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作者: 发布于:2020-03-18 08:14
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      adj.有名的,声誉卓著的 参阅例句:
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年青画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位闻名的小提琴演奏家。
2 carving      n.雕琢品,雕花 参阅例句:
  • All the furniture in the room had much carving.房间里一切的家具上都有许多雕琢。
  • He acquired the craft of wood carving in his native town.他在老家学会了木雕手工。
3 pumpkins      n.南瓜( pumpkin的名词复数 );南瓜的果肉,南瓜囊 参阅例句:
  • I like white gourds, but not pumpkins. 我喜爱吃冬瓜,但不喜爱吃南瓜。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Then they cut faces in the pumpkins and put lights inside. 然后在南瓜上刻出一张脸,并把瓜挖空。 来自英语晨读30分(高三)
4 turnip      n.萝卜,芜菁 参阅例句:
  • The turnip provides nutrition for you.芜菁为你供给养分。
  • A turnip is a root vegetable.芜菁是根茎类植物。
5 wholesale      n.批发;adv.以批发方法;vt.批发,成批出售 参阅例句:
  • The retail dealer buys at wholesale and sells at retail.零售商批发购进货品,以零售价卖出。
  • Such shoes usually wholesale for much less.这种鞋批发出售一般要廉价得多。
6 bin      n.箱柜;vt.放入箱内;[计算机] DOS文件名:二进制方针文件 参阅例句:
  • He emptied several bags of rice into a bin.他把几袋米倒进大箱里。
  • He threw the empty bottles in the bin.他把空瓶子扔进垃圾箱。
7 commemorate      vt.留念,庆祝 参阅例句:
  • This building was built to commemorate the Fire of London.这栋大楼是为留念“伦敦大火”而兴修的。
  • We commemorate the founding of our nation with a public holiday.咱们放假一日以庆祝国庆。
8 commemorates      n.留念,庆祝( commemorate的名词复数 )v.留念,庆祝( commemorate的第三人称奇数 ) 参阅例句:
  • A tombstone is erected in memory of whoever it commemorates. 石碑是为留念它所留念的人而建的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A tablet commemorates his patriotic activities. 碑铭铭记他的爱国举动。 来自《现代英汉归纳大词典》
9 effigies      n.(人的)雕像,模仿像,肖像( effigy的名词复数 ) 参阅例句:
  • stone effigies in the church 教堂里的石雕像
  • On 5 November British children burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. 每当11月5日英国儿童都燃烧盖伊.福克斯的模仿像。 来自辞典例句
10 verged      挨近,迫临(verge的曩昔式与曩昔分词方式) 参阅例句:
  • The situation verged on disaster. 局势挨近于灾祸的边际。
  • Her silly talk verged on nonsense. 她的蠢话近乎胡言乱语。
11 riotous      adj.骚乱的;狂欢的 参阅例句:
  • Summer is in riotous profusion.盛夏的大地热烈纷乱。
  • We spent a riotous night at Christmas.咱们度过了一个狂欢之夜。
12 effigy      n.肖像 参阅例句:
  • There the effigy stands,and stares from age to age across the changing ocean.雕像仍然耸立在那儿,千秋万载地凝视着那变幻无常的大海。
  • The deposed dictator was burned in effigy by the crowd.群众燃烧退位独裁者的模仿像。
13 celebrity      n.名人,名人;闻名,名声,声望 参阅例句:
  • Tom found himself something of a celebrity. 汤姆意识到自己已小有名望了。
  • He haunted famous men, hoping to get celebrity for himself. 他常和名人在一同, 期望借此使自己取得名望。
14 cracker      n.(无甜味的)薄脆饼干 参阅例句:
  • Buy me some peanuts and cracker.给我买一些花生和饼干。
  • There was a cracker beside every place at the table.桌上每个方位旁都有彩包爆仗。
15 crackers      adj.精力紊乱的,癫狂的n.爆仗( cracker的名词复数 );薄脆饼干;(以为)十分愉快的事;诱人的姑娘 参阅例句:
  • That noise is driving me crackers. 那噪声闹得我几乎要疯了。
  • We served some crackers and cheese as an appetiser. 咱们上了些饼干和奶酪作为开胃品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 screwdrivers      n.螺丝刀( screwdriver的名词复数 );螺丝起子;改锥;伏特加橙汁鸡尾酒 参阅例句:
  • No, I have everything: hammer, screwdrivers, all that stuff. 不用了,我什么都有了:锤子、螺丝刀,全套家伙。 来自休闲英语会话
  • Aussies are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers. 每年有58个澳洲佬因运用尖利的刀子来替代螺丝刀而受伤。 来自互联网
17 Christian      adj.基督教徒的;n.基督教徒 参阅例句:
  • They always addressed each other by their Christian name.他们总是以教名相互称号。
  • His mother is a sincere Christian.他母亲是个忠诚的基督教徒。
18 technically      adv.专门地,技能上地 参阅例句:
  • Technically it is the most advanced equipment ever.从技能上说,这是最先进的设备。
  • The tomato is technically a fruit,although it is eaten as a vegetable.严格地说,西红柿是一种生果,虽然它是当作蔬菜吃的。
19 coveted      adj.令人垂涎的;垂涎的,朝思暮想的v.贪求,觊觎(covet的曩昔分词);垂涎;贪心 参阅例句:
  • He had long coveted the chance to work with a famous musician. 他一向巴望有机会与闻名音乐家一同作业。
  • Ther other boys coveted his new bat. 其他的男孩都想得到他的新球棒。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 virgin      n.童贞,未婚女子;adj.未经运用的;未经开发的 参阅例句:
  • Have you ever been to a virgin forest?你去过原始森林吗?
  • There are vast expanses of virgin land in the remote regions.在边远地区有大片大片未开垦的土地。
21 tinfoil      n.锡纸,锡箔 参阅例句:
  • You can wrap it up in tinfoil.你可以用锡箔纸裹住它。
  • Drop by rounded tablespoon onto tinfoil.Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.用大餐勺把刚刚拌和好的糊糊盛到锡纸上,烘烤9至11分钟,直到变成金黄色。
22 millennia      n.一千年,千禧年 参阅例句:
  • For two millennia, exogamy was a major transgression for Jews. 两千年来,异族通婚一向是犹太人的一大忌讳。
  • In the course of millennia, the dinosaurs died out. 在几千年的时刻里,恐龙逐步死绝了。
23 participation      n.参与,参与,共享 参阅例句:
  • Some of the magic tricks called for audience participation.有些戏法要求有观众的参与。
  • The scheme aims to encourage increased participation in sporting activities.这个计划旨在鼓舞群众更多地参与体育活动。
24 celebrities      n.(尤指娱乐界的)名人( celebrity的名词复数 );名人;名声;声誉 参阅例句:
  • He only invited A-list celebrities to his parties. 他只约请头号名人参与他的集会。
  • a TV chat show full of B-list celebrities 由很多二流人物参与的电视访谈节目
25 hissing      n. 发嘶嘶声, 鄙视 动词hiss的现在分词方式 参阅例句:
  • The steam escaped with a loud hissing noise. 蒸汽大声地嘶嘶冒了出来。
  • His ears were still hissing with the rustle of the leaves. 他耳朵里还听得萨萨萨的声响和屑索屑索的怪声。 来自汉英文学 - 春蚕
26 villain      n.反派艺人,反面人物;恶棍;问题的原因 参阅例句:
  • He was cast as the villain in the play.他在戏里扮演反面角色。
  • The man who played the villain acted very well.扮演恶棍的那个男艺人演得很好。
27 monarch      n.帝王,君主,最高统治者 参阅例句:
  • The monarch's role is purely ceremonial.君主纯粹是个礼仪职位。
  • I think myself happier now than the greatest monarch upon earth.我觉得这个时分比世界上什么帝王都高兴。
28 initially      adv.开端,开端 参阅例句:
  • The ban was initially opposed by the US.这一禁令首要遭到美国的对立。
  • Feathers initially developed from insect scales.茸毛开端由昆虫的翅瓣演化而来。
29 tune      n.调子;调和,和谐;v.调音,调理,调整 参阅例句:
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给咱们听。
  • 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      ad.不同寻常地,适当地 参阅例句:
  • I thought she was remarkably restrained in the circumstances. 我以为她在那种情况下十分抑制。
  • He made a remarkably swift recovery. 他康复得适当快。
31 anodyne      n.免除苦楚的东西,止痛剂 参阅例句:
  • It was their delight,their folly,their anodyne,their intellectual stimulant.这是他们的人生趣味,他们的一时荒诞,他们的止痛药,他们的脑力刺激剂。
  • Friendship is not only the condiment but also the anodyne of life.友谊是人生的调味品,也是人生的止痛药。
32 dictates      n.指令,规则,要求( dictate的名词复数 )v.大声讲或读( dictate的第三人称奇数 );口授;分配;支配 参阅例句:
  • Convention dictates that a minister should resign in such a situation. 按照惯例部长在这种情况下应该辞去职务。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He always follows the dictates of common sense. 他总是按知识行事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
33 leftover      n.剩货,残留物,剩饭;adj.剩余的 参阅例句:
  • These narrow roads are a leftover from the days of horse-drawn carriages.这些小道是从马车时代沿袭下来的。
  • Wonder if that bakery lets us take leftover home.不知道那家糕饼店会不会让咱们把卖剩的带回家。
34 chilly      adj.凉爽的,冰冷的 参阅例句:
  • I feel chilly without a coat.我由于没有穿大衣而感到冷冰冰的。
  • I grew chilly when the fire went out.炉火平息后,寒气逼人。
35 festive      adj.欢宴的,节日的 参阅例句:
  • It was Christmas and everyone was in festive mood.其时是圣诞节,每个人都沉浸在节日的欢喜中。
  • We all wore festive costumes to the ball.咱们都穿戴节日的盛装前去参与舞会。
36 vegetarian      n.素食者;adj.素食的 参阅例句:
  • She got used gradually to the vegetarian diet.她逐步习气吃素食。
  • I didn't realize you were a vegetarian.我不知道你是个素食者。
37 distinctively      adv.特别地,差异地 参阅例句:
  • "Public risks" is a recent term for distinctively high-tech hazards. “公共危险”是个特别的高技能损害个人的一个最新术语。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
  • His language was natural, unaffected, distinctively vivid, humorous and strongly charming. 言语既朴实无华,又明显生动,诙谐而赋有艺术魅力。
38 chestnuts      n.栗子( chestnut的名词复数 );栗色;栗树;栗色马 参阅例句:
  • A man in the street was selling bags of hot chestnuts. 街上有个男人在卖一包包热栗子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Talk of chestnuts loosened the tongue of this inarticulate young man. 由于栗子,正苦无话可说的年青人,得到怜惜他的人了。 来自汉英文学 - 我国现代小说
39 assorted      adj.各式各样的,各色俱备的 参阅例句:
  • There's a bag of assorted sweets on the table.桌子上有一袋什锦糖块。
  • He has always assorted with men of his age.他总是与和他年令相仿的人往来。
40 mince      n.切碎物;v.切碎,矫揉造作地说 参阅例句:
  • Would you like me to mince the meat for you?你要我替你把肉切碎吗?
  • Don't mince matters,but speak plainly.不要含糊其词,有话就直说吧。
41 waned      v.式微( wane的曩昔式和曩昔分词 );(月)亏;变小;变昏暗 参阅例句:
  • However,my enthusiasm waned.The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. 但是,我的热心减退了。我在做操上花的时刻逐步减少了。 来自《用法词典》
  • The bicycle craze has waned. 自行车热已冷下去了。 来自《现代汉英归纳大词典》
42 ancestry      n.先人,家世 参阅例句:
  • Their ancestry settled the land in 1856.他们的祖辈1856年在这块土地上久居下来。
  • He is an American of French ancestry.他是法国血缘的美国人。
43 bagpipes      n.风笛;风笛( bagpipe的名词复数 ) 参阅例句:
  • Yes, and I'm also learning to play the bagpipes. 是的,我也想学习吹风笛。 来自逾越方针英语 第3册
  • Mr. Vinegar took the bagpipes and the piper led the cow away. 所以醋溜先生拿过了风笛,风笛手牵走了奶牛。 来自互联网
44 auld      adj.老的,旧的 参阅例句:
  • Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and never brought to mind?怎能忘掉旧日朋友,心中能不思念?
  • The party ended up with the singing of Auld Lang Sync.宴会以《友谊地久天长》的歌声而告终。
45 syne      adv.自彼时至此刻,从前 参阅例句:
  • The meeting ended up with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.大会以唱《友谊地久天长》完毕。
  • We will take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne.让咱们为了曩昔的好时光干一杯友谊的酒。
46 turnips      芜青( turnip的名词复数 ); 芜菁块根; 芜菁甘蓝块根; 怀表 参阅例句:
  • Well, I like turnips, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflowers, onions and carrots. 噢,我喜爱大萝卜、西红柿、茄子、菜花、洋葱和胡萝卜。 来自魔法英语-白话打破(高中)
  • This is turnip soup, made from real turnips. 这是大头菜汤,用真实的大头菜做的。

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