Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is observed primarily on December 25 and it is a religious and cultural celebration. Christmas is commemorated by millions of people around the world.

In the United Kingdom, Christmas is a deep-felt festivity extremely radicated among British people. As in other countries, also in England Christmas Eve is a very exciting time for children. It is the time when Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas) comes to visit kids and bring them presents. On Christmas Eve, kids hang up their stockings by the fire or by their beds and go to sleep. Mince pies and a bowl of Sherry are usually left out for Santa and carrots are left for his reindeer. In the UK, the main Christmas meal is consumed at lunch time or in the early afternoon on Christmas Day. Traditionally, it consists of leek and potato soup as starter, roast turkey served with cranberry relish as main course and roast vegetables like carrots, potatoes, peas and brussels sprouts as sides.

The Christmas meal finishes with the Christmas Pudding, the unavoidable dessert.

In the UK, Nativity plays, carols and midnight church services are very popular at Christmas time. Many chapels host the traditional Carols by Candlelight Service where people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with songs, readings and carols reunited in churches only lit up by hundreds of candles. It is a profoundly evocative ceremony. In the UK, the arrival of Christmas time is commonly marked even by the popular Christmas jumpers depicting Fathers Christmas and their deers. These ones are represented in the most original ways and some futuristic Christmas jumpers also feature lights and Christmas balls on them.

Another popular tradition during this period is represented by Christmas crackers filled with gifts such as trinkets and crowns and wrapped in beautiful and decorative papers. In the UK, most villages, towns and cities are decorated with stunning and shiny Christmas lights which are habitually switched on around the beginning of November.

The most renowned Christmas lights in England are certainly the Oxford Street ones, located in the heart of the capital, London. They attract thousands of people every year as each time they get bigger and better. It is a spectacle not to be missed.

Then, last but not least, let’s not forget about the usual visit to the local pub, sacred to the Brits. This is a magical time of the year: Christmas has a fairy, fascinating and enchanting way of make us feel connected, joyous and in harmony with each other.

Francesca Borghetti insegnante di inglese collabora con Centro Studi Ad Maiora