Nowadays, the whole December is associated with Christmas tradition, which is not surprising. Most of the month we are preparing for the holiday: decorating the Christmas tree, buying gifts for friends and family, thinking over the festive menu, looking outfit … But the situation was not the same always. Before the Victorian era in England, few people used to celebrate Christmas. The tradition of widely celebrating this holiday was introduced by Queen Victoria and her husband King Albert. Thanks to them, people began to give each other gifts, decorate the tree and hold a feast. However, at the same time it originated some very strange traditions. Some of them, unfortunately or fortunately, did not survive to the present day, but we should know how those were.
01. Membership in the “crow’s club”
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Wealthy Englishmen were able to cook a special dinner of goose meat. And poor families those lived in the countryside could at best get a slice of goose as the prize for the holiday. Therefore, the so-called “Goose Club” was created for them. Members of this organization once a month had to pay a small fee, a few cents, in the course of the year to enjoy a traditional Christmas family meal. A large number of bakeries worked all night on the eve of the holiday, to cook the meat for needy members of the “goose club.”
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In the Victorian era, football was one of the favorite pastimes. Many people were prepared to postpone the Christmas dinner, to go watch the game. Important matches were often specially held on the holidays, because in those days, they managed to collect the largest number of fans.
The first match of the Football League took place in 1889 between “Preston North End” and “Aston Villa”. Both teams were very strong contenders, so the game got about 9000 fans. Sometimes football fans drove for teams in different countries and cities, to watch the matches. But with the invention of television, this tradition has become less popular.
03. Tree of goose feathers
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First in Germany, and later in England, an artificial Christmas tree was invented that was decorated with several dyed goose feathers and ornaments. People also used feathers of the turkey, swan and ostrich. Due to deforestation, while it was extremely difficult to find a beautiful Christmas tree, people adapted the artificial Christmas trees. Nevertheless, this tree was too difficult to make. A lot of feathers were needed to mimic spruce paws. Sometimes the feathers glued together in a way that they looked like pine branches.
04. Christmas decoration
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A few weeks before the celebration, the traders used to start Christmas wreaths. The manufacturing needed holly and ivy, sometimes pine needles and spruce. The branches stacked and tied to the hoop, decorated with fruit, berries and ribbons. They made all the bars and pubs, cafes and restaurants, even serving dishes using the edible decorative branch of mistletoe.