weeks before the feast, as they must be infused to become spicy and
flavoured.

Frankly speaking, nowadays English pudding oftener is bought at the
shop than it is made by the English themselves for to cook it’s both
more expensive and gives a lot of troubles which are enough before
Christmas as it is.

But the tradition of Christmas pudding is believed not to die out in
England. Many people make sweets even if they usually do not prepare
anything more and they give away these sweets to their friends.
Christmas pudding has gone down in history and English culture. It even
played the main roles in English books. For instance here it is what
Mrs. Ross out of detective by A. Christie « Theft of royal ruby« tells
about pudding:

“ Real Christmas pudding must be made in some weeks before Christmas
and it must be left in coldness; the longer it is kept within reasonable
limits, of course, the more delicious it is. I remember when I was a
little girl and we went to the church every Sunday, so we wanted for a
certain prayer, which was served as a signal to preparing of puddings.
On Sunday the prayer was said and not later than next week my mother
made Christmas pudding without fail. Everybody living in the house had
to enter the kitchen to stir the pudding and to think of any wish. That
is the long-standing tradition, sir, and I always follow it.”

Christmas psalms, skating, garlands and other typical Christmas
attributes accompany beginning of feast time in Great Britain
traditionally. This year lighting ceremony of Christmas garlands in
Regent-street, Old Street of London city celebrates its anniversary of
50 years.

Historical royal places of London, remind about Christmas celebration
in the past centuries. At the Tower of London Norman Christmas takes
part from the 27 till the 31 of December that recreates atmosphere of
1098 year which is memorable; exactly there the king Henry 1 and his
suite celebrated the feast after finishing of building of the fortress.

At Hampton Court Palace Jacobean Christmas is celebrated from the 27
till the 1 of January; Jacob 1 and Ann Danish laid its traditions. The
skating-ring getting up in best traditions of that time is opened also
here.

In Christmas Eve 12 showrooms at Geoffrey’s museum in an east part of
London are festively decorated where some furniture and examples of
interior of period since 1600 up to our days are exhibited. Visitors can
find out what is the foundation of such traditions as kissing under
mistle-toe and decorating of a fir-tree.

For English children Christmas appears indistinctly in October yet, at
this time they sit at the table and putting out their tonguage tips with
effort write Christmas list for Father Christmas. Shop owners sell
different thematic togs just from this moment.

In generally this is a long-standing tradition. In UK there are
traditions, rituals, distinctive marks, Kinks and other crazy ideas,
connected to winters festivities more than in all the rest of Europe. It
being (There being) both long-standing traditions and relatively new
ones, but they are got firmly cemented in the midst of Britain
mentality. Here is an example; from the end of the 19-century Advent
calendars come to England from Germany. First they had religious “grown
up” aim but soon children started using them. And now each year from the
1 0f December whole juvenile Britain keeps counting to the Advent. And
these Calendars can be wild: blinking, chocolate, waffle, of they can be
even like heads of Martians.

Majority of building are decorated only in two weeks before Christmas.
Trees in many of which the leaves are left are enmeshed in tinsel,
coloured lights and different ribbons. Lawns in front of houses are
usually hidden almost completely with holly and ivygarlands and with
statues of Father Christmas. In Christmas Eve children go to bed right
after they are read prayers and thrilling Christmas stories. But before
this they are sure to leave a pie with meat topping and some milk for
Father Christmas and a carrot for a certain Rudolf to receive presents.
And in the morning at this unearthly hour children rush upstairs to the
living rooms where everything what they were looking forward to, is
under the fir-tree in their stockings.

At about 13 o’clock relatives and friends come to see each other, they
kiss, other embrace, exchange their presents, discuss some trifles with
delight and at last take their seats at Christmas table.

Shrimp-cocktails are served up as a starter, for the main course
turkey is with black currants dressing and Christmas pudding is for
dessert.

At 15 o’clock Queen Elizabeth appeals to English people with holiday
speech. Then the best and the funniest telecasts are showed in TV.

London is true Christmas House and a cradle of most traditions without
questions streets are sparkled with thousands of lights and other
designed enterprises. Fresh air pricks occasionally cheeks and nose and
frost changes the city into Christmas Wonderland like by Dickens. London
allows feeling all nuances of festival atmosphere. All kinds of choirs
sing at churches, all public houses offer special menus and some
peculiar amusements, streets, squares and theatres are flooded by
organizers of entertainments, clowns and with pop-groups.

But first of all X-mas is sure to do shopping for all people.

For Christmas sales all the shops prepare before hand from about middle
of October.

These sales are the most substantial for the whole year. Shop windows
are set with little angels, snowmen, deer broods and cohorts of Santa
Claus.

By the way, would you remember everything can be given as a presents
for Christmas in England, it depends on your tastes and opportunities.
The latest tendency is to manage somehow and to buy something what
nobody dares call tags or junk. For example helicopter airing is very
popular now. The most popular gifts are considered tourist vouchers,
books, DVD, CD and clothes as well. The English regard Christmas
extremely seriously like any other tradition. The houses and appartments
are cleared very careful in a week before Christmas. Out through the
windows can see decorated fir-trees. On the door of every house there is
a green garland of mistle-toe, and above the door there are a lot of
coloured lights.

In spacious and a little empty on usual days stores is agiotage, because
first of all you should have time to buy a heap of presents and to store
meals as on the 24th, 25th and 26th of December the shops are closed.
The second reason is you may not miss the case to gain something been
eager at a discount. The red patches “Sale” appear at the very beginning
of December and by the middle of the month all the shop-doors and
windows are glued over with them. At all stores including also groceries
there are plenty of various Christmas toys: there are Santa Claus,
little silver bells and half-moons and balls with wishes as well.

Promptly after Christmas these toys will be piled up in the boxes
beside the cash desk. And these boxes cost only 50 pence; if you buy 3
toys you get a discount, and if you take ten ore more ones so the
discount is much more larger. But in that case the sellers will be very
astonished for the next feast is in a year, you know.

All the markets of London are very busy. The biggest of them is
Petty-coat Lane market near by metro-station “Victoria”. This market is
opened only on Sunday from 8 till 14 o’clock. The traffic is stopped at
this time. At the market everything is cheaper than at any other shop.
The most popular presents in December are Santa’s caps and eyeglasses
with a big red nose and a little lamp inside it. Having bought this
wonderful adornment everybody put it on immediately. It’s very funny to
see a practical gentleman in a bowler and with a walking stick worn in
clown’s spectacles with a nose, in deed.

The little market on Greenwich Island is much more interesting. It’s not
so cheap, but all the things are unique. Here you can find hand-working
embroidery from all over the world, antiquarian bonnets, feathers,
lamps, tables and huge pink shells too. You can also discover handmade
articles of the English themselves; they are models of ships placed in
the bottles that symbolize England as sovereign of seas. This museum in
the open sky works only on Saturdays and Sundays.

On Christmas Eve streets of London become deserted. The tourists
scurry about only in Soho and Piccadilly. The really English stay at
home the whole feast, going out only to mass. The most solemn mass takes
place at the Westminster Abbey; those who couldn’t force their way crowd
outside. To take a taxi it is almost impossible, for taxi-drivers are
people too and they also spend the evening in their family circle. In
the deserted streets and windows of the empty shops it is snowing and
the toy deer are driving toy Santa Claus at that time. On the 27th of
December the shops are opened and the English rush to buy some things at
give – away prices: discounts in the week after Christmas are the
largest.

A few days before Christmas English supermarket Fortnum and mason
usually sells products made of venison. Here you can gain pate and
tinned stewed meat made of flesh of those animals that according to
fairy-tales Santa Claus puts into his sledge. Firm Edible produces these
products. This firm just specializes in preparation of exotic foods, for
example, insects in chocolate or wine with snakes.

In Great Britain present are ordered at Father Christmas. He was
written detailed letter enumerating everything is wished and this letter
is thrown into the fireplace. Smoke out of the chimney is thought to
supply this list right its purpose. But of course to buy gifts one
should go shopping. In the family circle the ceremony of gift
distribution is run according to old-standing tradition, with a lot. And
the custom of sending of postcards with Christmas topics is kept without
fail. In the eve Britain Mass midi as report the traffic on the
principle highways to be half-petrified for the Britains have rushed for
the journey. The whole family is gathered to celebrate Christmas
according to the tradition. And on the 24 of December traditional main
service takes place at churches late in the evening.

But nowadays some Britains, especially youth deviates from traditions
of family holyday and they leave for having rest to mountain-skiing
health-resorts or to warm South Seas.

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