Christmas customs in Great Britain

By Chrisitne Horba, Akrivi Christopoulou, Nick Balasopouloa and Panagiotis Filtisenios (A Class)



Great Britain has a wide variety of customs and traditions. These are some of them:

1. Letter to Father Christmas

In Great Britain, children don’t send their letters to Father Christmas. Father Christmas, as Santa Claus is called in England, is described as a tall man with white beard. Children write to him letters in order to be sure that he won’t make mistakes with their orders but they don’t send them to him. They throw the letters in the fireplace and if the letter leaves from the chimney their wish will come true, if not their wish won’t be true. If the letter burns out children have to write it again.


2. Christmas Socks

On Christmas Eve children hang their socks in the fireplace, in their bed or in the door in order to find them full of small presents by Father Christmas, who throws them from the chimney.


3. Christmas tree

Over the past few years, as it happens in Greece, Christmas tree plays an important role on the holidays. However it never replaced the combination of greenery and mistletoe, which is called plant of kisses. Mistletoes hang from the cap and according to the tradition anyone who stands under these have to exchange kisses with familiar people.


4. Mimes

In the countryside, you can see mimes act Christmas pantomime and sing the carols in the streets. In the province of Yorkshire, the call of devil takes place on Christmas Eve. The church bell rings funereally once for each year of Christ’s birth and the last ring is exactly in the middle of the night.


5. Christmas cracker

Another custom of British people is Christmas cracker, which is a web of cardboard wrapped with colorful paper that contains small presents, sweet and a proverb or a prediction for the future, like fortune cookies of Chinese people. Two people plunk the edges, so that it breaks in two unequal parts. The person who will get the bigger part he/she will gain the content of this.


6. Christmas dinner

For British people, Christmas dinner plays an important role in Christmas period for good luck. It consists of baked turkey or beef, meat pie, tartlets stuffing with fruit, raisin and sugar, and pudding with plum.