Great Britain, with a royal government, definitely has many strong traditions, such as celebrations of the state, the royal party, and religious celebrations like Christmas. The UK has several recognized religions, including Christianity, Catholicism, Islam and Judaism, but Christianity has dominated Britain for over 1,400 years.
Christmas is the biggest holiday in the UK, and there are many traditions. Some of them are:
Advent is a time when Christians prepare to welcome Christmas. In the UK, advent is held four weeks before Christmas arrives, but it is not as widely celebrated as in other European countries. Each Sunday, the Advent Candle is lit, and an Advent Calendar is also used.
- Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve, children hang socks on the mantel and hope that Santa Claus will bring them gifts.
- Christmas Day
When Christmas arrives, kids excitedly open their socks they hung the night before. After this, the entire family gathers around the tree to open gifts together.
- Listen to a speech by the Queen of England
Every Christmas since 1932, the Queen of England does a Christmas speech broadcasts through radio and television. This speech is heard by millions of people around the world.
- Boxing Day
Boxing Day is the day after Christmas, December26th. Boxing Day is the day when the British society gives gifts to the poor. Boys go from house to house with a box made of clay to raise money. When the box is full, the boxes are collected and given to people who are less able. Boxing Day is now known as being a big shopping day, similar to Black Friday in the United States.
Like most countries, the British eat certain dishes for Christmas, roast turkey or goose, Christmas pudding (pudding-custard filled with fruit), Christmas cake and much more. Wassail, a hot mulled cider drink, is also typically drunk at Christmas.
The week before Christmas, British people exchange Christmas cards, watch a movie about the birth of Jesus, and decorate their homes with Christmas decorations.
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