British Traditions: Stir-up Sunday

That’s when the Brits make their Christmas pudding!

It’s five Sundays before Christmas, which means it’s on a different date every year.
This year, Christmas is on a Tuesday so if we count five Sundays backwards, that’s 25th November!

The British prepare their Christmas pudding on Stir-up Sunday and eat it on Christmas Day, on the 25th December, one month later!

A traditional Christmas pudding must contain thirteen ingredients to represent Jesus and his Disciples. Some of these ingredients
are: flour, sugar, eggs, lemon and orange, sultanas, dried fruit, milk, cinnamon, butter, brown beer, and some brandy or rum!

They mix all the ingredients together and finally, they add a coin! Of course, the coin is not to be eaten, but if you find it in your pudding, it’s good luck. When all the ingredients are in, everyone in the family stirs the pudding and makes a wish.

Christmas pudding can be stored for up to three months, so when it is ready, they put it away and wait for Christmas Day to eat it.


Siege of Corfu

220 years and three days ago began the historical Siege of Corfu by a Russo-Ottoman joint fleet to liberate Corfu from Napoleon’s France. After the dissolution of Venice, various lands including Corfu were ceded to the French. The second coalition, which was at war with France, ordered the assembly of a fleet to capture the islands of the Ionian sea.

The attack began early on the 4th November with Russian forces besieging the island with a powerful Russo-Ottoman fleet under the command of admiral Ushakor and with the support of Greek militiamen.

However, the city of Corfu was heavily fortified by all sides and a landing would end up in a massacre for the Russians. The Ottomans were called in and the Russians waited for the landing forces. On the night of 4th November the small island of Lazzareto was abandoned by the French and was quickly occupied by the Russians.

On 13th November a small Russian force landed on Gouvia without facing any resistance. From that time on the Russians began shelling the fortified city of Corfu. Reinforcements came in from the sea, making the French 56-cannon battleship “Généreux” flee from Corfu.

After losing the battleship, the French were now vulnerable.

In February 4,000 Ottomans landed on the island of Corfu to occupy it for strategic reasons. After a four-hour shelling they managed to land. The battle ended with the defeat of the French, although some French escaped by swimming. After the fall of the key strategic island in the Corfiot harbour, the time for an attack had come. On 1st March the Russo-Ottomans began shelling from all sides. The allied forces swiftly took the fortress and San Rocco (which is now a square where people hang out), San Salvatore and San Abraham.

On 3rd March the French surrendered ending the battle.