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Saturday, April 21, 2012

[12] Christmas in the UK

[artykuł przeniesiony z poprzedniego adresu] 

It's strange that this year I started enjoying Christmas nearly as enthusiastic as in my childhood. That's why I prepared this note about celebrating X-mas time in the United Kingdom. I hope you'll enjoy it.

(c) JetChristmas is Britain's most popular holiday and is characterised by traditions which date back hundreds of years. Many Christmas customs which originated in Britain have been adopted in the United States.

The first Christmas card was posted in England in the 1840s, and it soon became an established part of the build-up to Christmas. Over a billion Christmas cards are now sent every year in the United Kingdom, many of them sold in aid of charities.

Christmas decorations such as the plants holly, ivy and mistletoe are very common. ( The custom of kissing beneath mistletoe comes from an ancient tradition.)


The Christmas tree was made popular by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who introduced one to Royal Household in 1840. Since 1947, the country of Norway has given Britain a large Christmas tree every year. It stands in Trafalgar Square in memory of Anglo-Norwegian cooperation during the second World War.

Popular among children at Christmas time are pantomimes: song and dance shows of well-known fairy tales which encourage audience participation.

Children hang a stocking on the fireplace or at the foot of their bed for Santa Claus (also named Father Christmas) to fill. Presents for the family are placed beneath the Christmas tree.

(c) Grafiker

Christmas Day sees the opening of presents and many families attend Christmas services at church.

Christmas dinner consistas traditionally of a roast turkey with stuffing and roast potatoes. Yummy!

Another traditional feature of Christmas afternoon is the Queen's Christmas Message to the nation, broadcast on radio and television. A lot of people watch this.

The Day after Christmas is known in Britain as Boxing Day, which takes its name from a former custom of giving a Christmas Box - a gift of money or food inside a box - to the deliverymen who called regularly during a year. This tradition survives in the custom of tipping milkman, postman, dustmen and other callers of good service at Christmas time.

custom - zwyczaj
established - ustalona
build-up - przygotowania
 ivy - bluszcz
mistletoe - jemioła
feature - aspekt, cecha
encourage - zachęcać
introduce - wprowadzić
participation - uczestnictwo
broadcast - nadawać, emitować
caller - odwiedzający

For me, Christmas in the UK seems to have more "magic" than in  Poland. Do you want to spend this time there?


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