There are a multitude of different traditions that we associate with Christmas, and each of them represents an aspect of Christmas that would otherwise be forgotten – but in some cases the meaning is already forgotten yet we still celebrate the tradition. So, why are there traditions and what do each of them mean? Here are the top five traditions from UK Christmas World.
#5 - Pantomimes
All pantomimes have a few particular things in common – audience participation and cross dressing. Pantomimes are derived from mummers plays that present the struggle between St. George and the Dragon; Good versus Evil.
The early pantomimes were performed by an all-male cast within large manor houses as a form of entertainment, the fact that the cast was entirely male is the reason as to why even in this modern age we tend to cast men as the leading female character within pantomimes.
#4 – The Yule Log
It has become common for us to purchase a yule log at Christmas, but the yule log that we know is often a cake covered in chocolate, shaped to represent a log. The original yule log was taken from a large tree and decorated with ribbons before being hauled back to the house, welcomed with wine before being set on the fire to burn through the twelve days of Christmas.
The Celtics believed that by doing this they could encourage the sun to move again and cause the days to become longer. However, the Christians light a yule log to represent the fire that kept the stables warm for the infant Jesus.
#3 – Christmas Dinner
The Christmas dinner is the main meal that is served on Christmas day and is the time where all of the family are supposed to sit down together and share their stories. One of the traditions surrounding the Christmas dinner is to take the wishbone from the turkey and break it with another member of the family. The one that manages to break away with the majority of the bone is allowed to make a wish, as the name of the bone suggests.
There are also specific foods that are associated with the Christmas dinner such as stuffing, roast potatoes, turkey and sprouts. The majority of these foods became a part of the tradition as they were in abundance due to the harvest in autumn.
There are many other traditions that surround Christmas that we have begun to forget the meanings of; but one thing that is never forgotten is the Christmas spirit that comes from spending time with family and being generous.
For more information on winter festivals and all things to do with Christmas you can get in touch with us here at UK Christmas World; we’d be more than happy to provide you with expert advice and aid you with any questions that you may have.