Merry Christmas – again.

Today is Christmas Eve according to the old calendar, and tonight millions of people (including Ukrainians like me) celebrate with a twelve-dish dinner.

With the disaster surrounding us and a house full of smoke, this is going to be an odd one.

ПимоненкоСтрастныйчетвергUkrainian Easter by Mykola Pymonenko 1887

A Prison Camp Christmas

Ruhleben_Prison_Camp_-_Christmas_Dinner_Art_IWMART528 1917 Frist world War One German Camp British Empire Prisoners

This painting depicts Christmas dinner in the Ruhleben internment camp in Germany in 1917. The camp, located west of Berlin, housed between 4000 and 5500 mainly British prisoners during the First World War.

The work was created by Anglo-Dutch artist Nico Jungmann, who was interned at Ruhleben because he was a naturalised British citizen.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museums.

On this day: a future Queen arrives in Britain

The_Landing_of_HRH_The_Princess_Alexandra_at_Gravesend,_7th_March_1863_by_Henry_Nelson_O'NeilThe Landing of HRH The Princess Alexandra at Gravesend, 7th March 1863 Henry Nelson O'Neil di

Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the future Queen of the United Kingdom, is depicted in this painting by Henry Nelson O’Neil arriving in England on the 7th of March, 1863.

Alexandra travelled to Gravesend in Kent, England by royal yacht to marry Prince Albert Edward, the future King Edward VII.

The royal couple married three days later, on the 10th.

On this day: the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan

ChristianMartyrsOfNagasakiThe Christian martyrs of Nagasaki. 16-17th-century Japanese painting. Japan Art

The Christian Martyrs Of Nagasaki (painted 16th-17th century).

On the 5th of February, 1597, a group of Catholics were executed by crucifixion in Nagasaki, Japan.

The victims were four Spaniards, one Mexican, one Indian (all Franciscan missionaries), three Japanese Jesuits, and seventeen Japanese members of the Third Order of St Francis (including children).

The atrocity was carried out on the orders of Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

Generations later it was discovered that Japan had a community of underground “hidden Catholics” who had not been discouraged by the persecution.

UrakamiTenshudoJan1946Urakami Tenshudo (Catholic Church in Nagasaki) destroyed by the atomic bomb, the bell of the church having toppled off. 7th January 1946.

The Catholic church of Nagasaki was ground zero when the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945 at the end of the Second World War.

On this day: a Manor House in England

Brooke_RemainsCheylesmore_HAGAM_tifThe manor house of Cheylesmore, England in a watercolour and ink painting by William Henry Brooke. dated the 25th of December, 1820.

The manor house of Cheylesmore, England in a watercolour and ink painting by William Henry Brooke, dated the 25th of December, 1820. Parts of the building date back to the year 1250, and some of its most famous residents were Edward, the Black Prince and Henry VI.

Unfortunately, much of what did survive the Second World War was demolished in a development project in the 1950s.

Cheylesmore now makes up part of the southern half of the city of Coventry in the West Midlands.