Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas tradition in Great-Britain

Every country seems to have a different way of celebrating Christmas. Each one has special traditional Christmas foods, special Christmas traditions and customs, different ways of giving gifts, etc.
In Great-Britain, there are many Christmas customs which originated hundreds years ago. Many of them have been adopted in foreign countries, namely in the United States. The first Christmas card was posted in England in the 1840's, and the practice soon became an established part of the build-up to Christmas. Over a billion Christmas cards are now sent every years in the United Kingdom.
The typical British Christmas decorations consist of holly, ivy and mistletoe, which are associated with traditions going back to the Dark Ages. The Christmas tree was popularised by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, who first introduced one to the Royal Household in 1840. Nowadays, the houses are decorated with Christmas trees which are adorned with all kinds of baubles and fairy lights. The presents are usually too big to place them on the tree so they are put around the bottom and the Christmas cards are either placed around the room or hung on steamers.
Carols are often sung on Christmas Eve by groups of singers to their neighbours, and children hang a stocking on the fireplace or at the foot of their bed for Father Christmas to fill. Christmas Day sees the opening of presents and many families attend Christmas services at church.
Christmas dinner consists traditionally of roast turkey, goose or chicken with stuffing and roast potatoes. This is followed by mince pies and Christmas pudding flaming with brandy, which might contain coins or lucky charms for children. Later in the day, a Christmas cake is served. This is a rich baked fruit cake with marzipan, icing, and sugar frosting.
The pulling of Christmas crackers often accompanies food on Christmas Day. Invented by a London baker in 1846, a cracker is a brightly coloured paper tube, twisted at both ends, which contains a party hat, riddle and toy or other ornament. When it is pulled by two people, it gives out a crack as it contents are dispersed. Also popular among children at Christmas time are pantomimes, song and dance dramatisations of well-known faity tales which encourage audience participation.

1 comment:

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