Tree Dressing, 2 December

Head to the Museum on Sunday 2 December for our atmospheric Tree Dressing celebration – a magical day out with crafts, lantern making, singing and dancing as darkness falls.

Based on an ancient custom celebrating the life-giving properties of trees, Tree Dressing – with its origins in the Green Man legends and other ancient customs – is an annual celebration that takes place during National Tree Week. Visitors are invited to make a lantern during their visit, which is then lit for a procession around the Museum’s downland site during the afternoon. Younger visitors are well catered for, with headdress making, crafts and storytelling.

The lantern procession culminates at two aspen trees near the Museum’s market square, where the lanterns are hung, making a spectacular display of colour and light to brighten the winter afternoon. The day’s finale takes place as the sun sets, with a spiral dance around the trees, which glow with hundreds of lanterns.

Information for visitors

The Museum is open from 10.30am until 4pm on Sunday 2 December with Tree Dressing activities beginning at 12.30pm. The lantern procession starts at 3.45pm and closes the day. Winter warmers on offer include mulled cider, mulled apple juice and spiced biscuits, for which the Museum requests donations. The Museum’s Wattle & Daub café will be serving snacks, drinks, sweet treats and lunches. Regular Museum admission prices apply (free for Annual Members). All activities are subject to change. Dogs on short leads are welcome and there is ample free parking.

The Museum is open until 23 December 2018 (closed 24-25 and 28-31) and open for ‘Christmas at the Museum’ on Boxing Day and Tuesday 27 December. The Museum reopens on 1 January 2019.