Christmas in the United Kingdom

3 12 2008

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 

    

      Christmas is a great celebration in the United Kingdom. The British nave two days off for Christmas! 25th December and also 26th December which is called Boxing day. In the 1700s the rich gave boxes to their employees and they were full of gifts. Christmas is prepared a long time before 25th December. People start doing their Christmas shopping in November. There are Christmas lights in the streets and children sing carols. The British send more than a billion Christmas cards each year! They decorate their houses with a real Christmas tree ( a fir-tree) and they put lights, tinsel and angels on it. They also put a wreath of holly and mistletoe on their front door. On Christmas Eve children put up their stockings by the fireplace for Father Christmas to fill them up with presents. Father Christmas is supposed to come down the chimney when the children are asleep and to travel from chimney to chimney by reindeer-drawn sleigh. On Christmas day children open their presents and pull crackers. A person pulls one end and another person pulls the other end. When it breaks it makes a lot of noise. In each cracker there is a small toy. About 01.00 pm it is time for “Christmas dinner” which is in fact lunch. Christmas dinner is generally made of roast turkey and stuffing ( rôti de dinde farcie) with cranberry sauce (de la sauce aux airelles), bread sauce, gravy, roast potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts for the main course, and the traditional Christmas pudding for the dessert. It is made of dried fruit and it is flambéed with brandy and served with cream. It is always prepared a few months  in advance! The British also eat Christmas cake and mince pies. These are small tarts filled with dried fruit and nuts. At 03.00 pm the Queen delivers her Christmas speech on TV.