December reminds one that the festive season is in full swing and that it is less than 5 days to Christmas day!
From snowy days to the remarkably beautiful decorations, no one can deny that Christmas is in the air…
Christmas is a holiday that is built on and filled with traditions that date back to the 9th century. One of the oldest and most common of these traditions is the viewing of the Nativity play with the first reenactment taking place in A.D. 1223.
Around the globe, other traditions have come about that make Christmas, Christmas…here in the UK it is no different. Amongst the many traditions that have come and gone, here are a few that stand out for us this year:
Going to a Christmas pantomime:
Sometimes referred to as ‘pantos’, these are musical comedy shows that often borrow storylines from popular fairy tales or fables and mix them with modern day pop cultural references. This is the perfect activity for families to enjoy over the festive period.
Putting a silver coin in the Christmas Pudding:
This British tradition involves placing a silver coin in the pudding, which is said to bring luck to the person who finds it. It is thought to have originated in the court of King Edward II where a bean or dried pea would be placed inside the pudding and whoever got the slice with it in would be crowned King or Queen for the day.
Hanging Christmas Stockings:
On Christmas Eve, children hang stockings on their fireplaces or mantlepieces so that Santa Claus or Father Christmas (also known as Saint Nicholas) can fill their stockings with presents( better known as ‘stocking fillers’ - smaller gifts). To be true to British tradition, a tangerine or orange is included.
Watching the Queen’s Speech:
Since its inception in 1932, when King George V gave his first radio broadcast on the BBC’s Empire Service, the Queen (or King)’s speech has been an important part of Christmas culture in the UK. Nowadays, the Queen’s Christmas message is watched on television by millions of Brits and ex-pats around the world.
…the list goes on…
And no matter which of the traditions you choose to observe this year, traditions serve as one of the cornerstones of Christmas, shared with family, loved ones and fellow citizens.
"Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance—a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved." – Augusta E. Randel