Christmas Day

Christmas Day is an annual Christian festival to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.

In the United Kingdom and most other western countries it is celebrated on December 25. In some countries (e.g. Russia and Ukraine) it is marked on January 7.

Christmas Day is a public holiday in the UK. All banks, government offices, and most businesses are closed.

Although many shops enjoy their busiest days on other bank holidays, it is against the law for most large stores to open on Christmas Day.

Legislation was introduced in response to concerns that a growing number of retailers were opening on Christmas Day.

Under the legislation, large shops (those with a retail area greater than 280 square metres) are prohibited from opening. Certain type of store, such as petrol stations and pharmacies, are exempt.

Public transport is limited. There are no train or bus services. Taxis operate but may charge higher rates. In North West England, the Manchester Metrolink, Merseyrail, and Blackpool Trams are closed.

Many restaurants and pubs now open for lunch on Christmas Day. Advance booking is recommended.

Boxing Day (December 26) is also a public holiday in the UK.

Christmas Traditions in the UK

Christmas dinner in the UK is usually eaten with the family on the afternoon of Christmas Day.

The dinner typically consists of turkey served with stuffing, gravy, pigs in blankets (small sausages wrapped in bacon), cranberry sauce, Yorkshire pudding, and vegetables (particularly roast potatoes, parsnips and Brussels sprouts). Dessert is Christmas pudding, mince pies, and trifle.

Christmas crackers are an integral component of the UK Christmas dinner.

Christmas crackers are segmented cardboard tubes wrapped in colourful paper with a prizes inside. The cracker is pulled by two people, and splits; leaving one person holding the larger part of the tube and the prizes. The prizes are typically a small toy and a paper hat. The paper hats are worn while eating Christmas dinner.

At 3 pm, people in the UK gather around their TVs to watch the Royal Christmas Message. The reigning monarch gives a speech that typically reflects on events that have affected the Commonwealth (UK and former countries of the British Empire).

Next Christmas Day Bank Holiday - UK (England and Wales)

The next Christmas Day Bank Holiday in UK (England and Wales) is Monday, December 27, 2021.

It is observed on a Monday because Christmas Day itself falls on a weekend.

There are 155 days till Christmas Day Bank Holiday 2021.

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