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(ENGLAND) Victorian #Christmas Report: The transformation happened quickly, and came from all sectors of society #AceHistoryDesk report

#AceHistoryReport – Dec.25: Many attribute the change to Queen Victoria, and it was her marriage to the German-born Prince Albert that introduced some of the most prominent aspects of Christmas. In 1848 the Illustrated London Newspublished a drawing of the royal family celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree, a tradition that was reminiscent of Prince Albert’s childhood in Germany. Soon every home in Britain had a tree bedecked with candles, sweets, fruit, homemade decorations and small gifts.

#AceHistoryDesk says its hard to imagine now, but at the beginning of the 19th century #Christmas was hardly celebrated. Many businesses did not even consider it a holiday. However by the end of the century it had become the biggest annual celebration and took on the form that we recognise today according to BBC History Report:

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Victoria and Albert gathered around the Christmas tree with their children.

In 1843 Henry Cole commissioned an artist to design a card for Christmas. The illustration showed a group of people around a dinner table and a Christmas message. At one shilling each, these were pricey for ordinary Victorians and so were not immediately accessible. However the sentiment caught on and many children – Queen Victoria’s included – were encouraged to make their own Christmas cards. In this age of industrialisation colour printing technology quickly became more advanced, causing the price of card production to drop significantly. Together with the introduction of the halfpenny postage rate, the Christmas card industry took off. By the 1880s the sending of cards had become hugely popular, creating a lucrative industry that produced 11.5 million cards in 1880 alone. The commercialisation of Christmas was well on its way.

Victorian Crackers
Traditional Victorian crackers

Another commercial Christmas industry was borne by Victorians in 1848 when a British confectioner, Tom Smith, invented a bold new way to sell sweets. Inspired by a trip to Paris where he saw bon bons – sugared almonds wrapped in twists of paper – he came up with the idea of the Christmas cracker: a simple package filled with sweets that snapped when pulled apart. The sweets were replaced by small gifts and paper hats in the late Victorian period, and remain in this form as an essential part of a modern Christmas.

Decorating the home at Christmas also became a more elaborate affair. The medieval tradition of using evergreens continued, however the style and placement of these decorations became more important. The old custom of simply decking walls and windows with sprigs and twigs was sniffed at. Uniformity, order and elegance were encouraged. There were instructions on how to make elaborate synthetic decorations for those residing in towns. In 1881 Cassell’s Family Magazine gave strict directions to the lady of the house: “To bring about a general feeling of enjoyment, much depends on the surroundings… It is worth while to bestow some little trouble on the decoration of the rooms”.

Gift giving had traditionally been at New Year but moved as Christmas became more important to the Victorians. Initially gifts were rather modest – fruit, nuts, sweets and small handmade trinkets. These were usually hung on the Christmas tree. However, as gift giving became more central to the festival, and the gifts became bigger and shop-bought, they moved under the tree.

The Christmas feast has its roots from before the Middle Ages, but it’s during the Victorian period that the dinner we now associate with Christmas began to take shape. Examination of early Victorian recipes shows that mince pies were initially made from meat, a tradition dating back to Tudor times. However, during the 19th century there was a revolution in the composition of this festive dish. Mixes without meat began to gain popularity within some of the higher echelons of society and became the mince pies we know today.

The roast turkey also has its beginnings in Victorian Britain. Previously other forms of roasted meat such as beef and goose were the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner. The turkey was added to this by the more wealthy sections of the community in the 19th century, but its perfect size for a middle class family gathering meant it became the dominant dish by the beginning of the 20th century.

While carols were not new to the Victorians, it was a tradition that they actively revived and popularised. The Victorians considered carols to be a delightful form of musical entertainment, and a pleasure well worth cultivating. Old words were put to new tunes and the first significant collection of carols was published in 1833 for all to enjoy.

The Victorians also transformed the idea of Christmas so that it became centred around the family. The preparation and eating of the feast, decorations and gift giving, entertainments and parlour games – all were essential to the celebration of the festival and were to be shared by the whole family.

While Charles Dickens did not invent the Victorian Christmas, his book A Christmas Carol is credited with helping to popularise and spread the traditions of the festival. Its themes of family, charity, goodwill, peace and happiness encapsulate the spirit of the Victorian Christmas, and are very much a part of the Christmas we celebrate today.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Dec.25: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

Merry Christmas 🎄
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Peace Truth

(ENGLAND) #Christmas News Report: There are many famous and ancient traditions associated with the ‘festive season’ here we highlight some of the key traditions that make it special in the

#AceNewsReport – Dec.03: As some families polish their silver tableware ready for the Christmas day feast, villages and cities hang up their festive decorations and open the doors to a season of Christmas shopping and anticipation for Christmas day.

#AceChristmasDesk Celebrating in the UK: It is the season to be merry and after a hard gruelling year slogging away everyone is ready for this festive season according to a Media News Report:

christmas in the UK

What makes a classically English Christmas? Classic poems would probably do a better job of capturing the festive spirit. With so many cultures sharing the traditions of Christmas, it’s tricky pointing out what is truly an original English Christmas. Indeed, it’s fair to say that even regions throughout England have their own quirky festivities – as do Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  So it is worth visiting local tourism or government websites to check what’s on in your area.

Also, England has become increasingly multicultural with families of many faiths, so be sensitive to other’s beliefs during this season. That said, Christmas has perhaps become more of a cultural festival than a religious one in recent years. However, its roots derive not only from Christianity but also Paganism; in northern Europe, pagans celebrated the winter solstice, known as Yule.  Yule was symbolic of the pagan sun god, Mithras, being born.

Let’s look then at some of the top things that make Christmas special in England.

The family

For England, Christmas is a time when all the family tend to come together from wherever they might be. Each family has its own tradition’s. In cases where families are far apart, it is an important decision to decide who hosts Christmas this year.  Panic in the kitchen with Christmas dinner preparations are fairly normal. Family members tend to buy each other presents and put them under the Christmas tree, to open on Christmas day.

Advent

Advent is a word derived from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming’. Western Christian churches celebrate the ‘nativity of Jesus’ at Christmas which also marks the beginning of the ‘church’s religious year’.  Some families put stylish Christmas wreathes on their front door during advent. It is worth dropping into a Cathedral during this season as they tend to be specially decorated – the colours of the altar cloth are white and gold. The music will be equally festive.

Advent Calendar

With origins in Germany since at least the nineteenth century it has been the tradition that at the beginning of Advent  children celebrate the story of Christmas. They do this through opening 24 little doors each day on an illustrated cardboard calendar showing the dates leading up to Christmas Eve. Each window traditionally shows a different illustration portraying a scene from the nativity story. You can also get advent calendars which feature chocolates and Disney characters.

Christmas trees and decorations

Suddenly everyone is selling Christmas trees – or at least that is how it seems. Purchasing the right size is always a moment of concern, how high is your ceiling? Make sure that the pine needles aren’t already falling off when you get it otherwise your vacuum cleaner won’t have much a of a holiday either. You can purchase plastic Christmas tree ‘holders’ which help keep the tree upright, alternatively you can use a bucket and wedge the tree trunk between some bricks, then decorate the base with some cloth. You can always opt for a plastic tree with fake snow.

In days gone by making your own tree decorations was quite common, these days there is so much variety of decorations from baubles, tinsel to fairy lights and numerous others to choose from. Don’t forget a giant start at the top of the tree! Take down the decorations on the twelfth day, though.

Towns across the land usually have a giant Christmas tree placed somewhere in the town center. The Christmas tree is a European traditionthat originates from sixteenth century Germany and was first introduced to England in the early 1800’s and became popular during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Christmas Markets

Thanks to contemporary thinking on events, cities across Britain and indeed Europe have been taken over by Christmas markets making local economies and tourism boom over the Christmas season.  The markets are sometimes called ‘fayres’ which is an old English spelling of ‘fair’. Many cities host arts and crafts fairs and even food markets featuring continental European food. Other events are usually common throughout this season as well.

 Christmas Stockings

So every child is told – that Santa Claus (Father Christmas) visits every child across the world in one night, climbs down their chimney (or other such miraculous means) and leaves a stocking full of gifts at the end of the child’s bed or hanging beside the fireplace. Before Christmas children are typically instructed to write a letter to Santa with a wish list, which depending on the family can involve sending the letter up the chimney.  Famously Santa is partial to a glass of something alcoholic and mince pies – which can be left near the stockings.

Without wanting to dispel any Christmas myth about Father Christmas, for any further questions, please ask a friendly British neighbor or failing that – ask the landlord at your local pub who will be sure to put you straight.
Stockings are available from shops. You can opt for large hiking socks or some people prefer pillowcases.

Christmas Eve

Eve – which famously means the day before something.  On this day children watch carefully for gifts placed under the tree with their name on. In the evening it is very important that children put out their stockings ready for Santa Claus before they go to bed – plus any refreshments they might like to offer Santa.  Some churches and cathedrals do Midnight Mass or a carol service that ushers in the festive season. Families sometimes invite friends over for drinks of mulled wine and mince pies in the evening

Christmas television

Suddenly all the TV channels in Britain broadcast the nation’s best -loved sentimental movies and blockbusters that makes some create schedules. After eating copious amounts of Christmas dinner and as adults drowsily fall in and out of sleep in armchairs, a Christmas movie can be the perfect companion – especially for kids – if they aren’t playing with their new presents.

Santa’s Grotto

In the run up to Christmas shopping malls, theme parks and certain large shops have a Santa’s grotto where parent’s can take their child to visit Santa Claus – and they get a pre-Christmas gift. Famously each year there is a Santa’s grotto in Covent Garden, London. This is also popular in the US and is the subject of numerous movies.

Christmas Carols

Everyone knows Christmas carols. Consider numerous students of English in a distant country being taught a carol by their friendly English teacher. Traditionally carol singers go around villages singing carols – this still happens depending on the village or town. The most obvious place to sing them is in church during advent or on Christmas day itself.  Carols are not to be mistaken for Christmas pop songs – which are playing in every shop you enter during December.

Mulled wine and mince pies

Mulled wine is a heated concoction of red wine and herbs – like cinnamon.  The very smell is evocative of Christmas in England and if you attend a party or even a concert expect to be offered this tasty seasonal drink – accompanied with a mince pie.

Christmas dinner

This is possibly the peak of Christmas day, a time when all the family eats together. Christmas crackers – featuring a silly joke, party hat, and game – are usually on the table and pulled between two people during the meal. The dinner usually features a roast turkey with vegetables, followed by Christmas pudding, then followed by Christmas cake!

There dozens of different variations to Christmas dinner, but usually it is very filling. For some, it means an appointment with the local gym a week later.

Mistletoe

According to Scandinavian tradition, any two people meeting under Mistletoe should kiss. Hence it has become tradition to hang Mistletoe somewhere in the house and couples kiss under it.

Christmas presents

Every family opens them at different times, but usually there is one moment when everyone attacks the horde of presents under the Christmas tree.  A sea of Christmas paper ensues.

Boxing Day

Also known as St. Stephen’s Day and the first of the twelve days of Christmas. Harking back to Anglo-Saxon times (which is a very long time ago) this was a day of giving seasonal gifts – in a Christmas box. It is a shopping holiday, a time when shops suddenly make dramatic price decreases. The shops will literally be heaving with people.

Pantomime

Between Christmas and the early New Year, many theatres put on Pantomimes which often feature celebrities dressed up to entertain. The stories follow the line of traditional tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk or Cinderella. It is normal for there to be a dame (a man dressed up as a woman) who is the clown of the show and who usually has a sidekick being the protagonist, both up against some terrible villain – the audience is always encouraged to participate with lots of boos and hisses. It’s usually great fun and a very silly performance tailored to families with children.

The Queen’s Speech

It is tradition in Britain that on Christmas day the Queen broadcasts a brief message to the people of the Kingdom. The speech is usually broadcast in the afternoon and many families stop what they are doing to listen.

Twelve days of Christmas

Traditionally, the 12 days begin on the 26 December (St Stephens Day) and continue until the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January. This period is the Christmastide. A song known for celebrating this period is ‘The twelve days of Christmas’ that begins:

“On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.”

Merry Christmas

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Dec.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com