Christmas is popular festival in England. The origin of this festival in this country can be traced back to the 596 AD, when St Augustine landed on the shores of this country along with some monks who intended to spread Christianity among the residents of this place. As soon as the people of this land became familiar with the religion, the celebrations of Christmas became an annual phenomenon. Like a traditional Christmas celebration, the celebrations in the United Kingdom comprises of Christmas carols, decoration of Christmas tree and hanging up of evergreen branches of holly and ivy.
Christmas Celebrations in UK
In UK also, Christmas is celebrated with popularly-followed rituals like decorating a Christmas tree and kissing under Mistletoe. The decoration of Christmas tree, basically a German custom was popularized in the United States in 1841 by Prince Albert, and also gradually transpired to United Kingdom. The practice of 'kissing under the mistletoe' came to the country's Christmas celebrations from very old Druid rites. Singing Christmas carols is also one popular tradition that emerged from this country by the groups of serenades who used to visit every house to spread the holiday spirit of the festival.
In UK, Santa Claus is known as Father Christmas. Here it is a popular trend to write letters to Father Christmas detailing their requests and tossing them into the fireplace. Children also hang stockings from the bookshelf and wish them to be stuffed with gifts of Father Christmas. Children often keep cakes and pastries along with the socks to please Father Christmas. There is also a popular custom of exchanging Christmas gifts in this country. Gifts are exchanged between loved ones, relatives and friends on the Christmas day.
There is a huge feast on the occasion of Christmas in England. Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom is generally eaten at midday on the day of Christmas. The typical menu for Christmas 'daylight' dinner comprises of roasted turkey with vegetables and sauces. Traditionally, a scrumptious fruity Christmas pudding with brandy sauce is served as the dessert on this occasion. Other popular dishes of a traditional Christmas menu includes crumble pies and pastry cases filled with a mixture of chopped dried fruit.
The day after the Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom is called as 'Boxing Day'. On this day, young boys of the country go around with clay boxes to collect money. When these clay boxes are full, these are broken at the churches and the entire money is given to the poor and needy. This ritual related to the Christmas celebrations began in the country mid-nineteenth century and is a unique and exclusive part of the Christmas season in the United Kingdom. This day is basically meant for providing riches to the poor so that they can fulfill their necessities on festive occasions.