Christmas crackers are used in France
British Christmas Traditions and Customs
“He makes a list and checks it twice. He knows if you've been naughty or nice. “These are the ubiquitous words that are sung by children around the world at Christmas. This time of year is a time for family, friends, and anyone in the northern hemisphere to cozy up next to the warm glow of a fireplace. Every family has their own traditions and their own way of celebrating this special day, but there are traditions that make it into every household at any time of the year that transcend culture, British or otherwise, and that makes this time of year extra festive, and it isn't just the story of reindeer, elves, and men sliding down chimneys.
History of Christmas Traditions
Before the carols and trees, Christmas is a very simple story. But over time, the day has grown in popularity around the world, including among those who are not Christian. And what is now considered to be everyday celebrations may not have such Christian origins. Immerse yourself in the history of these Christmas traditions.
Santa Claus or Santa Claus
The origins of Father Christmas (also known as Santa Claus or Saint Nick) date back to the third century, around 280 AD, when the Bishop of Myra, who is now Turkey, was first caught secretly giving gifts. That bishop was Saint Nicholas, who later became Santa Claus. The story of how he became the man behind Santa Claus is simple. Sometime in the 3rd century, he was discovered by a father in debt after giving dowry to his daughters so they could marry. Saint Nicholas gave the gifts in secret, as it was in his character. Every night (but not at Christmas time) he dropped a bag of gold down the chimney of the girls home. The third time, the girls' father was determined to catch Saint Nicholas and waited for the mysterious person to drop the gold down the chimney. When he discovered it was Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, the news soon spread and anyone who had received mysterious gifts would assume they were from Nicholas.
The Christmas tree:
The origin of the Christmas tree is somewhat unknown, many say its roots come from paganism, as people hang branches from the evergreen fir in their homes at the winter solstice. However, the most common story, believed especially by Christians, dates back to 722, when another saint, Saint Boniface, was on a mission this time to convert pagan tribes in Germany. In Germany he noticed a tribe that wanted to sacrifice a boy under an oak tree. St. Boniface cut down the oak and grew a beautiful fir tree in its place. He said this to the villagers as a sign, and soon they would decorate the tree with candles so that St. Boniface could preach to them at night. But the Christmas tree only rose to fame in Britain in the 1840s, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert decorated a tree that time of year that gave birth to many British families who followed in their footsteps.
Caroling has no origins in the Christian faith and was first sung during the winter solstice when pagans danced and sang in circles. The word carol or carole is actually a medieval French term that means to dance in a circle and to accompany you with singing. Christmas carols arise because the early Church wanted to transform pagan themes and holidays into Christian ones. The original melodies didn't sound like they do today, and most of the carols that were invented at the time were written and sung in Latin, so they weren't popular at all. In the 13th century, Francis of Assisi put on nativity scenes to attract the audience, and the performers sang the songs in the language of the people. It was then known as Waisailling, but by the 17th century when Britain broke away from the Catholic Church, Waisailling (which was frowned upon because of its pagan origins) was all but abolished. Under the reign of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria in 1840, it was later resumed as the X-Star X-Star. Prince Albert brought many German traditions to England and Caroling was one of them.
The Queen's Speech:
Becoming part of the feast of the day of what is now referred to as the "feasts" Queen's speech was first given by King George V in 1932. In the speech, the Queen describes what this time of year means to her and also shares her assessment of the events of the year. On the very first broadcast over the radio on Christmas Day, King George made remarks about the impact of technology and how it could reach people far and wide. It is now an annual event that is recorded and televised.
Meal time in Britain, on one of the country's most famous holidays, is different from meal time at any other time of the year. Bring the Christmas crackers, English party hats and the feast on a UK Christmas menu. This meal makes this time of the year special in most homes across the UK.
Traditional menu at a British Christmas dinner:
The menu at Christmas time is extravagant and delicious. A typical British Christmas dinner includes turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, plus Brussels sprouts and pork wrapped in blankets (not real pigs, but sausages wrapped in bacon). These items are also part of a traditional UK Christmas dinner. Other items on the list of classic British Christmas dishes include mince pies (which are made from dried fruit rather than ground beef) and Yorkshire puddingSPACE fruit cakes.
The British love pudding. And what better pudding is there to round off the Christmas experience than ending with a serious Christmas dessert ... Christmas pudding. Christmas pudding or plum pudding is made from a variety of dried fruits, including raisins and sultanas. These are combined with rum, grated rocket and black treacle. The ingredients are then placed in a pudding bowl and cooked until "cooked". Traditionally, the pudding is served with warm vanilla sauce. Delicious
With the normal dinner rules not applying on Christmas Day, Christmas dinner crackers are the order of the day at tables across England. As families prepare for the day and set the table, the British family will tell you the decor isn't complete without a Christmas cracker. These crackers usually contain candy and other small gifts. This goes back to the 19th century when an English confectionery manufacturer came up with the idea to increase sales of its candy. It sure did the trick, and today you can hear the crackling crackle at every table in the country.
What to Wear to a Christmas Dinner (Christmas Dinner Dressing)
If you have trouble about what to wear on Christmas Day, you are not alone. Whether you are from the UK or not, finding the perfect Christmas outfit is a problem for everyone. Most of us want something that is appealing, but we also want large amounts of turkey, ham, or Christmas pudding. Whatever we wear, we are all really looking forward to dinner.
Attending a formal dinner with colleagues, friends, or family members:
If you're attending a dinner between expats or ahead of the day, consider dressing smarter. Wear neutral tones and decorate the colors of the seasons. Maybe a shawl or wrap in red and a dress for a woman and a pair of trousers, a jacket and a red sweater for men. It still looks formal enough to show that you've put in enough effort, but red brings the fun side to your outfit and says you're in a fun mood. Since red is a common color in Christmas decor too, you may want to go for varied colors and use cream instead.
Participation in a casual lunch or themed dinner with younger guests:
Eating out with loved ones on the vacation and dress code can be more casual. A sweater, good pants and shoes should be enough. Hold on to the clothes by wearing them in the colors of green and red of the seasons. Maybe a red sweater or red accessories. Some families even have traditions like wearing Christmas clothes with prints or pictures of Santa Claus, reindeer or elves. And if you're this year's Santa Claus, don't forget to bring your suit and of course your belly!
Christmas is one of the last celebrated days of the calendar (except Boxing Day). It's a way for families to gather and discuss what they enjoyed most in the past year, it's time to give gifts and receive them too! But most importantly, it's a time to spread love and happiness, even when it comes to decorating the tree the way you don't want it or adding an unconventional meal to your dinner plans. Christmas is all about love.
Merry Christmas from all of us! We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
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