Christmas in the UK
Christmas in the UK is the most important festival of the year and the main celebrations take place on 25th of December (Christmas Day). The preparations for Christmas Day often start very early with shops beginning to sell Christmas goods in September! On 24th December (Christmas Eve), British children traditionally put a stocking by the fire for Father Christmas. They are very excited and go to sleep before midnight waiting for Father Christmas. On Christmas Day, when the children wake up, they open their presents.
At midday, after church services, most families usually get together for a big Christmas Dinner of roast turkey, roasted vegetables and Christmas pudding. After dinner presents are exchanged by the Christmas tree and people play games.
On December 26th Boxing Day is celebrated. Traditionally it is a time to give gifts, not just to family members but also to friends. It originated in medieval times, when every priest emptied the alms box of his church and distributed gifts to the poor and rich people, after Christmas feast, packed up the remains of feasts in boxes and gave them to their servants.
Traditional Christmas food are:
Mince pies, little pastry cakes filled with mincemeat, which is a kind of jam containing cinnamon and dried fruit. They are delicious served hot with cream;
Christmas pudding, which is the dessert traditionally served on Christmas day. It is a steamed pudding, made with dried fruit, nuts and suet. It is usually served with brandy on top;
Brussel sprouts, a vegetable that is traditionally eaten as part of the Christmas dinner. Many people do not like them as they have a bitter taste but still put a few on their plate for the sake of Christmas tradition!