40,000,000 Christmas Puddings! That's a lot of Pudding!
25 December is Christmas Day, the birthday of Jesus Christ. In Britain, people celebrate this day with a great Christmas dinner. The main course of the meal is usually turkey. And the traditional dessert is Christmas pudding. This year more than 40,000,000 people will finish their Christmas dinner with Christmas pudding!
Christmas pudding is a rich, boiled pudding made with flour, suet and dried fruit. There are several customs associated with Christmas pudding. By tradition, a silver coin is hidden inside the pudding when it is made. A few holly leaves are placed on top. And before the pudding is cut open and served, brandy is poured over it and set alight. Then it is eaten with thick, runny cream.
Although Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, two of these customs remind us of His death. The holly leaves are a reminder of Christ's "Crown of Thorns". And it is said that the flames from the brandy represent the Passion.
And the silver coin hidden in the pudding? The person that finds it is guaranteed to receive great health, wealth and happiness!
brandy: a strong alcoholic spirit made from wine
crown: the round head dress that a king or queen wears
dessert: sweet course at the end of a meal
flour: powder from grain, used to make bread, cakes etc
holly: shrub with prickly green leaves and red berries
the Passion: the suffering and death of Jesus Christ
pudding: a steamed dish made with suet and flour
suet: fat from the kidneys of cows, sheep etc
thorn: sharp, spiky plant
turkey: a large bird, like a big chicken
Note: "pudding" can be countable or uncountable. When it's countable, we think of the individual pudding(s). When it's uncountable, we think of the food in general. Did you notice its countable/uncountable use in the title to this article?
- 40,000,000 Christmas Puddings! [countable]
- That's a lot of Pudding! [uncountable]
© 2000 Josef Essberger