Christmas customs and traditions in England 

Christmas customs and traditions in England 


At Christmas, all of the windows of rural (сельской) homes in the UK are lit with candles, so among locals the night at Christmas is called the "night of candles". And this tradition has gone from the ancient rite (обряд) of burning the Christmas log (полено), which today is replaced by a thick Christmas candle, symbolizing the victory of light over the darkness.

Mistletoe's Branch (Веточка омелы) 

A wonderful tradition to decorate the house for Christmas with evergreen twigs (вечнозеленые веточки) ivy (плющ), holly (остролист) etc. has survived to this day, like the custom to hang on the entrance door with the twigs of white mistletoe. According to the custom, once a year on the eve of Christmas men have the right (право) to kiss any girl who stopped under the ornamentation of this plant. In order not to waste time , one person decided to decorate a mirror with the branches of a mistletoe so that it was possible to kiss all the girls who stopped to admire themselves.

Before you sit down for a festive Christmas dinner, the Englishmen go to church. Two hours later, the congratulations of Queen Elizabeth are broadcast on all TV channels of the country, after which a festive program awaits for everyone. Then the Englishmen usually play charades or other board games (настольные игры).

Christmas table

The culmination of Christmas is a festive dinner. It is considered: what table was at Christmas, this will be the whole year. In England, for Christmas, they serve a baked pig's head, and, as the most important dish, the Christmas bread (the "bread of Christ"), baked according to special recipes, decorated with ritual patterns and greenery. Bread is solemnly cut into pieces: one of the parts is necessarily given to the poor;

Plum pudding

The culmination of Christmas is a festive dinner. In England for Christmas they serve the table with a baked pig's head and, as the most important dish, the Christmas bread (the "bread of Christ"), baked according to special recipes, decorated with ritual patterns and greenery (зелень). Bread is solemnly (торжественно) cut into pieces: one of the parts is given to the poor, a part is also allocated for livestock and poultry (домашний скот и птица). Bean grain, ring, coin and button is baked in the holiday pies , with the help of which guests are guessing. Bob - fortunately, the ring - to marriage, the coin - to wealth, the button - to poverty.

The main toast at the festive table is "Your good health!" 

 A good hostess prepare pudding a month before the holiday. It's hard to believe, but once this delicious sweet and spicy food was ordinary porridge. It was called - plum-porridge. Oatmeal (овсянка) was cooked on meat broth (бульон), then bread crumbs, raisins, prunes (чернослив), honey and almonds (миндаль) were added to it. The porridge turned into pudding-plum and became the title of the main dish of the Christmas table. Now it is prepared from bread crumbs, fruits, spices and before serving pour rum and set fire to it. Some people like to pour pudding on top of yoghurt.

Gifts, masquerades and Day of boxes. Boxing Day 🎁🎁🎁

In the UK gifts for English boys and girls on Christmas Day is brought by Father Christmas . Little Englishmen write letter with wishes to Father Christmas and throw it into the fireplace, smoke brings the list to the addressee. At Christmas in Britain, it is customary to give each other gifts of the same value. And in the family circle the ceremony of presenting gifts is held according to an old tradition - by lot (жребий).

The second day of Christmas in the church calendar is dedicated to St. Stephen. In England, this day is called Boxing Day. This name comes from the traditions of establishing a special box-piggy bank (ящик-копилка) in the churches before Christmas where they lowered the offerings (пожертвование) for the poor.

Santa Claus and Stockings (чулки).

In the search for Christianity, the custom of giving presents for Christmas was associated with bringing gifts to the infant (младенец) Jesus by the magicians of the East. In a memory of this gifts are given primarily to children. Gifts to children are carried by a kind old gentleman Santa Claus, red-cheeked, with a long white beard, dressed in a red fur coat and a tall red hat.

The custom of putting gifts into a stocking is also associated with Victorian England. For him there is such an explanation: "Christmas grandfather" traveled through the air and entered houses through a chimney. Going down to one of the houses, he dropped a few gold coins into a sock, which were hanging to dry over the fire. Since then, Christmas Eve on the fireplace began to hang socks and stockings in the hope that something will fall there.

By the way, children, before they go to bed, they leave a pie with minced meat (фарш) or cookies with milk for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph's Reindeer from Santa's team, otherwise there will be no presents!

First gift Card

Since the XIXth exchanging of greeting cards has become custom. In 1843, the first Christmas card was printed.

The author of the first series of Christmas cards was Sir Henry Cole. Most recently - on December 3 - at an auction in the English city of Devayses, one of the first such postcards was sold for 16 thousand dollars.

Christmas tree

The custom of decorating houses with eternal greens (вечная зелень)has been transformed into the custom of placing a Christmas tree at home - a symbol of eternal nature. But the custom to decorate the tree was brought to England relatively recently, in the middle of the 20th century from Germany.

For the first time a luxuriously decorated Christmas tree was presented as a present to children by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Windsor Palace, after which such a fashion became a sign of a good taste. A huge spruce (ель) has been brought from Oslo to Trafalgar Square every year, lighting up with thousands of colorful lights.

The first fur-tree toys

The first Christmas trees were decorated with fresh flowers and fruits. Later, sweets, nuts and other food were added. Then - Christmas candles. These candles were one of the main dangers, so in the living rooms they kept buckets of water in case of a fire.

German glassblowers (стеклодувы) began to produce glass Christmas toys to replace fruits and other heavy jewelry, and the idea of ​​using electric garlands instead of wax candles belongs to the English telephonist Ralph Morris.

There is a sign: on the 12th day after Christmas, all decorations and decorations should be removed until next year, otherwise the year will be unsuccessful.

Christmas sales in London

For the Christmas sale, all stores are prepared in advance, from about the middle of October. Showcases (витрины) are inhabited by angels, snowmen.


The largest discounts are provided by department stores, "department stores", as well as in the West End and in the Oxford Street area. The center of Russian culture "Selfridges" is thematically decorated for Christmas every time.

And in the "Harrod's" supermarket, it's easy to spend a few days just looking at the storefronts, but it's worthless to buy, because even with Christmas discounts, the prices there are crazy.

Thanx that you have read our article till the end!

Free vintage Christmas cards -


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