A pantomime or ‘panto’ is a very British tradition. It’s a type of musical comedy performed in theatres, village halls and community centres during the Christmas and New Year season. It includes singing, slapstick comedy and dancing and is normally based on a well-known fairy tale. Male roles are often played by women and female roles by men. And the audience is expected to participate!
Take a look at Jack and the Beanstalk (link to YouTube) to get an idea what a pantomime is.
It really is difficult to imagine Christmas without presents, isn’t it? For British children, presents magically appear overnight. When they get up on Christmas Day, they find their presents in the stockings they hung by the fire place. Clear that Father Christmas parked his sleigh on the roof and came down the chimney to put them there during the night!
Of course, buying presents shouldn’t become a chore …
And for some, Christmas pudding (also known as ‘plum pudding’) is a must on 25th December. It’s a steamed pudding made of dried fruit, egg and suet (something I’ve never liked!) and flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and other spices. If you’d like to give it a try, nigella.com has an interesting recipe. Traditionally a silver coin was hidden inside it. For me, that’s the best part of the pudding. In fact that’s the only reason I ate it during my school’s annual Christmas dinner! 😉