christmas carolers
Christmas being a festive season, it is no wonder that people all over the world consider music to be a huge part of the celebrations. Can you just imagine Christmas without all those happy and cheerful songs playing all throughout the season? That would be plain boring. Something would definitely be missing.

So where did Christmas carols come from? Great Britain holds this honor. In fact, the origin of carols can be traced back to the Middle Ages when beggars sang songs on the street in order to beg for food, drink, and money. This was dubbed caroling or literally, singing carols in the street. This was also accompanied by dancing and other theatrical acts. As time went by, the meaning evolved and carols became mainly associated with Christmas songs.

Want to know some trivia about Christmas carols?

-During Oliver Cromwell’s time, singing Christmas carols was banned. This was from 1647 to 1660. The leader’s rationale was that Christmas ought to be a solemn period, not prone to revelry.

-Carol singers got into the habit of going from one house to another because of Cromwell’s banning the carols from the churches.

-The word carol is derived from the Greek word choros, which means to dance in a circle. It is also a derivation of the old French word carole, which means a song to accompany dancing.

-The highest selling Christmas carol is White Christmas, written by Irving Berlin. Even people from places which never see snow sing this song every Christmas.

The spirit of Christmas is all about giving and sharing – not only gifts but time well spent with the ones that matter to you most. What better way to get together than over a sumptuous feast? Much like other people in different parts of the world celebrate Christmas Day, the English get together on the day itself for a huge meal. Christmas Dinner is usually the main event and is held in the middle of the day or in the early afternoon.
Each family has its own version of the Christmas Dinner but the traditional fare includes roast turkey, brussel sprouts, roast potatoes, and of course the renowned English pudding for dessert. Serving turkey on Christmas Day can be attributed to Henry VIII, who is said to have first eaten the bird on this day. A tradition associated with turkey for Christmas Dinner is the pulling of the wishbone by two people. The person who gets the larger part of the wishbone can then make a wish and wait for it to come true.
Today, there are countless variations to roast turkey. A huge favorite among many is to stuff it with a rich and nutty concoction. Of course, there has to be enough cranberry sauce as well as bacon strips and lots of hot gravy.

Another traditional associated with the Christmas Dinner is the placement of crackers alongside each dinner plate at the table. These crackers are meant to be a joke – you pull on them and colorful tokens come out.

12 days of Christmas
The Twelve Days of Christmas is widely known all over the world, thanks largely to the Christmas song that we all hear. But not many know about its origins. In fact, the Twelve Days of Christmas was first celebrated in England in the 16th century. It was in the 17th century – the first year, actually, that Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night premiered in the court of Elizabeth the First.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is marked by the Saint Steven’s Day, December 26. It ends on the 6th of January. As compared to the Advent (the first of December, which is not really that much celebrated in England), the beginning of the Twelve Days of Christmas is traditionally a time to celebrate and be merry. It is the time for families to get together and to light candles on the window sills in as a sign of welcome.

Another belief during the Twelve Days of Christmas is that the log in the fireplace should never stop burning. This log is what is known as the Yule log. Its significance further extends to the idea that as long as it’s lit, it will bring luck throughout the New Year. With the more common use of electric and gas for fireplaces today, though, the custom is rarely followed.

Supposedly, eating mince pies will also bring you good luck – as long as you eat them during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Ancient belief is that the number of mince pies you eat during this period will bring you good luck in the same number of ensuing months.

No matter what you believe, the fact remains that The Twelve Days of Christmas is something to look forward to.

People love to read and hear poetry and other literary arts. Some would listen and learn from their message to the reader while some would simply be amazed at how they were constructed with such enthusiasm and imagination. Whatever the case may be, English literature has been known to be rich and capable of rubbing on people who try their hand on poetry and prose.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Much can be traced to the ancestry of English literature and arts. A lot of the famous writers trace their roots to the homelands of England. Charles Dickens for one, is a famous poet that everyone is particularly familiar with. Among his famous works include that of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and the seasonal holiday tale of the Christmas Carol.

To this day, much of the familiar prose that people read would be immediately associated with the famous writers such as Dickens. It is not surprising to note why this came about considering that England is indeed rich in the arts and culture.

[tags]oliver twist, charles dickens, literature, prose, poetry[/tags]