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British Christmas Traditions

Many countries have their own Christmas traditions but perhaps in Britain Christmas is bigger than in other countries. That's partly because in Britain we don't have many other times of the year to celebrate, which makes Christmas a lot more significant. In the USA, they have Thanksgiving and Independence Day. In Ireland, there's St. Patrick's Day. In the Netherland's there's King's Day and in France, there's Bastille Day. Although, some may claim Bonfire Night is an important day in Britain it's not a national holiday and doesn't have the significance of some of the national celebrations I mentioned previously.


As for Christmas, a lot of the famous Christmas traditions you know about were popularised by the British author Charles Dickens in his book 'a Christmas Carol', which was published in 1843. 


Below I will explain some of those British Christmas traditions.



The Queen's Christmas Message 




On the 25th of December every year, at about lunchtime, the Queen delivers a  Christmas message to the nation and the Commonwealth of nations (Including Australia, New Zealand and Canada). It's a pre-recorded speech shown on TV. In the speech, the Queen does a summary of the year's events and wishes the nation and the Commonwealth a Happy Christmas. 




Christmas Crackers


Before people start their Christmas lunch they pull a cracker with the person sat next to them. When the cracker is pulled it makes a bang sound and inside the cracker is a small gift, a paper crown and a joke (which are often funny because they are so bad!). 




Mince Pies




Mince pies are small cakes filled with dried fruits and spices and are traditionally eaten during the Christmas season.



Christmas Dinner





The turkey is the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner and for many British people, you can't have a Christmas dinner without turkey. The turkey is traditionally served with roast potatoes, carrots, Brussel sprouts, sausages and hot gravy. Below the turkey, you will see other traditions such as Christmas pudding which is a sponge cake often covered in brandy and set alight. Then you have Christmas cake (the white cake) which is a sponge cake filled with dried fruits and icing sugar on top. 
English