文章來源:未知 文章作者:enread 發布時間:2020-03-16 07:24 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
At the heart of a British winter is, of course, Christmas. Decorations, wrapping paper and gift ideas start appearing in shops from September, and Christmas music can start playing as early as November.
But though a traditional British Christmas is central to the season, it’s not the only winter tradition celebrated1 in the UK. In this article, we take a look at the wide variety of traditions and celebrations taking place over winter.
1. Halloween
Halloween in the UK is a fascinating mixture of different traditions. Much of how Halloween is now celebrated in Britain has been imported from the USA. That includes carving2 pumpkins3; in Britain, the traditional vegetable that was carved was a turnip4, which is significantly more challenging! Trick-or-treating has also been adopted wholesale5 from US traditions. 
But there are also traditional British Halloween celebrations, drawing on the Celtic tradition of Samhain, which haven’t crossed the Atlantic. One such tradition is apple-bobbing, a vital part of any British Halloween party, where apples are floated in a bucket of water and players have to catch one with their teeth. Ghost stories are also popular on Halloween. Some modern pagans also draw on older Halloween traditions, celebrating by walking or dancing between two bonfires, as a symbol of purification. 
In general, though, a British Halloween is an optional celebration: some people will decorate their homes, hold parties and give out chocolate to trick-or-treaters, while others will make sure to be out that night – or just not answer the door. Trick-or-treating in the UK focuses much more heavily on treats than tricks, and trick-or-treaters mostly call only on houses where the resident has indicated an interest, for instance by putting a Jack-o’-lantern outside.
2. Bonfire Night
Part of the reason that British people are less interested in Halloween than Americans is because Bonfire Night follows so fast on its heels. This peculiarly British celebration commemorates8 the 5th November 1605, when a group of Catholics unsuccessfully attempted the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ – a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament with the king, James I, inside. Guy Fawkes became the most famous of them, so Bonfire Night is also called Guy Fawkes Night. The plot was discovered, the plotters executed, and James I instituted an annual celebration that his life had been spared. Fireworks were set off and bonfires lit in celebration – sometimes with effigies9 of Fawkes and the other plotters burned on them. 
Throughout much of the 400 years for which it’s been celebrated, Bonfire Night has verged10 on the riotous11, but for the past 100 years it’s been a calmer, usually family-friendly celebration with big public bonfires and fireworks displays. The tradition of burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, which survived into the 20th century, has now mostly died out. Modern bonfires seldom feature effigies at all, and where they do, the effigy12 is more likely to be of a disliked celebrity13 or political leader.
3. Christmas crackers15
Invented in the mid-19th century, crackers are a vital part of Christmas celebrations in the UK. The concept is simple: a decorated cardboard tube which can be pulled in half to make a “snap!” sound. Inside, there’s typically a joke, a paper hat, and some kind of small present; millions of people in the UK only have screwdrivers16 small enough to adjust their glasses courtesy of Christmas crackers. The “snap” comes from a card strip that produces the sound when it’s pulled apart, and because they have the potential to be flammable, they often can’t be brought on planes. Perhaps that’s why the tradition of Christmas crackers, though very popular in countries such as the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, hasn’t really caught on anywhere else. 
That said, the days of the Christmas cracker14 might be numbered as eco-conscious buyers increasingly reject the plastic toys that are likely to go in the bin6 on Boxing Day. Expect to see sales of plastic-free and recyclable crackers hit an all-time high this Christmas.
4. Nativity plays
Plays recounting Biblical stories have been part of Christian17 culture in the UK since medieval times, when what were called mystery plays were performed in major cities at any significant religious occasion. These plays were banned in the 16th century as part of the Reformation, but as government control of religious worship relaxed, practices such as religious plays returned. That said, until 1968 a play could technically18 be banned for including characters from the Bible, no matter how respectfully the play was intended. 
It’s hard to imagine now that nativity plays would be prohibited for potential disrespect towards the Christian faith. Modern nativity plays are typically put on by primary schools, with intense competition for who gets the coveted19 top billing as the Angel Gabriel or the Virgin20 Mary. A little over 35% of British primary schools are technically Church of England or Catholic schools, though for many of these their religious character is very light-touch, expressed only in activities such as saying grace at lunchtime, and putting on nativity plays. As the UK becomes more religiously diverse, nativity plays are becoming less popular. But there’s still a significant portion of the country that associates the coming of Christmas with making halos out of tinfoil21 and tinsel, or trying to approximate the costume of a Middle Eastern shepherd two millennia22 ago.
5. Pantomime
A very different sort of Christmas play is the pantomime. Pantomimes can be performed all year round, but they’re particularly associated with Christmas and the New Year. A pantomime is a musical comedy, usually of a well-known story (think of any fairytale adapted by Disney, and you’ll have a good range of pantomime stories), with lots of audience participation23, slapstick humour, cross-dressing (both men dressed as women and women dressed as men) and a mix of child-friendly and adult humour, often referencing current affairs. 
One aspect of the pantomime tradition is that pantomimes are supposed to be fun, not high-quality, so a pantomime can be anything from a primary school’s alternative to a nativity play (indeed, many primary schools do both), through to a fundraiser for a local theatre group, up to a West End production featuring celebrities24. Pantomime is found where there are large numbers of British immigrants, and seldom anywhere else; the joy of traditions like hissing25 the villain26, joining in with the songs and yelling “he’s behind you!” when the hero or heroine appears to be in danger probably requires growing up with them.
6. The Queen’s Christmas Message
Since 1932, it’s been traditional for the monarch27 of the United Kingdom (then George V; now Elizabeth II) to deliver a message to their subjects at Christmas. Initially28 this was broadcast on the radio, and now it goes out on TV and online as well. The message is short – usually only around 10 minutes – and millions of people reliably tune29 in every year. 
The Queen is studiously apolitical; some people thought that she came too close to expressing a political opinion when she said during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, “I hope people will think very carefully about the future”, which must seem remarkably30 anodyne31 to anyone not familiar with British political conventions. So the Queen’s Christmas Message is an unusual departure in that she dictates32 the themes she speaks on, and writes much of the message herself. That makes it a rare insight into the mind of a monarch who, after more than 65 years on the throne, is arguably more popular than ever. She typically speaks on themes such as family, peace, and hope for the future.
7. Boxing Day
The day after Christmas – also a bank holiday – is nearly as celebrated in the UK as Christmas itself. It’s a day for eating up leftover33 turkey, stuffing, cake and chocolate, and continuing to relax with family. Boxing Day also has its own associated traditions. One is Boxing Day sales, where shops sell leftover Christmas stock at significant discounts. Like Black Friday, Boxing Day sales can start very early in the morning, and there are often newspaper headlines about shoppers who came to blows in the process.
A very different way of celebrating Boxing Day is with a Boxing Day swim. These happen across the country, often in fancy dress and with the aim of raising money for charity. Swimmers gather at well-known points and go for a dip in the sea – a chilly34 experience in the UK in winter! Unlike in other countries with a tradition of winter swimming, Britain doesn’t have many saunas to warm up in, so the most the swimmers can hope for is relatives with towels waiting for them when they get out again.
8. Winter food
There are plenty of traditional foods that are only really eaten in the UK over the festive35 season. There are the roasts – traditionally turkey or goose, or nut roast in vegetarian36 households – but arguably more distinctively37 Christmassy are the accompaniments. Sides such as pigs in blankets (chipolatas wrapped in bacon), roasted chestnuts38 or bread sauce are very seldom eaten outside of the festive season. 
Just as important as the savoury course, though, are the assorted39 Christmas sweet dishes, such as Christmas cake (a heavy fruit cake with royal icing), Christmas pudding (a fruit pudding soaked in brandy, and set alight before serving) and mince40 pies, none of which are eaten past early January. There are other traditional foods like trifle that aren’t especially associated with Christmas, but that are also mostly dying out except at times like Christmas when people reach for old-fashioned recipes, or recreate family favourites.
9. Wassailing
The tradition of wassailing has waned41, but many people are familiar with the concept from Christmas songs such as “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” which is all about the practice. The song is about a group of singers who come to the door to wish someone merry Christmas, and then demand “pudding and a cup of good cheer”. What’s more, they insist that “we won’t go until we’ve got some”, which is wassailing in a nutshell: going from door-to-door, singing in celebration, and demanding food and drink from each of the households. 
In medieval times, it was the privilege of the poor to go to the doors of the rich, sometimes becoming quite rowdy in the process. More recently, where wassailing is still practised, it’s done in a spirit of neighbourliness and spreading festive cheer. But for the most part, wassailing has been replaced by carol singing, which can still involve going door-to-door and singing, but usually with the aim of collecting money for charity, rather than the expectation of being served cake or drink.
10. Burns Night
Rounding off the winter festivities is Burns Night on 25 January. This is a Scottish celebration (though celebrated by people with Scottish ancestry42 or connections throughout Britain) celebrating the life and works of Scots poet Robbie Burns, whose birthday was the 25th. The tradition began just five years after Burns’ death, with friends of his holding a supper in his memory. The tradition now involves Scottish food and music – including live bagpipes43 for those doing it properly – and recitations from Burns’ work. 
A full traditional Burns supper involves a piper welcoming guests, and when the haggis is served (a vital part of any Burns supper – there are vegetarian haggises on the market now) this should also be to the accompaniment of bagpipes. Before anyone gets to eat the haggis, the host performs Burns’ Address to a Haggis. After the meal, there are more speeches and recitations, and at the end, the guests sing Auld44 Lang Syne45, which is also traditional at New Year in the UK. The full affair can stretch to several hours and multiple courses, but many people in Scotland will commemorate7 the evening with selected portions of the tradition, such as having haggis, neeps and tatties (that’s haggis, turnips46 and potatoes) for their dinner. 
If it all sounds very serious to hold a supper in honour of a national poet, it’s worth noting that many Burns Night traditions, like many other British winter traditions, are carried out slightly tongue-in-cheek, and with a keen sense of fun. 


1 celebrated iwLzpz     
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格蘭最負盛名的年輕畫家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.觀眾團團圍住了這位著名的小提琴演奏家。
2 carving 5wezxw     
  • All the furniture in the room had much carving.房間里所有的家具上都有許多雕刻。
  • He acquired the craft of wood carving in his native town.他在老家學會了木雕手藝。
3 pumpkins 09a64387fb624e33eb24dc6c908c2681     
n.南瓜( pumpkin的名詞復數 );南瓜的果肉,南瓜囊
  • I like white gourds, but not pumpkins. 我喜歡吃冬瓜,但不喜歡吃南瓜。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • Then they cut faces in the pumpkins and put lights inside. 然后在南瓜上刻出一張臉,并把瓜挖空。 來自英語晨讀30分(高三)
4 turnip dpByj     
  • The turnip provides nutrition for you.蕪菁為你提供營養。
  • A turnip is a root vegetable.蕪菁是根莖類植物。
5 wholesale Ig9wL     
  • The retail dealer buys at wholesale and sells at retail.零售商批發購進貨物,以零售價賣出。
  • Such shoes usually wholesale for much less.這種鞋批發出售通常要便宜得多。
6 bin yR2yz     
n.箱柜;vt.放入箱內;[計算機] DOS文件名:二進制目標文件
  • He emptied several bags of rice into a bin.他把幾袋米倒進大箱里。
  • He threw the empty bottles in the bin.他把空瓶子扔進垃圾箱。
7 commemorate xbEyN     
  • This building was built to commemorate the Fire of London.這棟大樓是為紀念“倫敦大火”而興建的。
  • We commemorate the founding of our nation with a public holiday.我們放假一日以慶祝國慶。
8 commemorates 2532fde2cc2fc50498c9f4d2a88d0add     
n.紀念,慶祝( commemorate的名詞復數 )v.紀念,慶祝( commemorate的第三人稱單數 )
  • A tombstone is erected in memory of whoever it commemorates. 墓碑是為紀念它所紀念的人而建的。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • A tablet commemorates his patriotic activities. 碑文銘記他的愛國行動。 來自《現代英漢綜合大詞典》
9 effigies ddd261d21f6b4463201553fb9d7d3ad3     
n.(人的)雕像,模擬像,肖像( effigy的名詞復數 )
  • stone effigies in the church 教堂里的石雕像
  • On 5 November British children burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. 每逢11月5日英國兒童都焚燒蓋伊.福克斯的模擬像。 來自辭典例句
10 verged 6b9d65e1536c4e50b097252ecba42d91     
  • The situation verged on disaster. 形勢接近于災難的邊緣。
  • Her silly talk verged on nonsense. 她的蠢話近乎胡說八道。
11 riotous ChGyr     
  • Summer is in riotous profusion.盛夏的大地熱鬧紛繁。
  • We spent a riotous night at Christmas.我們度過了一個狂歡之夜。
12 effigy Vjezy     
  • There the effigy stands,and stares from age to age across the changing ocean.雕像依然聳立在那兒,千秋萬載地凝視著那變幻無常的大海。
  • The deposed dictator was burned in effigy by the crowd.群眾焚燒退位獨裁者的模擬像。
13 celebrity xcRyQ     
  • Tom found himself something of a celebrity. 湯姆意識到自己已小有名氣了。
  • He haunted famous men, hoping to get celebrity for himself. 他常和名人在一起, 希望借此使自己獲得名氣。
14 cracker svCz5a     
  • Buy me some peanuts and cracker.給我買一些花生和餅干。
  • There was a cracker beside every place at the table.桌上每個位置旁都有彩包爆竹。
15 crackers nvvz5e     
adj.精神錯亂的,癲狂的n.爆竹( cracker的名詞復數 );薄脆餅干;(認為)十分愉快的事;迷人的姑娘
  • That noise is driving me crackers. 那噪聲鬧得我簡直要瘋了。
  • We served some crackers and cheese as an appetiser. 我們上了些餅干和奶酪作為開胃品。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
16 screwdrivers ce9e15625cabeb7bb31d702645b95ccb     
n.螺絲刀( screwdriver的名詞復數 );螺絲起子;改錐;伏特加橙汁雞尾酒
  • No, I have everything: hammer, screwdrivers, all that stuff. 不用了,我什么都有了:錘子、螺絲刀,全套家伙。 來自休閑英語會話
  • Aussies are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers. 每年有58個澳洲佬因使用鋒利的刀子來代替螺絲刀而受傷。 來自互聯網
17 Christian KVByl     
  • They always addressed each other by their Christian name.他們總是以教名互相稱呼。
  • His mother is a sincere Christian.他母親是個虔誠的基督教徒。
18 technically wqYwV     
  • Technically it is the most advanced equipment ever.從技術上說,這是最先進的設備。
  • The tomato is technically a fruit,although it is eaten as a vegetable.嚴格地說,西紅柿是一種水果,盡管它是當作蔬菜吃的。
19 coveted 3debb66491eb049112465dc3389cfdca     
  • He had long coveted the chance to work with a famous musician. 他一直渴望有機會與著名音樂家一起工作。
  • Ther other boys coveted his new bat. 其他的男孩都想得到他的新球棒。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
20 virgin phPwj     
  • Have you ever been to a virgin forest?你去過原始森林嗎?
  • There are vast expanses of virgin land in the remote regions.在邊遠地區有大片大片未開墾的土地。
21 tinfoil JgvzGb     
  • You can wrap it up in tinfoil.你可以用錫箔紙裹住它。
  • Drop by rounded tablespoon onto tinfoil.Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.用大餐勺把剛剛攪拌好的糊糊盛到錫紙上,烘烤9至11分鐘,直到變成金黃色。
22 millennia 3DHxf     
  • For two millennia, exogamy was a major transgression for Jews. 兩千年來,異族通婚一直是猶太人的一大禁忌。
  • In the course of millennia, the dinosaurs died out. 在幾千年的時間里,恐龍逐漸死絕了。
23 participation KS9zu     
  • Some of the magic tricks called for audience participation.有些魔術要求有觀眾的參與。
  • The scheme aims to encourage increased participation in sporting activities.這個方案旨在鼓勵大眾更多地參與體育活動。
24 celebrities d38f03cca59ea1056c17b4467ee0b769     
n.(尤指娛樂界的)名人( celebrity的名詞復數 );名流;名聲;名譽
  • He only invited A-list celebrities to his parties. 他只邀請頭等名流參加他的聚會。
  • a TV chat show full of B-list celebrities 由眾多二流人物參加的電視訪談節目
25 hissing hissing     
n. 發嘶嘶聲, 蔑視 動詞hiss的現在分詞形式
  • The steam escaped with a loud hissing noise. 蒸汽大聲地嘶嘶冒了出來。
  • His ears were still hissing with the rustle of the leaves. 他耳朵里還聽得薩薩薩的聲音和屑索屑索的怪聲。 來自漢英文學 - 春蠶
26 villain ZL1zA     
  • He was cast as the villain in the play.他在戲里扮演反面角色。
  • The man who played the villain acted very well.扮演惡棍的那個男演員演得很好。
27 monarch l6lzj     
  • The monarch's role is purely ceremonial.君主純粹是個禮儀職位。
  • I think myself happier now than the greatest monarch upon earth.我覺得這個時候比世界上什么帝王都快樂。
28 initially 273xZ     
  • The ban was initially opposed by the US.這一禁令首先遭到美國的反對。
  • Feathers initially developed from insect scales.羽毛最初由昆蟲的翅瓣演化而來。
29 tune NmnwW     
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他寫了一段曲子,并在鋼琴上彈給我們聽。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
30 remarkably EkPzTW     
  • I thought she was remarkably restrained in the circumstances. 我認為她在那種情況下非常克制。
  • He made a remarkably swift recovery. 他康復得相當快。
31 anodyne OM3yr     
  • It was their delight,their folly,their anodyne,their intellectual stimulant.這是他們的人生樂趣,他們的一時荒唐,他們的止痛藥,他們的腦力刺激劑。
  • Friendship is not only the condiment but also the anodyne of life.友誼是人生的調味品,也是人生的止痛藥。
32 dictates d2524bb575c815758f62583cd796af09     
n.命令,規定,要求( dictate的名詞復數 )v.大聲講或讀( dictate的第三人稱單數 );口授;支配;擺布
  • Convention dictates that a minister should resign in such a situation. 依照常規部長在這種情況下應該辭職。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • He always follows the dictates of common sense. 他總是按常識行事。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
33 leftover V97zC     
  • These narrow roads are a leftover from the days of horse-drawn carriages.這些小道是從馬車時代沿用下來的。
  • Wonder if that bakery lets us take leftover home.不知道那家糕餅店會不會讓我們把賣剩的帶回家。
34 chilly pOfzl     
  • I feel chilly without a coat.我由于沒有穿大衣而感到涼颼颼的。
  • I grew chilly when the fire went out.爐火熄滅后,寒氣逼人。
35 festive mkBx5     
  • It was Christmas and everyone was in festive mood.當時是圣誕節,每個人都沉浸在節日的歡樂中。
  • We all wore festive costumes to the ball.我們都穿著節日的盛裝前去參加舞會。
36 vegetarian 7KGzY     
  • She got used gradually to the vegetarian diet.她逐漸習慣吃素食。
  • I didn't realize you were a vegetarian.我不知道你是個素食者。
37 distinctively Wu7z42     
  • "Public risks" is a recent term for distinctively high-tech hazards. “公共風險”是個特殊的高技術危害個人的一個最新術語。 來自英漢非文學 - 環境法 - 環境法
  • His language was natural, unaffected, distinctively vivid, humorous and strongly charming. 語言既樸實無華,又鮮明生動,幽默而富有藝術魅力。
38 chestnuts 113df5be30e3a4f5c5526c2a218b352f     
n.栗子( chestnut的名詞復數 );栗色;栗樹;栗色馬
  • A man in the street was selling bags of hot chestnuts. 街上有個男人在賣一包包熱栗子。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • Talk of chestnuts loosened the tongue of this inarticulate young man. 因為栗子,正苦無話可說的年青人,得到同情他的人了。 來自漢英文學 - 中國現代小說
39 assorted TyGzop     
  • There's a bag of assorted sweets on the table.桌子上有一袋什錦糖果。
  • He has always assorted with men of his age.他總是與和他年令相仿的人交往。
40 mince E1lyp     
  • Would you like me to mince the meat for you?你要我替你把肉切碎嗎?
  • Don't mince matters,but speak plainly.不要含糊其詞,有話就直說吧。
41 waned 8caaa77f3543242d84956fa53609f27c     
v.衰落( wane的過去式和過去分詞 );(月)虧;變小;變暗淡
  • However,my enthusiasm waned.The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. 然而,我的熱情減退了。我在做操上花的時間逐漸減少了。 來自《用法詞典》
  • The bicycle craze has waned. 自行車熱已冷下去了。 來自《現代漢英綜合大詞典》
42 ancestry BNvzf     
  • Their ancestry settled the land in 1856.他們的祖輩1856年在這塊土地上定居下來。
  • He is an American of French ancestry.他是法國血統的美國人。
43 bagpipes 51b0af600acd1be72b4583a91cae0024     
n.風笛;風笛( bagpipe的名詞復數 )
  • Yes, and I'm also learning to play the bagpipes. 是的,我也想學習吹風笛。 來自超越目標英語 第3冊
  • Mr. Vinegar took the bagpipes and the piper led the cow away. 于是醋溜先生拿過了風笛,風笛手牽走了奶牛。 來自互聯網
44 auld Fuxzt     
  • Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and never brought to mind?怎能忘記舊日朋友,心中能不懷念?
  • The party ended up with the singing of Auld Lang Sync.宴會以《友誼地久天長》的歌聲而告終。
45 syne wFRyY     
  • The meeting ended up with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.大會以唱《友誼地久天長》結束。
  • We will take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne.讓我們為了過去的好時光干一杯友誼的酒。
46 turnips 0a5b5892a51b9bd77b247285ad0b3f77     
蕪青( turnip的名詞復數 ); 蕪菁塊根; 蕪菁甘藍塊根; 懷表
  • Well, I like turnips, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflowers, onions and carrots. 噢,我喜歡大蘿卜、西紅柿、茄子、菜花、洋蔥和胡蘿卜。 來自魔法英語-口語突破(高中)
  • This is turnip soup, made from real turnips. 這是大頭菜湯,用真正的大頭菜做的。
TAG標簽: Britain winter traditions
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