The first Saturday in December is always the Raleigh Moravian Church Candle Tea.
The Morvian Church has it's roots in Moravia which is now part of the Czech Republic. Their beliefs and practices are similar to the Methodists. In fact when they first went to America they shared a ship with the Methodists. They went because they were concerned about the American Indians in 1735.
During the Candle Tea the church celebrates it's history of crafts and baking, by holding demonstrations of both. The hostesses for the tea are dressed in costumes patterned on a style followed by Moravian women of the mid-1700's.
They serve sugar cake and coffee (no tea in site) and demonstrate the making of beeswax candles and the trimming of them in with a red paper ruffle.
There is also a Putz which is an elaborate nativity scene. If you've ever seen model train settings run by enthusiasts and translate the detail of the modeling into the nativity scene then you will be some way to understanding what a Putz is. the one they have at this church was really lovely. The lady explaining it said that in her home theirs is extended to the different scenes of before and after the birth of Jesus, and takes up much space in several rooms. Sounds really fun for the children and the child in all adults.
The youth were demonstrating intricate paper folded 3-D stars for the tree and another lady demonstrated intricately cut out shapes for the tree too. There were other crafts of photography, knitting, sewing, baking on display, with much being sold.
However the highlight for me was the musical event going on in the sanctuary the whole afternoon. Choirs from different high schools each had 30 minute programs of Christmas music. It was wonderful. They were all of a very high standard. At the end of Cary High School's set they invited the following school, Jesse O, Sanderson High School onto the stage and they both performed the Hallelujah Chorus. It was marvelous. One choir sang most of their songs a cappella and I didn't detect a flat or sharp note at all.
Unfortunately I didn't get to see Garner or Enloe High Schools sing. This was a shame because my daughters went to those schools when we lived here before.
George, my host who drove, cannot drive at night so we had to get back home before dark.