Презентация - викторина по английскому языку "A Tudor Christmas"; 8 - 9 классы
Инсарская Галина Борисовна,
учитель английского языка МБОУ
«Лицей №23» г. Мытищи
Long before the birth of Christ, midwinter
had always been a time for merry making by
The root of the midwinter rituals was the
winter solstice - the shortest day - which
falls on 21st December.
After this date the days lengthened and the
return of spring, the season of life, was
eagerly anticipated. It was therefore a time
to celebrate both the end of the autumn
sowing and the fact that the 'life giving'
sun had not deserted them.
The scriptures however make no mention as to
the time of year yet alone the actual date of the
Even our current calendar which supposedly
calculates the years from the birth of Christ, was
drawn up in the sixth century by Dionysius, an
'innumerate' Italian monk to correspond with a
Until the 4th century Christmas could be
celebrated throughout Europe anywhere between
early January through to late September.
It was Pope Julius I who happened upon the bright
idea of adopting 25th December as the actual
date of the Nativity.
The choice appears both logical and shrewd blurring religion with existing feast days and
A Tudor Christmas was starting to
resemble something we in the
C21st might recognise even if
there were some parts to a
Christmas we would not!
But Tudor England was still
many years away from
Christmas cards, Christmas
turkey, Christmas crackers,
Father Christmas in his red
costume and even the common
use of Christmas trees.
Christmas was the greatest festival
celebrated by the Tudors.
Advent was a time of fasting; Christmas
Eve was particularly strictly kept with no
meat, cheese or eggs.
Celebrations began on Christmas Day
when 3 masses were said and the
genealogy of Christ was sung while
everyone held lighted tapers.
The Monarch was required to attend
mass and would be expected to wear
He would progress from the Privy
Chamber to the Chapel Royal dressed in
coronation robes of purple and/or scarlet
complete with crown.
The whole 12 days of Christmas was celebrated, (25th
December - 6th January) but not every day was
All work stopped except looking after animals, spinning
was even banned as this was the most common
occupation for women and flowers were placed around
the spinning wheels.
People would visit friends and it was seen as very much
a community celebration. Work re-started on Plough
Monday the first Monday after 12th night.
In Tudor Times most of the 12 days of
Christmas were saints days the 3 most
important were 25th Dec, 1st Jan and 6th Jan
which is when the most sumptuous feasts
Up to 24 courses would be served, much
more than was needed for the guests but it
was a status symbol and left over food would
be used to feed the poor.
For the rich, the traditional meat on Christmas
Day remained swan and goose as in a Medieval
In fact, in 1588, Elizabeth I ordered that
everybody should have goose for their Xmas
dinner as it was the first meal she had after the
victory of the Spanish Armada and she believed
that this gesture would be a fitting tribute to the
English sailors who fought off the Spanish.
However, it is not known how many of the poor
of the land could carry out this order as goose
remained an expensive luxury – though
Christmas was seen as a special celebration.
Peacocks were also on the menu for the
rich. However, it became a Xmas tradition to
skin the bird first, then cook it and then
place the roast bird back into its skin as a
main table presentation.
The first record of a turkey being
brought to Europe was in 1519.
It was to be many years before this
bird had reason to fear the Festive
Eventually, each year, large flocks
of turkeys could be seen walking to
London from Norfolk, Suffolk and
Cambridge on foot; a journey which
they may have started as early as
The homes of the wealthy also used to cook
a wild boar on Xmas Day and its head was
used as a dinner table decoration.
However, cooking made the head’s fur go
pale and so it was covered in soot and pig’s
grease to make the cooked head looked
Christmas puddings were made of meat,
oatmeal and spices.
However, cooking this combination meant
that if would fall to bits once it was ready
The Tudors got over this by wrapping the
mixture in the gut of a pig and cooking it
in a sausage shape.
It was also the fashion in Tudor times for
mince pies to be shaped like a crib.
The rule of Oliver Cromwell in the midC17th ended this practice as it was seen as
bordering on blasphemy.
1587 is the first recorded date we
have of brussel sprouts being used
A Tudor Christmas Pie was indeed a sight to
behold but not one to be enjoyed by a vegetarian.
The contents of this dish consisted of a Turkey
stuffed with a goose stuffed with a chicken
stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a pigeon.
All of this was put in a pastry case, called a coffin
and was served surrounded by jointed hare, small
game birds and wild fowl.
And to wash it all down, a drink from the Wassail bowl.
The word 'Wassail' derives from the Anglo-Saxon 'Waeshael', meaning 'be whole' or 'be of good health'.
The bowl, a large wooden container holding as much as
a gallon of punch made of hot-ale, sugar, spices and
apples. This punch to be shared with friends and
A crust of bread was placed at the bottom of the
Wassail bowl and offered to the most important person
in the room - hence today's toast as part of any drinking
Another Tudor Christmas tradition was the
performing of plays.
There are records from the early 16th
century that both Oxford and Cambridge
colleges employed travelling players in their
There are also records of a play being
performed for Cardinal Wolsey at Grays Inn
during Christmas 1526. Coventry mystery
plays which the Coventry carol was written
for, tell the story of Herod's murder of the
innocents. Mystery plays are still performed
The Tudors did not have Christmas trees,
although they were around in 16th century. It is a
Baltic/northern German tradition and even then it
is not recorded until 1520.
The first known record of a Christmas Tree was in
1510 in Riga, Latvia, then part of Germany.
The decorations they would have used would
have been natural ever greens like holly, ivy, yew,
mistletoe, box and laurel.
They would not have decorated their houses until
Christmas eve as it was thought to be unlucky to
do it before.
The more modern tradition of fairy lights
is said to originate from the 16th
century Legend of Martin Luther.
He was walking in the snow covered
woods and seeing stars through the
trees was struck by the beauty, he took
a tree home and put candles on it, that's
why we have fairy lights!
On a journey home in the winter of 1522, he was
struck by the beauty of the stars shining through the
fir trees that were common where he lived in north
He cut off the top of one of the smaller trees and took
it home. Once indoors the beauty disappeared as the
stars were not there.
To impress his children, he put small candles on the
ends of the branches to resemble stars – hence
candles at Christmas which were eventually to be
replaced with Christmas tree lights
December 2424- January
of aa turkey
of aa Turkey
with aa goose
with aa chicken
with aa pigeon.
To wash it all the food people
might drink from the what bowl?
of aa play
of aa Christmas
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