British Christmas Traditions

Britain has a wealth of great Christmas traditions. Here are some of ORA’s favourites.

Christmas pudding

Image shows a Christmas pudding set on fire.This dried fruit pudding – served with brandy poured all over it and then set on fire – is a traditional part of a British Christmas dinner.

Boxing Day swims

Image shows people in fancy dress in the sea.Boxing Day – the day after Christmas in the UK – has a lot of its own traditions. One is that of Boxing Day swims, swimming in the sea, usually for charity and often in fancy dress. The water temperature of the North Sea averages 6 degrees in winter and the Channel is not much warmer!

Christmas markets

Image shows the Bath Christmas market.Originally a central European tradition, Christmas markets selling all manner of gifts, food and delicious mulled things are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Crackers (and cracker jokes)

Image shows a Christmas cracker on a plate.Christmas crackers are one of the most idiosyncratic British traditions, and they’re hard to describe if you’ve never seen one. They’re pulled apart with a loud bang, and whoever gets the bigger half gets to keep the contents – usually a paper hat, small toy and a cringeworthy joke.
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Image credits: Christmas pudding; Boxing day swim; Christmas market; cracker.