Meta: Some awesome Christmas traditions from the English.
The home of fish and chips, a full English breakfast that has become the golden standard of home breakfasts the world over, and who can forget their love of football or soccer. But England has many amazing Christmas traditions and with a country steeped in tradition, Harry Potter, royalty and tea they certainly do have some very interesting ones. Therefore, we decided to share some interesting news about how Christmas is celebrated in the UK.
Christmas cards were initially thought up in England so as to encourage the local peoples to make use of the Post Office, formerly known as the Public Records Office, in 1843. Cards at first were only a shilling each but the advent of better printing techniques, made the entire process more affordable to all sectors of society and drove the popularity of Christmas cards throughout England and then to the rest of Europe as well.
Christmas trees may have been gracing the halls of Europe for many a moon but they only touched English soil in the 1830’s and only really took off in civil society when one was erected in Windsor Palace by Prince Albert in 1841. After that, well everyone wanted a Christmas tree then and so it became a staple for English Christmas’s.
Mince pies, initially did include actual mincemeat unlike the varieties of today which mainly contain an assortment of dried fruit and spices, the ingredients in the original mince pies were thought to represent the 13 apostles and were presented to the family or guests in the shape of an imposing oval crescent in order to represent the manger that Jesus was born in. While meat was removed early on and vanished completely by the age of the Victorian era, the fat from beef is very often used as flavoring enhancer in mince pies till today.
Holly and ivy were originally used not to celebrate Christmas by the early English but to observe the winter solstice, however when the transition to Christianity came through, holly and ivy were also carried over and they have continued to be characterized as central characters to this time of year within British life.
Christmas crackers, the ultimate delight to find upon the Christmas dining table, were initially created by an Englishman named, Tom Smith. Tom Smith was a candy maker working in London within the 1840’s who wanted to make paper toys that could be popped by two people. However, popularity gained only once the famous cracking sound was created, despite of the little toys, riddles and jokes included within them.
Turkey is not actually an English bird, brought to England from Mexico by William Strickland; it was only really enjoyed by the royal family for many years. However, King Edward the 7th in the 19th century helped to push the custom of eating turkey around Christmas time, as something that every Englishman and women would do. And those are just some of the amazing Christmas traditions from the English.
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