10 Traditions Britons Do on Christmas Eve

Berlin (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Christmas is celebrated all over the World. However, each country follows different traditions for this festival. Is it your first time in the UK for celebrating Christmas? Why not get prepared for this big day and celebrate the festival to the fullest? Here are some traditions Britons follow on Christmas Eve:

1- Going To a Pantomime

Pantomime is a musical comedy show that is performed in theaters in the UK. During the holiday season, many families watch these shows. Adults can enjoy humor and typical jokes. Due to the pandemic in the previous year, people were not attending any of these shows. As things are getting better now, a larger number of regional theaters will attract crowds. Some prominent guest stars who perform in these shows are John Barrowman, Dawn French, and even Pamela Anderson.

2- Sing Christmas Carols

England cannot spend Christmas day without singing Christmas carols. It is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. You don’t need to be religious to enjoy these carols as they are for everyone. The carol singers most come from villages. They like to sing carols by moving from one street to the other. In exchange, they get small charitable donations.

3- Eating a Delicious Christmas Dinner

In The UK every family likes to eat a delicious Christmas dinner. It must be served fresh on the night of 25th December. There is no doubt it is one of the most important mealtimes for everyone. All the loved ones gather together to enjoy a delicious meal with wine. Eating turkey is more like a norm and it is stuffed with vegetables. The meal is followed by a pudding that is mainly custard.

4- Drink Baileys Irish cream

Irish liqueur that is made with cream, cocoa, and whiskey is a part of celebrating Christmas in the UK. You will be surprised to know that it is celebrated all year in UK and Ireland. Baileys Irish cream is associated with this festival and is rich in taste.

5- Putting A Silver Coin In The Pudding

Christmas pudding in Britain refers to fruit pudding that is made with raisins, wines, and spices. It is commonly served with dinner. This pudding was first introduced in the 14th century. Another interesting tradition for celebrating this festival is to place a silver coin in the pudding. Moreover, many believe that putting a coin will bring luck to the person who finds it. This idea first originated in the court of King Edward II.

6- Giving Presents On Christmas

Even though giving presents is a part of the Christmas Celebration globally, very few countries do that. In Europe, it is a custom to receive and give gifts on 24th December. While in Spanish-speaking countries they often give presents on 2th. The United Kingdom happens to be one of those countries where the gifts must open on Christmas night itself.

7- Pulling Christmas Crackers

If you have been to a Christmas party, lunch or dinner in the UK, you must have seen a cracker. The festive table is decorated with several small gifts. While there is a party hat and a riddle or joke are presented among people. Once they pull the table a cracking sound comes from inside. 

These Christmas crackers were first created in the milled of the 19th century. It was introduced by the sweet maker named Tom Smith. He tried to sell sweets with a small riddle that was included in the packaging itself. After some time he decided to add the cracker element to it.

8- Watching The Queen’s Speech

In 1932 King George V gave his speech in the first audio broadcast on BBC. The empire service broadcasts the Queen’s or King’s speech. It has become an important part of British traditions for Christmas. Even now millions of people tune into television to watch the Christmas message from the Queen.

9- Hanging Out Stockings

On Christmas night, children in the UK like to hang stockings. They hang these large socks on the fireplaces. The reason behind hanging these stockings above fireplaces is to get gifts from Santa Claus. As a result, their stocking is full of fruits, candies, coins, and other presents.

10- Watching Classic Sitcoms

You will be surprised to know that all the classic sitcoms in the UK feature a special Christmas episode. While the best one is repeated on the main network each year. One of the most popular sitcoms is scheduled on Christmas Day. The ratings of these sitcoms reach their peak on the festival. Fools and Horses Christmas special could easily attract a massive 24.35 million viewers.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.