|Learn about Christmas in England from the children who live in Britain Christmas traditions why do what we do at chrsitmas time
Traditional Christmas Decorations
To celebrate Jesus' birthday on Christmas Day many people decorate their homes. © copyright of projectbritain.com
Red and green are the traditional colours of Christmas.
Green represents the continuance of life through the winter and the Christian belief in eternal life through Jesus. © copyright of projectbritain.com
Red symbolizes the blood that Jesus shed at His Crucifixion.
Christmas decorations used to be put up on Christmas Eve and not before. Indeed, many people believed that it was extremely unlucky to bring evergreens, the traditional item to decorate homes, into the house before that date. copyright of projectbritain.com
Decorations on the ceiling
Christmas Decoration in the home
In Britain today, few people would now wait until Christmas Eve. Most people put up their decorations about a fortnight to a week before Christmas Day. copyright of projectbritain.com
Hanging paper bell
Hanging paper Christmas tree
In the weeks leading up to and during Christmas, people hang decorations in their homes. These decorations are made of coloured paper or foil.
Foil or paper chains hang across the ceiling
Every house decorated for Christmas in Britain will have a decorated fir tree. Find out more about Christmas trees here
People also hang greenery around the house, such as holly and ivy. The needlelike points of holly leaves are thought to resemble the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when He was crucified. The red berries symbolise the drops of blood Jesus shed. © copyright of projectbritain.com
Find out more about traditional Christmas decorations
Many Christian homes will have a nativity scene. The baby Jesus is added on Christmas Eve.
Interesting Fact about Christmas Decorations
In 1647 Christmas was banned in England, and anyone found making Christmas pies, or putting up Christmas decorations, was in serious trouble, and often arrested as an example to others.
When should Christmas decorations be taken down?
It is unlucky if you don’t take your decorations down before the end of the 12th Day of Christmas, on the 5th January. This custom has been around since the reign of Queen Victoria. © copyright of projectbritain.com
Up until the 19th century, people would keep their decorations of holly, ivy, box, yew, laurel and mistletoe up until 2nd February, Candlemas Day, the end of the Christmas season, 40 days after the birth of Jesus.
Robert Herrick in his poem 'Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve' writes,
DOWN with the rosemary and bays,
Down with the mistletoe ;
Instead of holly, now up-raise
The greener box (for show).
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