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Christmas Traditions in Great Britain
28.03.2012, 22:04

Christmas Traditions

in Great Britain

Christmas is celebrated all around the world. Each country has different customs and traditions. Learn about the Christmas traditions in Great Britain.  
•    Christmas Traditions in Great Britain, Wales and Northern Ireland often vary from those in Scotland whose strong Protestant religious roots led to greater celebrations in the New Year

   • Xmas Trees and other traditional decorations and ornaments decorate British homes. These usually start to go up on December 1st. They are all taken down by Twelfth Night, 6th January, as it is deemed to be bad luck to show decorations after this date

    •Popular festive plants include holly, ivy, mistletoe, the Christmas amaryllis and poinsettias

   • The season starts in Great Britain with elaborate lighting being switched on in famous shopping areas such as Oxford Street in London

   • In the last few years many British homes have also adopted the American custom of decorating the outside of their houses with various decorations and lights

   • Santa Claus is commonly known as Father Christmas in Great Britain and delivers the presents and fills the stockings on Christmas Eve

    Christmas Day is a Bank holiday when very few people work and when people all get together for a great celebratory meal and open gifts

    •Many British people go to church in the morning and after the main meal families relax by playing games or simply watching the TV

   • 26th December which is known as Boxing Day in Great Britain and is traditionally a day for many sporting events especially British football (soccer) matches and horse racing events

Christmas Traditions in Great Britain - The Food!

What do people eat in other countries at this special time of the year?

   •  A typical Christmas dinner in Great Britain would be a roast dinner (usually roast turkey or chicken) with a great variety of vegetables including Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower cheese, parsnips and roast potatoes with stuffing and other trimmings such as small sausages wrapped in bacon

    • Christmas Pudding, or Plum pudding or mince pies are a traditional dessert served with brandy butter

    •Festive Xmas crackers are used to decorate the table

British Christmas Vocabulary
How do you say Merry Christmas in Great Britain? If you have friends or family who live, or have ties with, a different country it is a nice gesture to add a seasons greetings in the language of the country. A practical addition to learning about Christmas traditions in Great Britain:

   • How do you say Merry Christmas in Great Britain? Merry Christmas! The British also say "Happy Christmas" as the word 'Merry' is sometimes used as a slang word for being drunk!

• What is the name for Santa Claus? The term 'Father Christmas' is, in fact, used more often than Santa Claus!

"I have always thought of Christmas time ... as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely  and I say, God bless it!"
(Charles Dickens)


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