All words marked with * - see explanation below
Having lived in both countries, I experienced Christmas in the UK as well as in Australia. *Despite the differences, there are a few similarities. Both countries have similar cultures, *therefore the traditions such as receiving gifts on the morning of Christmas Day and decorating Christmas trees are practically the same. Children in both countries like to get up very early on 25 December to see what lies under the Christmas tree and begin the day by opening presents. Both countries start their Christmas decoration early, you will find *Christmas stock in shops as early as October. Now, I would like to share with you the differences in the celebrations in both countries. I will talk about the difference in seasons, places and food. Let’s have a look:
As you probably already know, UK is located in the Northern Hemisphere (north of the equator) and Australia in the Southern Hemisphere (south of the equator). This means that at Christmas it is winter in the UK (shortest days of the year) and summer in Australia (longest days). Because of this, the celebrations are a little different. In Australia, children also finish school for their summer holiday, so it’s double celebration for them!
What do you think of when you imagine yourself at Christmas?
Is it a hot chocolate near a fireplace or a BBQ near a beach?
Australians love to spend Christmas *outdoors, mainly due to the weather. You will find people going camping in the middle of the nature, others having BBQ’s near a beach, swim in the sea and enjoy the sunshine. This is very different in the UK, where everyone stays *indoors playing games with family, eating chocolate and warming up near a fireplace.
There are many traditional Christmas foods in the UK. Let’s start with turkey, this is the most popular dish served on Christmas Day. It comes with roasted vegetables and a Yorkshire pudding, which is a *savoury *pastry served with *gravy on top. In Australia, some people will also have turkey but because the weather is hot, a lot of people will have seafood on the BBQ. Prawns are the most popular and they sell out before Christmas.
What about desserts?
Christmas pudding is what people have in the UK. It’s a brown cake made with dried fruit, nuts and spices. Often brandy or sherry is added or *poured on top and lit on fire.
Australians, on the other hand, will have pavlova, a much lighter, summer cake. Pavlova is a *meringue, cream and fresh fruit cake enjoyed on a warm summer Christmas evening.
Now that you know the main differences between Christmas in the UK and Australia, which one do you prefer? Where would you spend your Christmas?
Let me know in the comments below.
*Vocabulary from article:
Despite: preposition: without being affected by
Therefore: adverb: for that reason, consequently
Christmas stock: noun: the goods or merchandise kept on premises of a shop or warehouse available for sale or distribution
Outdoors: adverb: in or into the open air, outside a building or shelter
Indoors: adverb: into or within a building
Savoury: adjective: (of food) belonging to the category that is salty or spicy rather than sweet
Pastry: noun: a dough or flour, fat and water used as a base and covering in baked dishes such as pies
Gravy: noun: a sauce made by mixing the fat and juices exuded by meat during cooking with stock or other ingredients
To pour: verb: flow rapidly in a steady stream
Meringue: noun: an item of sweet food made by baking a mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar until crisp
Definitions provided by Oxford dictionary.