Christmas Traditions

Christmas in the UK can be a magical experience, full of traditions, fun and delicious food. There are some customs that only take place, or were started, in the UK, and we would love to share with you the history behind some of our wonderful and fun traditions.  Do you know the reason why we have some of our traditions?  Here is a list of some of our favourites for you to enjoy!

· Christmas Cards became popular in Victorian England and were mostly homemade and given to loved ones. The first charity Christmas card was produced by UNICEF in 1941.

· Christmas Dinner- In the past some very strange things were eaten around Christmas. At lavish Christmas feasts in the Middle Ages, swans and peacocks served. Around Victorian times another traditional Christmas feast was roasted goose or roasted turkey, which still remains the tradition today.

· Christmas Pudding- The forerunner of the Christmas pudding was called Frumenty and was served in medieval times. The pudding became specifically associated with Christmas when it was introduced to the Royal Christmas dinner table by Prince Albert.

· Mince Pies
were often known as Christmas pies, they were banned in the seventeenth century but came back into existence after the Restoration. If the mincemeat is homemade everyone in the household should stir it as it is considered to be lucky.

· Christmas Carols
have their roots in medieval England, when minstrels travelled from castle to castle. In addition poor people would bring their mugs to the doors of rich houses hoping for a share of hot ale with sugar, eggs, spices and roast apples floating in it.

· Christmas Crackers
have been a part of the traditional British Christmas since 1847, when almost by accident, Tom Smith invented the cracker.

· Mistletoe
was considered sacred by the people of ancient Britain and the Druid priests used it in their sacrifices to the gods as it was believed to have magical properties. The mistletoe's kissing tradition, according to one account, comes from the Norse myths. There is a limit to how much you can kiss under one sprig of mistletoe though. For each kiss a berry must be removed and once all the berries are gone - no more kissing!