10 British christmas traditions

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I once lived in Scotland for six months and it was right in the run-up to Christmas! That’s why I thought I’d just introduce you to 10 British Christmas traditions!

I really enjoyed the pre-Christmas period in Scotland, even though I was there all by myself. But thanks to care package with advent calendar and cookies from relatives, I was doing pretty well. During my time there, of course, I got to know a few British Christmas traditions – and all of them I find really great!

Christmas Lights

Let’s get started with the Christmas Lights! In a grand spectacle – some with fireworks – the Christmas Lights are turned on. That’s all the Christmas street lights and Christmas department store lights etc. So in one fell swoop everything shines in bright lights and that’s really very nice. Such a shared "Zack, now the pre-Christmas season begins" moment for everyone!

Advent Sundays

Great Britain also celebrates Advent Sundays, but according to my feeling not as pronounced as we do. Rather I have seen it that one has a Christmas Candle instead of 4 Advent candles. This is a large candle with 24 lines on it, which then until the 24. December burns down.

10 British Christmas Traditions – From Christmas Lights to Boxing Day

Christmas markets

I have noticed that the Christmas markets have not been around that long, but only since approx. 10 years ago and they were imported from Germany. The Christmas market in Edinburgh was also directly called "The German Christmas Market" and there were spaetzle and bratwurst. In the meantime there is also the Scottish Christmas market and there you can buy exactly the same as here: handmade, normal small gifts and of course food – especially food.

In Edinburgh, there is also the Winter Wonderland with various rides or attractions. I know this also from Berlin – the Christmas market on Alexanderplatz also offers a few other things besides mulled wine stalls.

Green stuff

At Christmas time we like here in Germany also our green stuff, but that is more so fir, spruce, pine, etc. In Great Britain, on the other hand, people are also very fond of mistletoe and holly.Holly). Here in Germany I don’t have the feeling that this green stuff traditionally stands for Christmas. Under mistletoe you may give a kiss yes traditionally and the holly is the perfect Christmas plant with the combination of green and red.

Christmas tree

The Christmas tree has not been around that long, but only since Queen Victoria. Her husband Albert really wanted one and got a beautiful fir tree from Norway as a gift. Since then Norway traditionally gives a Christmas tree every year, which is put up in Trafalger Square.

Christmas Cards

This is something that I personally did not know before: Christmas Cards! I mean, ok also in Germany they send Christmas Cards, but that’s nothing against the Christmas Cards in Great Britain. Generally, there are whole stores (and I mean big stores!) selling only greeting cards! This is enormous, I have never seen such a selection of greeting cards anywhere else. At Christmas you go all in and greeting cards are sent en masse. I was really happy about my christmas greeting card collection back in Scotland. This year I also got a greeting card from Scotland and it is just a 3D stand-up and glittering!

10 British Christmas Traditions – From Christmas Lights to Boxing Day

Christmas Carols

Traditionally, Christmas Carols are sung together in the village marketplace. Sometimes these groups go from house to house collecting donations. I personally haven’t experienced that, but maybe it’s still a tradition in rural areas…

No Christmas Eve

Right, there is no Christmas Eve, that is Christmas is not celebrated on the 24th day of the year.12., but on 25.12. celebrated. For the British, Father Christmas distributes the gifts on the night of the 24th. on the 25.12. and rushes through the chimneys.

Christmas Stockings

And because it rushes through the chimneys, the Christmas Stockings – excessively large stockings with names on them or, in a pinch, an empty pillow – are hung up on the chimney to be filled by Father Christmas.

The next morning, on the 25th.12., one unpacks then its Stocking with all the gifts. And so celebrates Christmas from morning till night.

Christmas Cracker

Christmas crackers are also something typically British! Traditionally, Christmas crackers are drawn at the opening of Christmas dinner. These are big bangs and you pull on one end at a time. One gets then a short end – and has bad luck – and the other the long end and may take the contents of the cracker. These may be sweets, plastic rings or paper crowns; but sometimes they are really nice little presents.

I bought a cracker set from the Zoella Beauty Christmas Range – these are not real crackers for pulling, but just for twisting and inside there is shower gel or something like that. But I wanted to show you how this looks like!

10 British Christmas Traditions – From Christmas Lights to Boxing Day

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a day off equivalent to the 2. Christmas Day. This day is traditionally used to visit one’s relatives (as is the case with us). It is also used to help out in the soup kitchen or to say thank you to your everyday "service providers", such as the letter carrier, garbage man etc.

I hope you enjoyed my list of 10 British Christmas Traditions and maybe you’ll pick up a tradition and implement it in your own home? Write me in the comments which ones you like and which ones you don’t?

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