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Sunday 25-Dec-2016
在英國過聖誕,在好多人心目中都是一件浪漫滿瀉的事。落住微雪的白色聖誕、泰晤士河兩旁聖誕市集充滿氣氛、一家人high table享受Christmas Dinner食火雞,十足童話故事的情節。其實,這些仍是聖誕節的表面,如果你知道以下幾樣英國人慶祝聖誕時會做的事,或者會對英國聖誕更加有憧憬,有種「一生人點都要去一次」的感覺。
  1. 聖誕亮燈儀式
在香港,維港兩岸的聖誕燈飾在十二月二十號左右就會亮起,讓市民早早有得睇燈飾。但在英國呢,則有一個大型的亮燈儀式。不是電視慈善籌款節目那種,而是大街小巷、家家戶戶在聖誕夜同一時間著燈,作為正式進入聖誕節holiday season的儀式。亮燈在倫敦Oxford Street特別有代表性,因為不少名人、歌手等都會在預早撘建的舞台上唱歌表演,和市民一同歡渡節日。感覺就有點像年尾在香港時代廣場進行的蘋果倒數。 

位於Manchester的聖誕亮燈 (圖片
  1. Mince Pie
Mince Pie是英國聖誕節最傳統的甜品之一,歷史好比聖誕火雞。Mince Pie一般呈星形,包含蔬果乾、玉桂、丁香、肉荳蔻等,有時也會加入肉碎。隨住時代變遷,不同的Mince Pie相繼推出,但萬變不離其宗,還是最傳統的聖誕美點之一。相傳Mince Pie是聖誕老人最愛的甜品,小朋友們為了答謝聖誕老人送禮物,會先在平安夜在餐桌留下Mince Pie、白蘭地或牛奶、和一些紅蘿蔔給他的鹿,等他送禮物時可以享用。哇,英國人和聖誕老人還真夠互動…… 

Minced Pie (圖片
  1. Advent Calendar
Advent Calendar是聖誕節特別版的日曆。這個日曆是專門用來倒數聖誕來前的一個月,通常由十一月尾或十二月一開始起計,去到十二月二十五日聖誕節正日。在最傳統樣式的Advent Calendar中,每日天都是一扇窗的造型,然後你可以打開他,裡面就是一幅幅聖誕節相關的圖畫。所以由Advent Calendar的第一天開始,一直到聖誕節當日,每天揭一頁每天都有小驚喜。隨著Advent Calendar的傳統傳入世界各地,各個時裝品牌或者甜品店都會自行推出美觀又好玩的Advent Calendar,我自己就覺得,比起年尾常收到的枱頭年曆好玩得多…… 

Advent Calendar (圖片
  1. 聖誕卡
你可能想噓爆我:聖誕卡都算特別英式?對呀,英國人對寫聖誕卡就是重視到要特別mention的程度。世界上第一張聖誕卡的誕生較難考究,但是廣為人接受的說法,是英國Sir Henry Cole(第一任Victoria and Albert Museum館長)在1843年印製的。卡上寫著「A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to You」,總共印了一千張,賣一仙英鎊一張。卡上印著一些溫馨的畫面,一家大細飲酒慶祝,說實話今時今日睇到,都唔覺得out!而隨著第一張卡的誕生,英國人也開始對賀卡產生情意結。無論大大小小的節日,都會認真地手寫賀卡送給珍愛的親朋好友,希望將節日的濃厚情義含蓄地傳遞出去。 
世上第一張聖誕卡 (圖片:wikipedia)

文章作者為英識教育Britannia StudyLink 創辦人陳思銘Samuel Chan。 
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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.


Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.


MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

#School Analysis
Considering its reputation, Oundle School may not catch up to Eton, Wycombe Abbey and else top elite schools. However, Oundle’s academic performance is among the best in the United Kingdom. As a traditional top boarding school, Oundle pays huge attentions to student’s holistic development, by providing them diversified extra-curricular activities. In addition, Oundle still implements the House Dining System, which is rarely remaining among uk boarding schools. It is also one of the reasons why Hong Kong parents making a beeline for.
The ratio of teachers and students in Bromsgrove School is 1:8, which is lower than the average among uk boarding schools. In addition, according to my school visit experience, Bromsgrove has the best facilities, that it is undoubtedly one of the best three campuses in the UK. Besides, Bromsgrove spares no expense to provide students comfortable environment, it even invests on the nearby hotel and transfers it into dormitories. As a result, students can possess the “5-star enjoyment” on campus. To conclude, Bromsgrove is definitely a prospective and globalised uk boarding school.
Brighton College is Britain’s premier private school and one of the Hong Kong parents’ favourites. To understand a boarding school, despite of looking at its educational tenet, diversified extra-curricular activities and academics results, it is essential to observe the boldness of the principal. 10 years ago, after Mr. Richard Cairns taking up the duty of the Brighton College’s principal, the school ranking raises from the 150th to the top 20th. In addition to promoting educational reformation, Mr Cairns is such a good principal, that he still strives for maintaining students’ curiosity at the same time.
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