Part of the joy of Christmas is the accompanying traditions. Although many of them can seem quite strange on the surface, invariably they’re mostly a lot of fun and get you in the festive spirit. Below, we explore 10 weird and wonderful Christmas traditions.
London sweet maker Tom Smith invented the Christmas cracker around 1850. After initially failing to sell well, he added the famous bang to the cracker and from there a tradition was born.
Sending Christmas cards is a longstanding British Christmas tradition. It dates back to 1843 when Sir Henry Cole switched away from sending personal messages to people and instead commissioned John Calcott Horsley to design a card for him to send to multiple people.
Going To The Pantomime
Pantomimes have been a common sight in Britain in the Christmas period ever since the 17th century. Usually featuring slapstick jokes and encouraging audience participation, they’re a jolly few hours of comedy theatre.
The John Lewis Advert
John Lewis has been producing beloved Christmas adverts since 2007. The advert tends to drop around the end of November and will tell a short, emotional Christmas story.
Mince pies are a great – but strange – Christmas food. Usually, featuring chopped fruit, nuts, and a preserving liquid encased in rich pastry, they’re a proper Christmas treat dating back hundreds of years in various forms.
Whether you go to church or just join a carol singing event, this can be a great way to get in the mood for Christmas. Beginning in the 12th century when Saint Francis of Assisi added upbeat songs to Latin Christmas services, it’s now traditional for people to get together over Christmas and sing jubilant hymns.
Mistletoe is a distinctive plant with bright red berries. Traditionally it was a druid ritual where you’d hang it inside the house to ward off evil spirits. But over Christmas, it’s a cheerful tradition where couples kiss under the mistletoe.
The Queen’s Speech
Beginning in 1932 with King George V, this tradition sees the monarch address the nation on Christmas day. Usually watched on TV, this event always attracts millions of viewers.
Swimming In The Sea
Seen as a bracing hangover cure, many people dress up and take an ice-cold swim in the sea on Christmas morning. It’s not for the faint-hearted but can be a lot of fun.
There’s always plenty of things happening on Boxing day. Initially, this day was for boxing up unwanted gifts and giving them to the poor. Now it includes eating leftovers, going to the football and enjoying more time with friends and family.