The British have never interrupted this event since the New Year’s lighting ceremony was held in Regent Street, London’s famous commercial street, in 1954. The lighting ceremony is played in many ways, fully showing the customs and creativity of the British.
Every town needs to be “lit”
After the “Bonfire Night” ended in early November, towns and cities across the UK greeted Christmas and New Year in succession. Whether it’s a big city or a small town, the central street of each town will choose to hold a lighting ceremony on a weekend evening. Watching the lights is the main activity for locals to go out and participate in the family before Christmas.
In Greenwich, East End of London, in addition to hanging Christmas lights, there is a parade of lanterns. The adorable children took their own lanterns to play with the jazz band, set off from the gate of the Royal Naval College, and walked to the Greenwich Town Center Market.
When Greenwich was crowded by people attending the lighting event, the lighting ceremony at Covent Garden in downtown London was equally lively. Before the start of the annual Christmas and New Year fair, the locals will hold a huge elk lantern lighting ceremony. This elk lantern has become a landmark in this bazaar.
The cultural characteristics of each area of London are different, and the design of the lighting ceremony is also different. Covent Garden is home to the Royal Opera House, so the annual lighting ceremony is always full of classical music. When various magic juggling activities are held at the lighting ceremony of some other blocks, the Royal Ballet is enviously arranged to perform free shows such as “The Nutcracker” for you. You know, tickets for such shows in the theater Hundreds of pounds at every turn.
Indispensable fairy tales
In cities and towns with a large number of young families, a performance event called “Fairy Tale” is arranged at the lighting ceremony. The history of “Fairy Tale” can be traced back to the ancient Roman era. At that time, people performed some popular repertoires to celebrate the arrival of the Winter Solstice, but the performance was very special. Men dressed as women or women dressed as men. At the lighting ceremony, fairy tales are as essential as the main course in the banquet. Children don’t want to leave the lively street without seeing the show.
It is worth mentioning that the British local performing arts stars will completely drop the star’s shelf on this day and perform fairy tales with the neighbours for children to watch. Pop stars, famous hosts, comedians, etc. have appeared on the stage to perform classic repertoires such as “Sleeping Beauty” or “Cinderella”. The children were particularly happy when they saw the fairy tales starring men and women in women’s clothing. Small audiences also need to join choruses, collaborate in tricks, coax baddies, remind good people, cheer, and be busier and tired than actors.
When attending the lighting ceremony, the British are used to settling family dinners at the fair. Slightly boiled red wine, hot sausage meatballs, all kinds of fried noodles from Asia, and pancakes are irresistible. Although many cuisines are not local, but the British feel that bringing together food from around the world is itself British.
In Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, the New Year’s lighting ceremony is always ridiculed by the locals as “an EU summit again”, because in the most popular city here, George Square, there are always gathered from France, Italy, Spain, Germany Wait for the stallholders in European countries to share their special gourmet food and wine here, so that the Scots can enjoy the most authentic European taste without leaving home. Glasgow’s lighting ceremony has been praised repeatedly, not relying on gorgeous light shows, but strong European characteristics.
“Guess the Fruit” game for the elderly
During the lighting ceremony in British towns, there are always some reserved programs. The “Guess the Fruit” game organized by old people everywhere is the most enthusiastic activity for men, women and children. At the game scene, the three old men sat in a chair, lined up. They are separated by ordinary refrigerator packaging cartons and cannot see each other. The old man held a paper box with bananas, oranges, apples, and mangoes in it. In the face of the elderly participants shaking the copper bell in their hands, the elderly would randomly pick up a fruit at the same time. If the fruits of the three old men are the same, then the bell ringer wins.
This game, which is ridiculed by the locals as an “artificial fruit machine”, costs 20 pence per game. Usually people pay at least one pound and play five games. Most people lose all the coins in their hands, and laugh. To leave. Although the game site is simple in layout and does not require any acoustic and optical effects, it is one of the most profitable folk programs at the lighting ceremony every year. It can earn thousands of pounds a night. People are willing to constantly find out the change in their pockets to participate in this fruit guessing game. In fact, everyone has donated to charity organizations represented by old people who are interested in fruit.
In Britain, where aging is getting worse, how the elderly live with dignity is the hottest topic in public opinion. Over the years, due to the implementation of austerity fiscal policy, the British government has not given more financial assistance to local charities that care for the elderly. Many of the old people involved in fruit lifting are inconvenient to walk, but in order to raise money for the charity they represent, they have to sit in the cold wind for several hours before leaving. In the eyes of the locals, they naturally want to do their best to help the elderly, because the purpose of the lighting ceremony is to bring joy to everyone, and in addition, they may be sitting in chairs in the future, holding fruit to let people guess Look, happy old man.