Christmas day, December 25th, is one of the most important date in the Christian calendar. It has been celebrated for centuries and many traditions are nowadays associated to it. Here you are some of them:
- Opening Christmas Presents. This is the favourite day for children. After waking up very early in the morning, they go and check their stockings which have been filled by Father Christmas and then unwrap the presents before breakfast. Presents are usually found and unwrapped under the Christmas tree.
- Giving presents or gifts has been a tradition for centuries and it is related to the gifts that the three wise men or Magi took to Jesus in Bethlehem. In fact, in some countries, such as Spain, presents are given on Epiphany day, closely linked to the presence of the Magi.
- Attending Mass. Many Christia
- Christmas dinner and Christmas tea. The whole family gather for Christmas dinner at mid-day and then in the evening for Christmas tea. A typical dish for the dinner is Christmas pudding. Nowadays, a typical Christmas dinner probably consists of prawns or smoked salmon. The main course is likely to be turkey. This is usually followed by Christmas pudding; a rich fruit pudding served with brandy sauce or brandy butter.
- The Queen's Speech. the Queen gives her Message to the nation in the afternoon of Christmas day and it is broadcast on both radio and television. The tradition began in 1932 when King George V read a speech written by writer Rudyard Kipling. As the broadcast was an enormous success it has continued up to the present.
- Christmas Crackers. Crackers are traditional items in British Christmas. They consist of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, looking like an enormous sweet-wrapper and they go with the Christmas dinner. The cracker is pulled by two people and each one contains a small toy, a joke or motto, and a tissue-paper crown hat, usually a crown.
- Christmas Cards. Cards became very popular in 19th century England (also called Victorian England). They usually include the message of "Merry Christmas" and are often produced by Charities or organizations such as UNICEF. Families display them as part of their Christmas decoration. They are usually sent before Christmas and some families receive over 100 cards from friends and family.