Christmas in United Kingdom

Christmas Night in London

Wandering minstrels traveled from hamlet to castle, performing carols in the distant past. In later years, villages had their own bands of waits. Today, a look at a small-town newspaper lists dozens of caroling events, not just on Christmas Eve, but throughout the holiday season.Waits were originally watchmen who patrolled the streets and byways of the old walled cities keeping guard against fire and singing out the hours of the night. During the holiday season, they would include some carols for the people along the way, although some folks complained that they would rather get a good nights sleep than have somebody singing under their window. Eventually the term was used to describe groups of musicians who sang and played for various civic events during the Christmas season.

The Christmas tree is central to England's holiday celebration and, although it had been seen in various places in England, it grew extremely popular when Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, brought the tradition to the Royal Family from his native Germany in the mid-nineteenth century. However, it has not entirely eclipsed the kissing bough (a mixture of evergreens and mistletoe.

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