With Christmas around the corner and with the purchase of christmas trees, gifts, winter breaks away and family get togethers top of mind, we thought it was a good time to share the origins of the biggest Christmas traditions!

Christmas Trees

The Christmas tree began as a tradition in Germany in the 16th Century. Devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes, though the tradition didn’t arrive in the UK until the 1830s. It began with Prince Albert who put up a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in 1841.

Mince Pies

Mince pies were inspired by middle eastern cuisine brought back by the Crusaders. Early names include ‘Christmas pie’ and ‘mutton pie’. Originally they included minced meat, but since the Victorian times they have just included fruit and spices. The ingredients originally represented Christ and the Apostles while the oval pastry casing symbolised the manger.

Turkey

Turkey’s originated in North America and were brought to the UK in the 1500s, for many centuries it was considered a luxury dish, enjoyed by the likes of Henry VIII. It was only in the 19th Century when it was made a popular middle class Christmas dish. The price of turkey had reduced so it was more accessible to the masses, and Edward VII began the trend when he started eating it on Christmas Day.

Mistletoe

Kissing under the mistletoe originated in England, the custom was that you must pick a berry from the mistletoe before you could kiss, and that when they had all gone, you could not kiss anymore. The hanging of mistletoe in the home dates back to ancient pagan practice, as it was said to ward off evil, possess spiritual powers and bring good fortune.

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