It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time to meet friends and family, indulge with steaming hot drinks and prepare special festive meals.
What do people do?
Before Christmas Day, people decorate their homes and gardens. These decorations may include:
- Christmas trees.
- Small coloured fairy lights.
- Leaves and berries from holly trees and mistletoe bushes.
- Various other decorations with rich colors that spark the Christmas mood.
In many towns and cities, the shopping streets are also decorated with lights and large pine trees. In some places a Nativity scene is arranged. This illustrates the story of Jesus’ birth using statues or actors and live animals. Many churches hold special services in the night before Christmas Day. Some also organize shelter, company and food for the homeless or those who need help.
Many people spend Christmas Day with family members, with whom they exchange gifts and cards. Many children wake up to find a sock or stocking filled with small gifts on their bed or somewhere else in the house. These have supposedly been brought by ‘Father Christmas’ or ‘Santa Claus’.
What do they eat?
Nearly everyone prepares and eats a special meal. This often includes roast turkey, potatoes and parsnips, and other vegetables. After the main course, Christmas pudding is often eaten. This is a cake-like pudding filled with dried fruit and nuts. Burning brandy is often poured over it as it is served, giving a spectacular effect. Mince pies are also popular on Christmas Day. They are sweet pastry cases filled with a mixture of dried fruit, fat and alcohol.
Boxing Day in the United Kingdom
Boxing Day in the United Kingdom is the day after Christmas Day and falls on December 26. Traditionally, it was a day when employers distributed money, food, cloth (material) or other valuable goods to their employees. In modern times, it is an important day for sporting events and the start of the post-Christmas sales.
There are many Christmas symbols for example the mistletoe which is a commonly used Christmas decoration. By tradition, people who meet under a hanging mistletoe are obliged to kiss. Figures associated with the season are Father Christmas, the baby Jesus, and the other characters from the Nativity story. A special mention should be reserved for the robin red breast. This small bird, with its red feathered breast, is at its most beautiful in the middle of the winter and is often seen as a decoration on Christmas cards, wrapping paper and cakes.
Wherever you are in the UK, there’s a Christmas market for you. Find below some of the UK’s best Christmas markets in 2017 to get you into the festive spirit.
Bath Christmas Market
Bath is a city of history, culture and, towards the end of the year, Christmas markets, found in the city centre.
This year, there will be 200 wooden chalets selling a wide array of gifts, food and decorations.
Birmingham Christmas Market
When it comes to Christmas markets, there’s no doubt that Birmingham’s offering has become iconic, with hundreds of stalls offering everything from unusual gifts to delicious refreshments.
Manchester Christmas Market
The Manchester Christmas markets are some of the biggest in the UK and opened in 1999.
Belfast Christmas Continental Market
The Belfast Christmas Market guarantees a real Irish welcome for all of its visitors thanks to the culinary delights and various stalls on offer. Located at Belfast City Hall, the market offers guests a taster of the best of the festivities from countries around the world such as Germany, Spain and France with its themed stalls.