CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS IN THE UK
by Vicky Conner
aka @bluefruit on Twitter
Vicky Connor is the Commissioning Editor and MD of Clementine Publishing in the UK. She is also a kids craft author but most important of all she is mum to Charlotte and Charlie’.
It is true to say that the English have a ridiculous amount of traditions. You name it and we have a tradition linked to it. Seriously – just say a random word and I can pretty much guarantee there will be a weird English tradition attached to it. For example…
Cheese – In the village of Brockworth they annually chase a large round Double Gloucester cheese down the very steep Cooper’s Hill. This involves running, falling and bouncing with varying degrees of personal injury inflicted on the runners. The winner is the person who reaches the bottom first and their prize is the very cheese they were chasing (along with, I presume, the honour of getting to be the first to ride to the hospital in an ambulance…
Moon – a girl wishing to see her future husband should sit on a gate at midnight on a New Moon. Which is fine if you live in the city. Being resident in the hills and dales of England must have left an awful lot of young ladies terribly concerned they were doomed to marry livestock.
Cabbage – it is traditional for single women to go tramping out into the vegetable patch on Halloween night, cut a cabbage in half and as the clock strikes 12 they should see the face of their intended. In the sliced cabbage. But what if you looked at the wrong half of the cabbage?!
Needless to say most of our traditions are now generally ignored or made more palatable for our modern tastes. Families carry on their own traditions, mostly less odd but always important. My favourite – by far – is one our family has been following for as long as I can remember; the Christmas Day Treasure Hunt. Every year, usually between the 2 blockbusters being shown on TV, my mother sends us all upstairs to a bedroom where we have to sit together waiting for her to call us back down. We are left up there with enough chocolate to sink a battleship