The best Christmas traditions in France and England

I am a big christmas fan, I love seeing the lights, smelling the mulled wine in the air as I wander throughts the streests, I like to see how excited kids get in the period, I like the fact that theire is always something cooking in the oven when I get home in preparation for the big day,I love decorating my flat and my guilty plaisure is binge watching christmas movies in my sofa with a nice cup of thea in hands.

Todays is the first of december and I’ve decided to do my own take on the advent calendar this year.

Not chocolate to be expected here but… 25 posts explaining the various Christmas traditions we have in France and in England. This article has been illustrated by my talented friend, Timothy Keymeulen.

I will add one paragraph  until christma eve to share with you cool activities to make you all christmassy and fuzzy inside so come back every once in a while to see the updates! 

Where does Mulled wine come from?

Today is the first day of December which is also the first day of the Advent Calendar!! Christmas is only 24 days away!
We’ve decided to do our own take on the Advent calendar.
🎄 Day 1: Let’s talk about mulled wine
Mulled wine is originally a drink the Romans used to drink. They called it “Conditium Paradoxum”, it contained wine, honey, pepper, dates, bay and various spices!

During the middle ages the tradition continued but merchants who travelled to Asie and who sold cinnamon and cloves began to sell them to the cooks of various aristocratic families who loved it. In the 16th century, Gustave the 1st, king of Sweden started drinking mulled wine. The recipie was slightly modified to accomodated his love for white wine from the Rhine valley (which he got thanks to the Hanseatic League of merchants from “Germany” who were selling wine and cereal in Scandinavia in exchange for dried cod and pine wood).

People started to talk about this new custom in every port of the Hanseatic league and the custom was adopted throughout Europe with slight differences in the recipe!

How about you? What do you put in your mulled wine?Share it with us in the comments below!

Christmas Carols

In England during the whole month of December, we sing Christmas Carols, they are songs about the beauty of Christmas period, christmas trees religious song. You can see carolers in the streets or you can go to small concerts in local churches!

King Henry the VIII who was hghly educated even wrote a christmas carol called  Green Grow’th the Holly. It became quite popular under his reign before being abandonned …The quality of his carol wasn’t that great apparently!

Every year, a new Christmas album is released, often with the exact same song as the previous year but with various artists. Its is a much beloved tradition and even famous muscians enjoy being asked! Mariah Carey’s christmas song is now world famous!

Le Christmas pudding

Have you ever tried making your own Christmas pudding ? If you want to have a go this year get baking ! It is usually prepared 4 or 5 weeks before Christmas!🎄

What’s in it ? Well you can check BBC Food for the proper recipe but being french I slightly adapted the recipe and only kept the things I liked 😜 raisins, cinnamon, prunes, almonds and a few spoon of dark rhum!
I usually serve it with custard but brandy sauce is always a winner ! 😍
Bon appétit!

The christmas tree

Where does the custom of decorating the Christmas tree come from? 🎄 The use of the Christmas tree during the holiday season dates back to Antiquity. The pagans decorated their houses with fir branches and sometimes the tree itself. From early on Christmas was celebrated the same time as the pagan winter solstice which came in handy  to convert populations to Christianity during the various barbarian and Viking invasions.

In France, the custom of decorating Christmas tree is very old, it is believed that it started in Alsace, a region located at the border with Germany. We think it came from germanic and scandinavian countries. The fir is one of the only trees with evergreen foliage, it represents the triumph of life over death in winter and that is why it was adopted and then disseminated by the catholic Church. From the 16th century in Alsace the fir tree became known as the Christmas tree.

We hope you enjoyed this post!

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