Tag Archives: クリスマス・クラッカー

Christmas Day in UK



その後、メイン・イベントである、Christmas dinner(クリスマス・ディナー。クリスマスの日の昼食)の準備が始まる。日本ではディナー=夕食であるが、英語で「dinner」は、「1日の中心的な食事」で、昼食または夕食を指す。ちなみに、こちらでは学校給食は「School dinner(スクール・ディナー)」と呼ばれる。伝統的なクリスマス・ディナーのメニューは、詰め物をしたローストターキー(七面鳥の丸焼き)に、付け合わせのポテト、人参、芽キャベツ等(蒸すかゆでる)。そして、デザートにはブランデー・バターとともにクリスマス・プディングChristmas pudding、イギリスではプディングはデザートの同義語)が出される。七面鳥はぱさぱさしているし、蒸し野菜・茹で野菜は嫌いだし、プディングは甘くて重たいので、私はこちらのクリスマス・ディナーはちょっと苦手だ。食事が始まるのが遅めなので、その間はミンスパイやマグカップに入ったMulled Wine(マルド・ワイン、スパイスを加えたホット・ワイン)を口にしながら待つ。テーブルには、クリスマス・クラッカーChristmas Cracker)。日本のクラッカーとは形が違い、ラッピングペーパーのような光沢のある紙で包まれている。片方を一人が、反対側をもう一人が握り、互いが引っ張ると、「パン!」と割れて、中からおもちゃやジョークの書かれた紙、紙製の王冠が出てくる。クリスマス・パーティや誕生パーティで、大の大人が嬉しそうに、この紙の王冠を冠っているのを良く見かける。


On the Christmas Day today, snow has fallen in parts of the UK, and it has become a white Christmas in Scotland and northern England (London was sunny). Nearly 100% of businesses close today, except very few non-Christian stores and restaurants, and the the city looks like a ghost town. I always wonder what all the tourists do on the Christmas day – it’s very cold, major tourist sights are closed, and very few restaurants are open (and could be very expensive with the special Christmas menu in hotel restaurants).

The Christmas Day in UK starts with opening Christmas presents. After the excitement (and disappointment)  of this ritual, preparation of Christmas Dinner, the main event of the day, starts. According to statistics by the Church of England, only 2.66 million people, among population of 60 millions, went to church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in 2007.

Typical menu of the day is roast turkey with stuffing or other meats, and some boiled or steamed vegetables such as potatoes, brussels sprouts, and carrots. After the meal, a dessert of Christmas pudding (or plum pudding) is served with brandy butter. The turkey is tend to be dry, I hate steamed or boiled vegetables, and the pudding (refers to any desert in UK) is very sweet and heavy, so I am not really crazy about British Christmas dinner. Since the Christmas dinner starts in the afternoon, mince pies and a mug of mulled wine are often served while waiting. During the meal, Christmas crackers, containing toys, jokes and a paper hat, are often pulled – one person holds one side and another person grips the other side, and pull together. I often see a grown-up adult wearing this paper crown, but looking a bit stupid (cute for kids, though), in a Christmas or a birthday party.

After the big meal, people move to a living room, and spend the afternoon chatting, relaxing, watching TV, or playing games. At 3pm, some people watch annual Royal Christmas Message, started in 1932, by the Queen made to the Commonwealth. In this year’s speech, the Queen expressed sadness at the death toll among British troops in Afghanistan, referred to the Commonwealth as “strong and practical force for good”, and ended her speech with her hope for a better future.

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