Christmas traditions in England, Brittany & Peru

Stories about Christmas traditions around the world by our lovely international staff.

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uploaded 18th December 2019

Christmas traditions in England 

By Caroline Preston - Academic Director

 

Christmas in our family is very traditional. It’s a time when we all gather together in the family home in Norfolk and have the chance to be together. The festivities start on Christmas Eve when we traditionally go out for a meal in a local restaurant. This gives the chance for those cooking on Christmas Day to have a rest from preparing food. Later that evening we prepare the stockings. These are traditionally given to children who believe that they are left by Father Christmas. Stocking gifts, in my family, are small presents chosen with care and love. These stockings are later smuggled under beds whilst the children sleep.  We always leave a plate of minced pies and a glass of sherry for Father Christmas to enjoy on his busiest night of the year. Some of the family go to church for the Midnight Mass service which welcomes in Christmas day. There we sing Christmas carols and meet the local people from the village.

On Christmas morning the children in the family wake up early to open their stockings. There is always a tangerine right in the toe!  We then have a special breakfast with smoked salmon and champagne before getting busy opening our presents. Lunch is at about 2pm and is traditionally a turkey with all the trimmings. For dessert, the Christmas pudding, topped with holly, is dowsed in brandy and set alight for dramatic effect. We eat the Christmas pudding with brandy butter- delicious. Inside the pudding are coins wrapped in foil – a good incentive to eat it. It’s traditional to have crackers which we pull to find a paper hat, toy and joke. The hats go on and stay there all day!

After lunch everyone feels sleepy after all that food so a brisk walk is needed with the dog. Our home is in a village and we all pile out into the fresh air. As we walk, we meet the neighbours and shout Merry Christmas. Of course most neighbours are still wearing their paper hats without realising!

Next more food, a cup of tea and Christmas cake. We really feel too stuffed to eat the cake but it’s there in all its iced glory.

Christmas evening is quite chilled, we watch a film together and get out a bottle of port! The log fire is lit and as it crackles and we all sit together feeling happy that we can be together at this festive time.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas traditions in Brittany and Peru

By Emilie Simon-Rosas - Modern Langugues Teacher

 

In my family, we celebrate Christmas on the 25th December. Because we are a big family (20 persons) we go to the restaurant for the Christmas lunch. In general, we eat for the starter oysters and scallops at Breton style. For the main plate, we eat poultry with chestnut sauce, after, we have cheese with wine, and for the dessert we eat the traditional Yule log.

In general, we do not do anything on 24th December. When I was young with my parents we were used to go to the cinema or watch a film to the television.

This year my husband, son and I we cannot travel to Brittany (West of France), because my sister-in-law live with us for few months, so we decided to spend Christmas here in UK. We will do a Christmas Peruvian meal on the 24th December.

We will prepare a turkey at Peruvian style that is mean we will inject Brandy to the turkey, and during few hours will let the turkey marinade in sauce with chillies and herbs.

The 25th December we will enjoy the day to visit a site in the region.

 Joyeux Noel!