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Although Christmas is an international celebration, each country celebrates it differently. In England, figgy pudding, sweet mince pies and Boxing Day are just a few of the traditions that make up the festive season.
From the beginning of December, English families begin to decorate their homes, usually in green and red. Once the Christmas tree is dressed, Christmas cards are hung in the house until 6 January, the day of the Kings.
Children sing Christmas carols for their neighbours while the rest of the family prepare sweet mince pies for Santa Claus. On 25 December everyone gets up early to open the Christmas gifts brought during the night by Santa and many people go to a Christmas Mass.
Traditionally, the Christmas meal begins with an appetizer, usually a fish dish. The main meal consists of roast turkey with stuffing, vegetables and a meat gravy sauce.
Dessert is always Christmas (figgy) pudding, made up of suet, dried fruit and alcohol and served with custard. What’s more, there is a tradition to hide objects inside the pudding such as a coin (symbol of prosperity), 2 rings (symbol of love), a button (for old men), a thimble (for old women) or a little pig (for the greedy).
In England, 26 December is a public holiday called Boxing Day. Originally, this day was meant to show charity and generosity. Families would put objects and toys that they no longer needed in boxes (hence the term ‘box’) that were then delivered to charities. Many families continue to donate.
Boxing Day is also when a number of major sporting events take place.