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World Advent Calendar

by Mandy Barrow

Christmas Jokes | British Christmas | London Topic | Project Britain | Homework Help

homeDay 20



Why is it considered bad luck in Scotland to let the fire go out on Christmas Eve?


















Naughty elves will come!

According to legend, it's bad luck to let the fire go out on Christmas Eve, because if this happens elves will come down the chimney to perform all types of mischief.

Scotland celebrates Christmas in much the same way as we do in England, but they also have their own special ways of celebrating too.
Thank you P.5. Portlethen Primary School for telling about Christmas in Scotland.

Families put up Christmas trees in December and have presents wrapped for families and friends under it. They have Advent Calendars for the Count down to Christmas.

24 December - Christmas Eve

Many Christian’s (Church of Scotland) go to a Christingle Service at Church on Christmas Eve

Father christmasChildren leave carrots for the reindeers (including Rudolph!) plus a dram for Santa (whisky) or nowadays sometimes more likely milk as Santa is driving!). A mince pie or biscuit is left for Santa to eat too.

Children know that Santa only comes when they are asleep so most children have an early night.


Some children sprinkle reindeer food/ dust outside their house to show Rudolph where to lead Santa.

Stockings are put up traditionally at the fire place but nowadays can be at the end of bed, or beside the tree in the living room.

Christmas Eve in some parts of Scotland is called Sowans Nicht from "sowans" - a dish made from oat husks and fine meal steeped in water.

Legends say that on Christmas Eve, unmarried women had their fortune told by dropping an egg into a glass and the shape of the egg signified the occupation of her future husband.

25 December - Christmas Morning

Children usually wake their parents up and open their stockings before breakfast.

Christmas Lunch:

Starter - prawn cocktail

Soup - Scotch Broth

Main: Roast turkey, roast tatties, chappit neeps (mashed turnip), parsnips/carrots, brussel sprouts, pigs in blankets, stuffing.

Pudding - trifle, Christmas pudding with brandy butter/ sauce or clootie dumpling.

The table is specially set with a table cloth, napkins, decorations and crackers are pulled.

Families like to get together.

"We always had Christmas pudding, with tiny silver charms wrapped in greaseproof paper hidden in the depths of it - sometimes you were lucky enough to find a silver threepenny piece too! There was always a choice for the 'sweet' course, with a colourful Scotch Trifle being the 'piece de résistance' when brought in for the table."
Catherine Cochrane, Ayrshire, Scotland

"In Scotland, on Christmas Day (25th December), we usually come downstairs to presents that are left by Santa (St. Nicholas). Then all our family come round and we give and receive gifts.

Afterwards we have our Christmas dinner. We eat turkey, stuffing/mealie, chipolata sausages, gravy, brussels sprouts, carrots, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and peas.

Christmas day is a very special day in Scotland and it's a day we all look forward to."
Emma, age 11, Aberdeen, Scotland


After lunch

Games are played eg.charades, monopoly and at 3pm it’s time to watch the Queen’s Speech on TV. Children enjoy playing with their toys or if snowy- outside in the snow. Many families go out for a walk after their meal.

Present opening can take all day! Families have great fun and enjoy being together.

Boxing Day is a holiday too even though many shops are now open!

On Boxing Day and the following day, the Scots eat the traditional Stovies made from left over turkey, onion and tatties (potatoes).

New Year

Hogmanay 31st Dec is when traditionally Santa Claus came to working farming folk as New Years Day was a holiday and folk worked on Christmas Day. My Granny told me that Santa brought her and brothers & sisters a lump of coal. They got only one present too. Changed days!

The 1st & 2nd Jan are holidays. Many people in our area go to watch the Fire Balls in Stonehaven or a traditional Hogmanay Party to count down the Bells to midnight.

If you want to wish someone good luck in Scotland, you would say:

"Lang may yur lum reek"

Roughly translated, that means " Long May Your Chimney Smoke ".

"After the bells on New Years Eve there is a tradition called First Footing which is the first person to knock on the door and gain entry must carry a piece of coal for good luck to the household. Also prior to the bells the house must be cleaned and all old things, newspapers, calendars etc thrown out ie out with the old in with the new!"
Chris from Glasgow, Scotland

5 days till Christmas!

I am so excited!
I hope Father Christmas brings me something nice.

We hope you have enjoyed our advent calendar and have learned many new and exciting things about the wonderful world we live in.

Can you remember all the countries we visited?
How many facts can you remember? Click here to find out

Advent Calendar

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Facts and information about LondonBritish Royal FamilyVirtual Tour of the Thames

Special facts and information about each month of the yearInformation on Britain and the UK for Kids of all agesBritish History

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Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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