Celebrate Like A Brit With These Christmas Traditions From Across The Pond

It's more than just figgy pudding and Charles Dickens. Celebrate Like A Brit With These Christmas Traditions From Across The Pond Giphy

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Sure, the Revolutionary War might have been all about declaring independence from England — but many of the customs Americans hold dear have some decidedly British roots. With the holiday season upon us, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look at how the United Kingdom celebrates in case you might want to integrate a few of these traditions into your festivities.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Pantos: Who doesn’t love a colorful and fun play? In the U.K., Christmas is prime time for so-called “pantos” (short for pantomimes), which are often plays based on fairy tales and commonly involve performers dressed in drag. The audience usually plays an active role in the performance, warning the protagonist when a villain is approaching.
  • Sweets: England might not be known for its cuisine, but the holidays are the time for all types of desserts to make a long-awaited appearance. From mince pies packed with fruits and spices to booze-soaked Christmas pudding to decadent cakes, there’s something to suit everyone’s sweet tooth.
  • Christmas cracker: No, this isn’t something people eat on December 25. Instead, it’s a tube that’s wrapped up and tied on each end. When they’re passed around, two people pull in opposite directions and await a loud pop. Traditionally, a holiday-themed dad joke and a small prize falls out of the tube.
  • Reunions: There are many different ways to ring in Christmas Eve, but one popular activity across the U.K. is reuniting with old friends from school. Reminiscing, catching up on things, and shooting the breeze is even more fun in the standard setting for these get-togethers … the quintessential British pub.

Then there are familiar traditions with a British twist, like calling Santa Claus “Father Christmas” or wishing a “Happy Christmas” instead of a merry one.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee December 6th, 2023
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