Christmas is getting closer and closer to us! Every year in December, the streets are full of Christmas atmosphere. Christmas decorations and small lights have been hung on the road, and the shops sell Christmas-related things. Even friends around them always discuss where to go and what to eat at Christmas. Everything about Christmas appears before our eyes and echoes in our ears.
Origin of Christmas
Every year on December 25th, Westerners celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The word Christmas is an abbreviation of "Christ's mass". It is derived from Old English and means "to celebrate Christ". There is another story about Jesus' birthday: According to the Bible, Maria was engaged to the carpenter Joseph. However, before they lived together, Joseph discovered that Maria was pregnant. Because Joseph was a decent person, and he didn't want to talk about it to make her lose face, he wanted to quietly break up with her. While he was thinking about it, God's sent messenger appeared in his dream and said to him, "Don't hesitate, marry Maria home. The child she carries is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a boy and name him Jesus because he will save people from sin. "
The exact date of Jesus' birth is not recorded, it is said that this date was designated by the church in the western part of the Roman Empire in the early 4th century. Some scholars believe that the reason for choosing December 25 was that this day happened to be the Winter Solstice of the Roman Empire. This day is the longest night of the year, and the sunshine time will be longer and longer from this day. At the same time, December 25th turned out to be the birth of Mithra, the Persian sun-god (the god of light). The Sun God is also one of the Roman gods, and according to the Old Testament, Jesus has always been regarded as the God of the Sun. Because the Bible records that Jesus was born at night, the night of December 24 is traditionally called "Christmas Eve" or "Christmas Eve." Although Christmas is a Christian holiday from a religious perspective, people around the world now celebrate this grand holiday in their way.
Now let's take Christmas in Britain as an example, let's take a look at the story about Christmas.
The first Christmas event was Christmas Lights. From about mid-November each year, Christmas lights around the UK will be lit one after another. During the lighting ceremony, not only the street lights with unique Christmas designs will be lit, but there will also be song and dance performances, and some places will also have fireworks. In addition to the Christmas decoration on the street, don't miss the window decoration of major department stores, you can see a lot of very delicate and unique scenes! Then with the lighting of Christmas street lights, the most popular Christmas markets will be opened one after another.
During Christmas, visiting the Christmas market is the most essential Christmas custom! Every Christmas, various Christmas Markets are set up across the UK. When you visit the Christmas market, you will find that many are called "German Christmas Market", which is the most suitable place to buy Christmas baubles and souvenirs. The reason why it is called "German Christmas Market" is that the form of Christmas market popular in Britain now originates from Germany, so the name has continued.
Winter Ice Rink
In addition to the Christmas Market, another popular event during Christmas every year is another popular winter ice rink (Ice Rink)! Because they will only be open when the weather is near Christmas, it has become one of the activities that everyone must experience at Christmas.
Before Christmas, there is also a tradition to buy Advent Calendar for children. This calendar is very delicate and special. Generally, 24 or 25 small doors will be designed on it (they can be opened in sequence from December 1st). There will be surprises behind the small doors, either hiding pictures, chocolates and so on. But now, the types of Christmas calendars are very diverse. Beginning in October each year, major beauty brands and websites will release the annual "Advent Calendar", such as Harrods, Liberty and other established British skincare Christmas calendars are very popular. Besides, major supermarkets in the UK also display Christmas calendars with chocolates or toys hidden. In some cities, there are even buildings that have date numbers affixed to the windows of the buildings and transformed into physical calendars.
During Christmas, some Christian elementary school children will perform a musical about the birth of Jesus called "Nativity". This is a tradition of celebrating Christmas, so Nativity is also one of the must-see repertoires every Christmas. But in addition to the classic Nativity, there are also many unmissable Christmas repertoires during the Christmas season. Taking a family to watch a warm Christmas show at Christmas can be said to be a traditional event for many British families!
On Christmas Day, the British family will get together for a big meal. The main meal is roasted turkey, served with different side dishes, and drank Christmas special drinks like Eggnog, Mulled Wine. After eating, you will have some desserts. The more traditional and famous ones are Mince Pie, Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake.
Traditionally, the Christmas tree must use real trees. One of my British friends said: "The Christmas tree must use real trees, do not feel the real tree!" For this reason, once you enter December every year, you can see them everywhere. To the words "Christmas Tree for Sale". Except for plastic trees sold in supermarkets, pine trees are commonly used for Christmas trees. The family will sit together in a circle to decorate the Christmas tree, so Christmas is a good day to promote family harmony!
For children, Christmas is a day full of joy. In addition to having delicious food, the main thing is to have gifts! Gifts are usually piled under the Christmas tree and opened early in the morning on Christmas Day. After Christmas, everyone will play some games, the most common one is called "Christmas Cracker", also known as "Bon-Bons". Two people should hold the two ends together and pull them apart. After the break, there will be a "Bang" sound and there will be a small gift or a joke falling out.
Besides, if someone is standing under Mistletoe (a traditional Christmas decoration) and having a kiss while they are playing games or chatting, it is a romantic Christmas practice. "If you meet under mistletoe, the boy will kiss the girl, and the girl must not refuse (at least heralds friendship and good luck). If a couple kisses under the mistletoe, it means that the relationship will go to marriage and always be happy."
Christmas Movies & Songs
In addition to eating and playing, Christmas music and watching classic movies related to Christmas are also an indispensable part of Christmas day. Famous Christmas songs are "Silent Night", "We Wish you a Merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bells". The classic Christmas movies you must not miss are "Love Actually", "The Polar Express", "A Christmas Carol", "Home Alone", "The Snowman" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas". The stage play "Nativity" of various performances mentioned above was also made into a movie of the same name, starring "Watson" Martin Freeman, super funny and especially recommended!
Christmas carols can never be missed in British traditional Christmas. Christmas carols are Christians singing hymns to God, accompanied by beautiful music, sung by the church choir, and played by the organ. Although singing in a church full of seriousness and sacredness, it feels solemn, but most of the Christmas carols are based on cheerful rhythms to set off the joyous atmosphere of Jesus' coming. So when you listen to Christmas carols, you don't have to worry about being serious enough to make you feel depressed. Instead, you feel a positive, positive and happy spirit.
Queen ’s Speech
Britain's unique Christmas “tradition” is probably the Queen ’s Speech that has attracted worldwide attention. Every year, the Queen will broadcast live Christmas greetings to all her Commonwealth people on BBC One at around 15:00 on December 25th. Every year, the British turn on the television on time and the family listen to the Queen's blessing together.
In addition to visiting the Christmas market, one other thing you can't miss is watching Christmas advertisements in various shopping malls. Every Christmas, major supermarket department stores in the UK will launch Christmas ads that warm the heart and stomach. Like the old British department store John Lewis, the annual Christmas ad follows the warm heart route; and Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Boots and other British brands will launch Christmas ads that are touching or funny during Christmas.
How can Christmas be without Santa Claus? Santa Claus is a virtual fairy tale character. He is slightly fat, with curly white hair and a beard, wearing a red dress. On Christmas day, a sleigh pulled by a group of Reindeer descends from the sky and climbs from the chimney to the children's home to give Christmas gifts. So the elk is also an animal image often seen during Christmas. Most children in the West believe in Santa ’s existence. If you tell a child that “Santa is fake,” it may ruin his entire childhood! So in front of children, you must maintain a good image for Santa Claus.
Don't miss Boxing Day if you do not receive a satisfying gift during Christmas. Boxing Day is a statutory holiday in the United Kingdom and it is a holiday for all. Boxing Day on December 26 is also a unique "discount day" in the UK. On this day, all stores will be discounted, and it is also the day when the discount is the strongest! Many stores open at 5 or 6 in the morning, and shoppers rush into the door to "grab" something.
Finally, let's talk about a Christmas tradition unique to Britain! Every year, a large Christmas tree is erected in Trafalgar Square in the first week of December. It is not an ordinary Christmas tree. It was a gift from Norway to Britain. In commemoration of the siege of Norway by the Germans during World War II, the British people extended their assistance. To express thanks, the city of Oslo (the capital of Norway) sent a 25-meter-high London Christmas tree filled with thanks and blessings from the Norwegian people in 1947.