“Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever.” – Richelle E. Goodrich, ‘Smile Anyway’.
Come December and people all across the world is absorbed in cheery thoughts. The Christmas has a vibe of it’s own that catches anyone and everyone! Nowadays Christmas is more than a festival, it has become an emotion. Christians and non-Christians alike celebrate Christmas with the same level of enthusiasm. But where is the best place to celebrate Christmas than in Great Britain? The United Kingdom becomes an enchanted place at Christmas! Thousands of tourists come from all parts of the world to join in the festivity along with the Brits. Yes, it’s cold, damp and foggy weather there at Christmas but the joyful spirits and limitless excitement of people bring warmth to the chilly weather in the UK.
Christmas is the major festival in the United Kingdom and they decorate the cities, towns and villages in a magnificent way! It is indeed a delightful scene to catch the merry carolers hopping between homes, ringing bells and singing old Christmas carols. Each of the streets get decorated and so are the houses. Travellers flock on this time to get a taste of the British Christmas! Each of the countries in the UK celebrate their biggest festival in incredible grandeur.
The cities, as well as the towns and village, are beautified with Christmas lights. The major attraction of Christmas lights are in Oxford Street in London. Every coming year they make it even more impressive!
Most families plan for get-togethers and parties during this time. The British adorn their homes with large real Christmas trees. They also decorate their homes with Mistletoe, Holly and Ivy. Kissing under the mistletoe is a popular ritual among the British people. Nativity plays and carol services are also very famous. The spectacular Candlelight services and the Carols performed at the churches are a must watch!
The British are always expecting a “ White Christmas”, that is a Christmas when the snow will fall all through the Christmas day! Although this is an extremely rare incident. Children love to build Snowman around their houses.
Fireworks are also a grand part of Christmas celebrations. In Wales, they have a curious tradition of the “wassailing horse”. A skull of a horse is covered by a cloth and decorated by ribbons. A person then hides within this horse and the horse and it’s followers parade merrily singing and playing gay music!
After Christmas they celebrate Boxing Day, which is also famous in Britain. This is when people hand boxes of sweets and other gifts to others. Originally the Boxing Day was an age-old custom when the master would gift a ‘Christmas box’ containing money, food and clothes to each of his servants.
The British enjoy a sumptuous Christmas meal with roasted turkeys, roast beef or goose, bacons, sausages, roast vegetables, stuffing and the menu is never complete without the delicious desserts like Christmas pudding, trifle, mince pies and loads of chocolates. Their dinner table is decorated with a variety of seasonal fruits, cakes, flowers, candles and of course the Christmas cracker! In the UK people bake their traditional Christmas cake at home. The cake is made richly with exotic fruits and topped with marzipan, icing and other decorations.
The pubs in Britain get a lot of business in Christmas times. The pubs are all set in the mood of Christmas with ongoing carols and overflowing whiskey, vodka, rum, brandy, gin, Advocaat, Ginger and different native British wines.
The fable of Santa Claus is very popular among British children. Santa Claus or Father Christmas is a myth. He is believed to be a jolly old man with white beards and moustaches, wearing red and riding on the reindeers he would come to your doorsteps at every Christmas Eve! He is said to bring nice presents for the little children. Father Christmas comes at the dead of night when no one is awake. So the little children hang up their stockings near their beds so that he leaves the presents in those. Children also write letters to Santa Claus listing their requests and keep them near the fireplace.
Although Christmas is observed with joy and enthusiasm in the United Kingdom, in history we can find that Christmas was banned in England in 1645 by Oliver Cromwell when he ruled the country. There were several unrests among the Englishmen who wanted to celebrate Christmas at that time. Again when King Charles II ascended the throne in 1660, he revived the Christmas celebrations and enlisted it as a holiday in the calendar.
If you really want to enjoy Christmas and get a true British flavour, you must plan a vacation on the best Christmas destinations in the United Kingdom. Visit some of the magical Christmas destinations in the UK such as Edinburgh in Scotland, Tattershall in Lincolnshire, London in England, Whitby in North Yorkshire, York in North Yorkshire, Newquay in Cornwall, Padstow in Cornwall, Aviemore in Scotland, Filey in North Yorkshire and last but not least Scarborough in North Yorkshire.
These places are considered to be the best Christmas destinations in the world! The Brits have a habit of spreading their infectious merriment to everyone around them!
Go alone or with your family and get immersed in the British Christmas vibe! From buying exquisite presents from the beautiful shops on the winding streets, to sipping a gorgeous afternoon tea in a local tea-shop, you can enjoy a lot! Go for an outdoor ice-skating, plan a river cruise, hop in the famous Christmas markets, buy simple hand made crafts from locals, eat an elegant Christmas lunch, taste the different cup cakes on roadside stalls, book a walking tour, attend carol concerts, participate in costume competition, go on a lazy winter bike ride or stroll around the streets only to sneak onto the pubs for dinner and to forget the world over mulled wine.