Christmas Eve in Britain
Father Christmas. Night on Christmas Eve is a very exciting time for children. It is the time when Santa Claus or Father Christmas comes. Children often leave some food, such asmince pies and brandy, for Father Christmas, and a carrot for the reindeer.
Christmas Stockings. From 1870, children have hung up Christmas stockings at the ends of their beds or along the mantelpiece above the fireplace before going to sleep. On Christmas morning they expect some presents in them: chocolate, nuts, etc.
Carol Service. Christians usually go to a special carol service at their church on Christmas Eve night. There are usually two carols services:
- Candle Lit Service - in the early evening. The attendants hold a candle each while they sing Christmas carols and watch a Nativity performed by children.
- Midnight Mass. Christians welcome Christmas Day in and rejoice in the coming of Jesus Christ. This mass takes place at midnight.
Christmas Eve Superstitions
- An old tale says that bread baked on Christmas Eve will never go mouldy.
- At midnight, a certain rose slowly opens and re-closes its petals to welcome baby Jesus.
- Also at midnight, all the sheep in the fields turn and bow towards the East.
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