Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day

Nowadays, Christmas is two days long. Christmas Eve (Dec 24th) is really just the preparation for Christmas, and many Christians go to midnight mass, to see Christmas Day start. Christmas Day (Dec 25th) is the main day, when children receive their presents from Santa (also known as Father Christmas), and later all family members give presents to each other. In the morning children are excited to open their many presents ‘from Santa’, and play with them while the parents prepare the Christmas dinner. A large turkey can take several hours of cooking. Many Christians go to church mid morning. Returning home from church to the aroma of the cooked turkey and stuffing is a wonderful part of Christmas. Various other family members often arrive now. In the afternoon everyone rests and watches TV specials, and the Queen’s Speech. In the evening everyone has a light meal, usually a salad, and some Christmas cake. In the evening there are more Christmas specials on TV, and everyone gets very sleepy. December 26th is called Boxing Day, and this is when family members go to visit other family members for a repeat Christmas dinner. For example, a married couple and their kids go to the husband’s parents’ house on Christmas Day, and then to the wife’s parents’ house on Boxing Day.

イギリスでのクリスマスは、2日間と言えます。日本人にとって大切なイブの夜は、イギリスではクリスマス準備の夜にすぎず、25、26日が連休になります。人々は25に日付けが変わる時間帯に行われる、教会のミサに参加します。25日朝からはクリスマスディナーの準備をし、数時間かかるターキーをオーブンに入れて再び教会へ行き、お昼過ぎに美味しい匂いがただよう家に帰ります。この頃、家族や親戚が到着し、皆でランチタイムのクリスマスディナーをいただきます。午後はプレゼントを開けたり、テレビのスペシャル番組を見て、ゆっくりと過ごします。夜はサラダなどの軽いものとクリスマスケーキで食事を済ませ、テレビではスペシャル番組が続きます。翌日は、Boxing Dayと呼ばれ、夫婦の場合、もう一方の両親をたずね、そこでもクリスマスディナーをいただきます。元旦の深夜に神社へ行き、1日は夫の両親と、2日は妻の両親と過ごし、食べてテレビを見て・・という、よくある日本のお正月と同じなんですね。