British Christmas

Christmas in the UK is celebrated on December 25th. This holiday is the birthday of Jesus Christ. For many people, Christmas is a great reason to present gifts to their relatives and friends, receiving gifts from them in return. And of course cook special festive dishes.

Christmas is a public holiday, which means that most of the UK population has a day off.

A big family dinner is perhaps the main event of Christmas, giving the whole family a reason to get together, even if they live in different parts of the country. Traditionally, there is a custom that the British cook turkey with cranberry sauce. For a snack, they prefer small sausages wrapped in bacon, as well as pies filled with berries and spices.

A separate and very special theme of the British Christmas table is dessert. Traditionally, there are puddings of various flavors, classic Scottish shortbread cakes, rolls or chocolate rolls.

Before Christmas, people decorate their homes and gardens with colorful garlands, holly leaves and berries and mistletoe bushes, as well as various other decorations with rich colors that awaken the Christmas mood. And of course, nothing will be done without a Christmas tree, despite the fact that the very custom of decorating a Christmas tree in the house has become popular not very long ago. It is probably due to the fact that the British enjoy the process of decorating the house with various evergreens.

For many years, the Advent wreath has remained common in the UK. Four large candles are woven into a wreath, then they are lit one at a time every Sunday, starting with one candle on the first Sunday, then two on the second Sunday, and so on. Thus, it becomes brighter in the house closer to the holiday.

In many cities,  streets are also decorated with lights and large pine trees, often specially imported from Norway. In some places a nativity scene is arranged. It illustrates the story of the birth of Jesus using statues or actors and animals. On the night before Christmas, a festive service is held in churches, which is accompanied by the ringing of bells.

At 3 pm, the BBC begins broadcasting Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas greeting. The tradition of such addresses was founded by King George V, who congratulated the British on Christmas on the radio. And since 1957, congratulations have been broadcast on TV.

Christmas Eve night is an extremely welcome time for young children. According to the legend, at this time, Santa comes. Children hang special socks on the fireplace and go to bed. It is believed that Santa and his elves make all the toys for Christmas at their home in Greenland. On Christmas Eve, he puts all the toys in his sleigh and rides across the sky with his 9 reindeer. The most famous of them is Rudolph, who always walks in front, showing his red nose. In the morning when the children wake up, they open their gifts.

The oldest and sweetest tradition is the kiss under the mistletoe, according to which any girl who stands under a branch or jewelry made from mistletoe can be kissed. Frequently, this was the beginning of a new relationship.

Christmas markets, which begin their work in November across the country, play a significant role in the celebration. They have become a great place to pick up Christmas gifts. Market stalls sell sweet churros with Nutella, and you can also go to the pub for hot chocolate or mulled wine. With the advent of Christmas markets, the British are trying to attract as many young people as possible, organizing festive photo zones, bars and open-air cinemas.

Author: German Goryaynov

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