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Christmas
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Christmas
Christmas is the most important holiday in the year . Two important things , apart from its religious significance , help to see this holiday apart from all others : the custom of giving gifts and the habit of spending it with the family . On Christmas Eve , the traditional ritual of hanging up a stocking at the foot of the bed is performed by millions of excited children all over the English speaking countries . During the day , the Christmas tree is dressed with crackers , candles , and toys for the children .Unlike in Romania , where Santa Claus (or Father Christmas , as some call him) comes on Christmas Eve, in Britain , in the United States an elsewhere, he arrives early in the morning of the 25th of December , stealing in to deliver the presents the children have asked him for. The children are still asleep in spite of the efforts they made to stay awake and see him unload his precious burden of toys and sweets.
Christmas Day is spent quietly at home . The excitement of all the presents is hardly over before it is time for the traditional Christmas dinner : turkey , duck or chicken with rich fruity Christmas pudding afterwards. The evening is spent in games , merriment and more eating and drinking.
Holly , ivy , mistletoe and other evergreens are used to decorate the rooms . The mistletoe bough was considered in the old days of Druids (the priests of the Britons ) to have magic powers and to work wonders . Today , at Christmas time , people hang up mistletoe in their homes , because it will bring them good luck .
The Christmas festivities which are heralded even two months before Christmas by shops and Christmas fairs , go on until Twelfth Night (January 6) , or the feast of the Epiphany. It was formerly celebrated as the closing day of the Christmas festivities. A large cake was served . It contained a bean or a coin which was to determine who should be the king of the feast . Some think that the custom was with special reference to the Magi , the three wise men who came from the east to bear offerings to the infant Christ.
Throughout these festivities , all the theatres in Great Britain present pantomimes , providing entertainment to both young and old. Some of the most popular pantomime characters are Robinson Crusoe , Cinderella , Peter Pan , Pussy in Boots and Mother Goose.
December 26-th is called Boxing Day. It takes its name from the old custom of giving employees or tradesmen an annual present or “Christmas box” on the day . It is the day of recover after all the excitement and food which most of the time prove a little too much.
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