Advent 9: Christmas Crackers

christmas-stamp-with-cracker
Specially illustrated stamps are printed each Christmas this one is of Father Christmas with a cracker. The cracker has an illustration of a Pantomime Dame

christmas-cracker-drummerIn Britain and Ireland we pull Christmas crackers at the dinner table which we have at lunch time on December 25th.

Victorian illustration of pulling a Christmas cracker
Victorian illustration of pulling a Christmas cracker

Crackers may have caught on in other countries too and I’d be interested to hear from your part of the world if they have.

When pulled it activates a firecracker that makes a loud ‘crack’.

Whoever gets the longest end, gets the prize. Prizes can vary from cheap plastic charms to gold tie-pins depending on how much you can afford.

Coloured paper crown can get quite wrinkly by the end of dinner © Southampton Old Lady
Coloured paper crowns can get quite wrinkly by the end of dinner © Southampton Old Lady

One is set at each dinner place. Each will contain a paper crown, which is compulsory to wear at the table and there will be a lot of cajoling to get a grumpy Grandad to wear his. There will also be a joke to read out – usually a pun on words that will be so corny it makes everyone sigh. It is essential that the joke is corny.

Here are some examples:

Q: What kind of sweet goes swinging through the jungle?  A: Tarzi-pan

QWhat do you call two robbers? A:  A pair of knickers

This then starts the reminiscing  old jokes and funny tales. Often there are enough crackers left to pull the next day “Boxing Day” which is also a holiday in Britain.

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“Time, Gentleman Please!”

The Bent Brief
The Bent Brief closed in early 2015

In response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: TIME and Pub No 3 in my series

TIME has been called on this popular Southampton pub that had a great reputation for live music. From opera to jazz, it offered a broad range of sounds. One of the pub’s former regulars was blues musician Gordon Haskell.

The highlight of the festive season was their annual pantomime – political satires written by Dr Julie Campbell who lectured at the University of Southampton; performed by students and locals together under the name of the £40 Theatre Company.

The Bent Brief‘s name was coined in competition with another pub further along Lodge Road: The Honest Lawyer (which I posted on the Photo Challenge: Change http://wp.me/p6jveM-gU ). This was due to the number of law firms that used to operate in the area in 1878. My father had been a local and met up with friends in both pubs.

To enter or see others: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/time/