viernes, 23 de abril de 2010


Advent (December 1st) is the official start of the run up to Christmas.
Two traditions in England are the Advent calendar and the Advent candle. The Advent Calendar originated in the 19th Century when Protestant Christian families made a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve. Nowadays it is usually a rectangular card with 24 or 25 doors. Door number 1 is opened on the 1st of December, door 2 on the 2nd, etc. Behind each door there is a Christmas scene or a chocolate.
An Advent Candle often has 25 marks, a bit of the candle is burned by one mark each day. However, it is now more common to have four candles for the four weeks before Christmas with a final candle lit on Christmas Day.

In England less emphasis is placed on Christmas Eve (December 24th) than in other countries. Carol singing, midnight church services and going out to the pub are some of the activities that many families enjoy.
Night time on Christmas Eve is the when Father Christmas comes. Children hang up their stockings and go to sleep. In the morning, when they wake up, they open their stocking presents. Traditionally on Christmas Eve mince pies and sherry (or milk) are left out for Santa and carrots for his reindeers.

On Christmas Day, the average family gets out of bed and starts opening presents. When it is finished, the family sits down to breakfast.
Some families also attend church on Christmas Day.

The tradition of the Queen’s Message began in 1932 when King George V read a special speech written by Rudyard Kipling. Queen Elizabeth II continues the tradition to this day.

In England Boxing Day celebrated on December 26th, is traditionally a time to give gifts to tradesmen, servants, and friends.
It originated in medieval times, when every priest was supposed to empty the alms box of his church and distribute gifts to the poor.

Saint Steven's Day (December 26th) marks the beginning of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is a holiday of homecoming and family gatherings, with candles glowing in the windows.
In medieval times, the tradition was to hide a dried bean in a cake. The cake was then eaten on Twelfth Night (January 6th), during a party. The finder of the bean became "King of the Bean" and ruled the party.
Another eating myth is that for every mince pie you eat over the 12 days of Christmas you will have a month of good luck the following year.

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