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Christmas day in England

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Christmas day in England

Christmas day in England

Silent Night

Silent night, Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright,

Round your virgin Mother and Child,

Holy infant so tender and mild;

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight,

Glories stream from heaven afar,

Heavenly hosts sing Alleliua;

Christ the Saviour is born!

Christ the Saviour is born!

Silent night, Holy night!

Son of God, love is pure light.

Radiant beams from Thy holy face,

With the dawn of redeeming ggrace;

Jesus, Lord, at Your birth!

Jesus, Lord, at Your birth!

White Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know,

Where the tree-tops glisten

And children listen

To hear sleight-bells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write.

May your days be merry and bright!

And may all your Christmases be white!

From the past

Christmas as the feast of the Nativity was celebrated in Rome as early aas most Eastern churches adopted AD 336.The celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25 was adopted by most Eastern churches. The reason why Christmas was celebrated on December 25 remains unknown. Early Christians wished the date to coincide with the ppagan Roman festival marking the birthday of the unconquered sun. In the Roman world the Saturnalia, December 17, was a time of entertainment and exchanging of gifts. It was a winter feast. Two weeks later, on the Roman New Ear- January 1, houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts were given to children and the poor.

In the middle of the 4th century the Eastern and Western churches established the modern Christian 12- day celebration from Christmas to Epiphany. It is believed that the Tree Wise Men, or Magi, visited the baby Jesus on that day bringing him gifts: some gold, frankincense, and myrrh, a plant oil with a very sweet smell.

The word Christmas came to the EEnglish language around 1050 as the Old Christes maesse meaning festival of Christ. Scholars believe that the shortened form of Christmas- Xmas- began to be used in the 13th century. It also represents the cross on which Jesus was crucified. In 1643 the celebration of Christmas was outlawed by the British Parliament. The holiday was reestablished in 1660.

Red and green are the traditional colours of Christmas season.

Christmas is no longer only a religious festival. It is the most popular aand colourful holiday period for everyone. It includes many traditions and customs- the decorations with evergreen trees, lights, wreaths, and holly or mistletoe; the church services; the exchange of gifts; sending of cards; good food and drink; singing Christmas carols or watching Christmas plays.

The Christmas season starts with Advent on November 30, St. Andrew’s Day.

It ends on Epiphany, January 6. During Advent Christians make preparations for the commemoration of Jesus birth on December 25. The Advent wreath consists of four candles which are put inside the evergreen branches. At the beginning of each of the pour weeks Christians light Advent candle as they say a prayer.

Christmas prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,

Help us to remember the birth of Jesus,

That we share in the songs of the angels,

The gladness of the shepherds,

And worship of the wise men.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be your children and

Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,

Forgiving and forgiven for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Christmas Cards

The exchange of Christmas cards became a widespread custom in the 19th century.Europeans used wood prints of religious themes for Christmas cards during the Middle Ages. The average person in England sends about 50 Christmas cards year.

Sir Henry Cole was a well- known museum director in London. Every year he sent short notes to his friends at Christmas wishing them a happy holiday season. But in 1843 he had friends at Christmas wishing them a happy holiday season.

But in 1843 he had no time for letter writing. So he asked an artist John Calcott Horsley to design a card for Christmas. The card looked like a postcard and consisted of three panels where the central one depicted the English family enjoying the holiday. The other two showed acts of charity so important to the Victorian Christmas spirit. The message below the created Christmas card said;

A merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.

Sir Henry Cole decided to sell his cards in a shop. At least one thousand copies were placed on sale. But around the same time two other Englishmen; W.A.Dobson and E.Bradley designed the cards, which were hand- created instead of printing.

Louis Prang, a German lithographer who settled in Boston, popularized the Christmas card in America. He created a colourful Christmas card in 1875.

A typical Christmas card has a sentimental picture of a snowy country scene or a warm fireside iin an old- fashioned drawing room. Landscapes are the most popular design on Christmas cards followed by holiday symbols: angels, bells wreaths, candles, neativity scenes and, finally, Santa Claus. Many pictures show animals. But a very interesting drawing is of a robin.The little bird’s red breast symbolizes warmth at a time when the weather is cold, and people are thinking warmly of their family and friends. In the middle of the last century the post office dressed its postmen in bright red coasts of a colour to match the red of their pillar- boxes in England. Because of this striking uniform, the postmen themselves came to be known as redbreasts. Almost all the early cards showed a cheerful robin redbreasts.often bringing the welcome Christmas mail in its beak or sometimes knocking on the door just like the postman himself.

Everyone can use the following greetings on the Christmas cards:

Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth!

Sending you warm wishes for a blessed Holiday season!

To wish You in a special way. A very happy Christmas Day!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Wishing you God’s special blessings at Christmas and always!

With everything you do, you make my world a little more


Christmas tree

The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands, as a symbol of eternal life was an ancient custom n Egypt, China, and Jerusalem. The custom f bringing an evergreen tree indoors and decorating it at Christmas began in Germany. As the legend says once Martin Luther King, an important Christian leader, was walking home one Christmas Eve admiring the starry sky. The stars looked as if they were shining on the branches. When he came home, he took a ssmall fir- tree, put it on the floor and decorated it lighted candles. It was the year of about 1513.

The Christmas tree was introduced into England in the early 19th century. It was popularized by the German Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, in 1841 who brought the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle for Royal family. During the Victoria era the Christmas tree was decorated with fruit, nuts, candly, and roses. The British considered candles as a symbol oof the Star of Wonder. Also they added candles and fancy cakes witch hung from the branches by ribbon or by paper chains. The first manufactured Christmas tree decorations were sold in England in 1880.

The people of Norway give aa giant Christmas tree Londoners every year. This is to thank them or their help in the Second World War. The wonderful tree stands in Trafalgar Square, London.

The use of evergreens for wreaths and other decorations is a British winter tradition. Holly, with its prickly leaves and red berries, came into holiday use because it reminded people of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus on the way to his execution. The red berries symbolize the droplets of blood. Also they used ivy and mistletoe. These decorations are the heritage of Saxon and Celtic customs. When ivy and holly were used to decorate the house, they brought a happy family life for the year to come. It was important nnot to bring them into the house before Christmas Eve otherwise bad luck would follow.

The British have had mistletoe from the days of Druids. England was the first country to use mistletoe during Christmastime. An ancient name for mistletoe is the wood of the holy cross. Mistletoe was never taken into a church. This was because of a legend that tells how mistletoe wood was used to make a cross on which Christ died. They believed that the plant ccould perform miracles, heal diseases, and protect people from witchcraft as it has magic powers.

he Druids cut the mistletoe off oak trees with a golden sickle in a special ceremony. They believed that mistletoe would become contaminated if it touched the ground. So, they used a special white cloth to catch it held by four virgins. Then they sacrificed two white oxen while prayers were said. The priest gave the mistletoe sprigs to the people who believe they would then be kept safe from evil spirits, fire, lightning, and storms. If a baby was born, a twig of the mistletoe was placed in the cradle to keep the child from harm.

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve churches everything. A custom that originated in southern Europe is the manager scene. This is a small model of the stable where Jesus was born. It contains figures of Mary, Joseph, the infant, shepherds, farm animals, and Magi with their gifts. The custom is said to have set up in a stable in a corner of a church in his native village with real persons and animals to represent those of the first Christmas.

The Catholic midnight Mass was first introduced by the Roman CCatholic Church in the 5th century. Christmas masses are solemn. Church feature candlelight and organ music.

Our Father which art Heaven hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come. You will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for Thy is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, for ever. Amen.

The English burn yule- logs during the midwinter season. The word yule came from the Middle English meaning yollen-cry aloud. It is an Anglo- Saxon entertainment when nights were becoming shorter. The yule – log, a big log of wood, symbolizes the victory of light over the darkness of winter. The specially selected log is covered with ribbons and dragged home with pride. Families light the log on Christmas Eve and keep it burning until Epiphany. Soma families save the remains of the yule- log for it was though to bring good luck and the protect the house from lightning and fire.

Christmas Carols

Christmas has its own music and songs since it had started. The custom of carols at Christmas iis also of English origin. The word carol means song of joy. Carolling is one of the oldest customs in England. The traditional period to sing carols was from St. Thomas’ Day, December 21, until the morning of Christmas Day. Christmas carols were known in England by the year 1100. But Oliver Cromwell, an English polician in England, outlawed Christmas carols between 1649 and 1660.

Later carols became known as Christmas Hymns often sang by carol singers. They went from house to house singing ancient carols and spreading the holiday spirit. People danced arm- in- arm singing simple and happy songs.

The Anglo- Saxon tradition speaks about small choir gatherings in the village singing Christmas songs for the pleasure of the people. They collected money for charitable purposes and gave it to the poor later.

Best known of modern carols is Silent Night which was written by an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr in 1818. The most popular among non- religious tunes is White Christmas by the American Irving Berlin written in 1942.

Santa Claus

The legend of a jolly old Santa Claus, or St. Nicholas, began with a real person. He is one of the most popular saints honoured by

Christians. Very little is known about him. He lived during the 4th century in Asia Minor. By tradition, he was born in Atara, a seaport, and traveled to Egypt and Palestine as a young man. Later he became a bishop of the church at Myra. By the 6th century his burial place was well known there. In 1087 St. Nicholas’ remains were moved to Italy. The devotion to ...

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