Christmas Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom on
December 25. It traditionally celebrates Jesus Christ's
birth but many aspects of this holiday have pagan
origins. Christmas is a time for many people to give and
receive gifts and prepare special festive meals.
Advent is a season observed in many
Western Christian churches as a time
of expectant waiting and preparation
for the celebration of the Nativity of
Jesus at Christmas. It starts on the
fourth Sunday before December 25,
which is the Sunday between
November 27 and December 3. One of
the most famous traditions concerning
Advent is "Advent wreath" - a wreath
of fir branches, in which are woven
four candles. On the first Sunday one
candle is lit, on the second - two and
so on, so it's every week become
brighter. These wreaths decorate
churches and homes of the believers.
The 24th of December is day called
Christmas Eve. Carol singing, midnight
church services and going out to the pub
are some of the activities that many
families can enjoy on Christmas Eve.
Night time on Christmas Eve though is a
very exciting time for young children. It is
the time when Santa or Father Christmas
comes. They hang up their stockings and
go to sleep. On Christmas Eve Santa piles
all of the toys onto his sleigh and rides
across the sky with his 9 reindeer (Dasher,
Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid,
Donner, Blitzen and of course ... Rudolf!).
Traditionally on Christmas Eve mince pies
and milk are left out for Santa and
nowadays carrots are left for his reindeer.
In England Boxing Day celebrated on
December 26th, is traditionally a time
to give gifts to tradesmen, servants,
It originated in medieval times, when
every priest was supposed to empty
the alms box of his church and
distribute gifts to the poor. It didn't
become widely celebrated though
until Victorian England.
In the UK Boxing Day is still a public
supermarkets open nowadays, but
banks and most offices remain
The Queen's Message
One Christmas ritual not drawn from an
ancient tradition is the British monarch's
broadcast on Christmas day. The tradition
began in 1932 when King George V read a
special speech written by Rudyard Kipling.
The broadcast was an enormous success
. It began, "I speak now from my home
and from my heart, to you all...".
Queen Elizabeth II continues the tradition
to this day. Every year she broadcasts her
message on Christmas Day, and it is
heard by millions of people all over the
world. In England most people watch or
listen to it whilst digesting their Christmas
There are several "traditional" meals
you can have at Christmas. Here's a
brief look at what the British nosh on
the United Kingdom is
usually eaten in the
consists of roast turkey,
beef or ham or, to a lesser
The Christmas pudding is a
brown pudding with raisings,
nuts and cherries. It is similar
to a fruitcake, except that
pudding is steamed and
fruitcake is baked.
Traditionally a silver coin (six
pence) was hidden inside the
Cristmas pudding. Silver coin
brought good fortune to
whomever was lucky enough
to find it when the pudding
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