Christmas In England

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Celebrating Christmas in England is much like celebrating it in any other Western country. Even though many of the cultures in England do not actually believe in what the hoiliday represents, everyone seems to take part in the giving and receiving of gifts, as a sign of friendship and goodwill toward others. With so many different cultures living so closely together, Christmas is the only time people tend to celebrate together. Throughout the month of December, people busy themselves preparing for the Christmas festivities. There are the mince pies and Christmas cakes to bake and decorate as well as the all-important Christmas pudding. In England over the years many superstitions have surrounded this popular festive dessert. It is said puddings should be made by the 25th Sunday after Trinity, prepared with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples, and that every member of the family take turns to stir the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west, in honour of the Three Kings. A silver coin is always dropped into the pudding mixture before it is cooked. This is said to bring wealth, health and happiness to whomever is lucky enough to find it when the pudding is cut. People decorate their homes and a tree, with baubles, tinsel and fairy lights, placing a star or an angel in pride of place, on the top of the tree. The decorating of Christmas trees, though primarily a German custom, has been widely popular in England since 1841 when Prince Albert had a Christmas tree decorated with candles, set up in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria and their children. Children hang stockings on the fireplace or at the end of their beds so when Father Christmas pays a visit, they are stuffed full of goodies, but only if they have been good! Children also send letters to Father Christmas, which legend has it, if they are tossed in the fireplace, the smoke from them burning gets carried up the chimney directly to the man in the red suit! Advent Calendars help us count down to Christmas Day and people give Poinsetta plants as gifts because the general shape of the plant and the arrangement of leaves are seen as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem, which led the wise men to the baby Jesus. The red coloured leaves symbolise the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity. In primary schools, the younger children re-enact the nativity story, dressed as Mary and Joseph, angels, wise men and the occasional sheep, watched by proud parents and relatives. The English have much to thank Charles Dickens for because we will be forever linked with the tale of A Christmas Carol. A truly wonderful story about the old miser suddenly realising the true spirit of Christmas, thanks to a few ghostly visions. This is a truly remarkable story and each and every Christmastime youll find people glued to their television screens when it is on because it is a Christmas story that still has a lot of emphasis, especially today when Christmas ...

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