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"I will hold Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens.



Christmas Traditions Around the World


Christmas in Wales

    The Welsh are great lovers of music and so every year at Christmas, carol singing is the most enjoyed activity. In the churches, they are sung to the harp. They are sung in people's homes around the Christmas tree and at the doors and windows of the houses.

    Caroling is called eisteddfodde and is often accompanied by a harp. In some rural areas a villager is chosen to be the Mari llwyd. This person travels around the town draped in white and carrying a horse's skull on a long pole. Anyone given the "bite" by the horse's jaws must pay a fine.

    Christmas is spent with lots of people gathering in the public square for the announcement of who, during the year, has won the prize for submitting the best music for a new carol, and the formal pronouncement of it as the carol of the year. This carol is now added to those already known and sung in Wales.

    Taffy making is one of the most important of the Welsh Christmas. This involves the making of the special kind of chewy toffee from brown sugar and butter. It is boiled and then pulled so that it becomes lovely and glossy. The Christmas goose is also essential.

    The Welsh people maintain most of the traditional customs associated with England such as holly, mistletoe, pudding, carols, Christmas stockings, oranges, crackers and lots of snow.

    The carolers make their rounds at dawn on Christmas morning, and families wake from sleep and ask them in for refreshments.

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