, The Polar Bear, to life.
The fully immersive experience drawing on the scents and sounds of the natural environment will enchant anyone who wanders through the sculpture gallery’s ancient pine forest with dappled winter light dancing through the canopy of leaves at -above.
A monumental wall of ice interwoven with intricate carvings of oak trees and woodland creatures will greet visitors as they enter the Oak Room. A giant wooden ball hangs from the Oak Stairs ceiling lantern alluding to The little treeHans Christian Andersen’s tale of a fir tree so eager to grow and experience greater things that it cannot enjoy living in the moment.
Botanical illustrations of wild native Danish plants in Flora Danicaone of the most ambitious botanical publications of its day purchased by the 11th Duke of Devonshire (1920-2004) and a delicate and extremely rare strand of raw silver, collected by the 6th Duke (1790-1858) from the mine Ilsoe, Konsberg in Norway are among the items from the Devonshire Collections that inspired the Chatsworth Nordic Christmas.
The clothing worn by the 11th Duke of Devonshire on his nature hikes and expeditions – including his walking boots, rucksack and gloves – recalls the story of the Devonshire family’s connection to the wilderness and nature. nature.
Hans Christian Andersen’s evocative fairy tales are woven into the experience with collectible postcards featuring stories such as The snowdrop and The teapot. Younger visitors will have the opportunity to follow a path from house to garden as Loki, following clues to explore the Nordic-inspired lights.
The Christmas experience continues outside with an illuminated walk around the garden to see the ‘Aurora Borealis’ over the canal pond and – for the first time – see the historic maze lit by wands. light and filled with festive music. Visitors can also soak up the festive atmosphere at Chatsworth Christmas Market from 5th to 23rd November. The Chatsworth Shops in the Orangery and Stables will offer a selection of Nordic gifts, decorations and homewares for those inspired by Christmas at home.
Wishing trees will also make a welcome homecoming to allow visitors to make a special Christmas wish to hang on a tree before leaving.
Tickets were released today (September 22). Tickets for Christmas in Chatsworth are priced at £29.50 for adults, £18 for children and £78 for a family (two adults and up to three children), and include access to the house, the garden and on the farm, as well as parking and access to the Christmas market from 5 to 23 November. Advance booking through the Chatsworth website is required.
For anyone wishing to visit the Christmas market only, a Christmas market parking ticket must be reserved in advance via the website.
This year’s Christmas event is kindly supported by CW Sellors, one of the UK’s leading specialists in fine jewelery and luxury watches, and Investec Wealth & Investment.
For more information and to book, go to www.chatsworth.org/Christmas
Chatsworth supports the town’s marketing and economic growth through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organizations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.