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Project Britain

British Christmas Traditions
by Mandy Barrow

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Project Britain
A British Christmas
Online Advent Calendar
Advent Calendars
Boxing Day
Christmas - intro
Christmas Cards
Christmas Carols
Christmas Crackers
Christmas Day
Christmas Dinner
Christmas Eve
Christmas Facts
Christmas Jokes
Christmas Plant
Christmas Pudding
Christmas Tea
Christmas Trees
Xmas Decorations
Father Christmas
Meaning of Christmas
Mince Pies
Mummers Plays
Santa Claus
Stir Up Sunday
Teaching Resources
Twelfth Night
Twelfth Day
Twelve Days of Christmas
Yule Log

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Christmas Pantomimes

Woodlands Junior School is in the south-east corner of England

What is a Pantomime?

A pantomime is a traditional British Christmas play. They are an important part of our Christmas festivities. They are performed in theatres, villages halls and community centres. © copyright of

Did you know?
The word pantomime comes from the Greek words Pan, which means all, and mimos, which translates as imitator.

Pantomimes contain a number of standard ingredients:

  • Cross dressing - In pantomimes the male roles are often played by women and female roles by men. This makes the audience laugh more.
  • Audience participation - an important part of a pantomime. "He's behind you", and "Oh no he's not - Oh yes he is" are heard in every pantomime across the country.


Why do we visit Pantomimes at Christmas?

The origins of the pantomimes lie in the old Christmas mummers plays presented by an all male casts in the great halls of manor houses. Every play had moral and always the extreme good defeated the extreme evil, much like what happens in pantomimes today. © copyright of


When do Pantomimes start?

Pantomimes traditionally start on Boxing Day and run for two or three months in theatres around the country.


Pantomimes today

Now-a-days, pantomimes are great family entertainments and pop stars, comedians, sports people and TV personalities often take part in them.


Favourite pantomimes

Peter Pan
Snow White
& the Seven Dwarfs
Jack & the Beanstalk


History of Pantomimes

Originally silent productions, the pantomimes are a mix of fairy stories, folk tales and much loved cartoons, which encourage audience participation. The audience becomes very involved in the performance, with lots of hissing and booing of the villain and cheering for the hero. Some pantomimes include a song for the audience to join in with, and others invite children up on stage to chat to one of the performers.


The Night before Christmas

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMASOn the night before Christmas Emily stares out of the window, hugs her teddy and waits excitedly for the morning, while in the corner a little mouse called Eddie can't understand why only humans are allowed to celebrate and get presents. So he sets off in search of Father Christmas to find out for himself. Along the way he dodges the family cat, gets directions from a cowardly toy soldier and is given some unexpected advice from the magical fairy on top of the tree. Will Eddie get an answer? Will Emily get her wish? And what is that funny-shaped present sitting under the tree?

Peter PanCinderella

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

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.