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Refresh your wardrobe with warm and neutral camel shades this winter

TAKE a break from all the shouty sequins and in-your-face party gear that currently dominates the high street stores. A dose of a warm, neutral shade, such as camel, will be like a breath of fresh air for your wardrobe. Here, Deputy Fashion Editor CLEMMIE FIELDSEND shares her cream of the crop. TIP – Add […]

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TAKE a break from all the shouty sequins and in-your-face party gear that currently dominates the high street stores.

A dose of a warm, neutral shade, such as camel, will be like a breath of fresh air for your wardrobe.

Here, Deputy Fashion Editor CLEMMIE FIELDSEND shares her cream of the crop.

TIP – Add a belt to cinch your waist

Dress, £25.99, Zara; belt, £12.99, New Look; earrings, £8, River Island

TIP – Jumper dresses and over-sized coats make for sexy style

Coat, £179, Maison de Nimes at House of Fraser; jumper dress, £13, Primark; earrings, £9.50, Autograph at Marks & Spencer

TIP – Various camel shades make a super chic look

Coat, £95, Topshop; jumper, £34.90, Uniqlo; culottes, £39.99, Zara; bag, £95.99, Zara; earrings, £8, River Island; shoes, £49.95, Gap

TIP – Match  roll neck and fine-knit skirt

Polo neck, £38, River Island; skirt, £49.95, Benetton; earrings, £7.50, Marks & Spencer

TIP – Teddy textures are big news

Teddy coat, £85, Topshop; polo neck, £9.99, New Look; earrings, £8, River Island
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Fabulous

Domino’s launch a 1,822-calorie Chocoholic Dessert Pizza topped with marshmallows and hot fudge (but there’s a catch)

DOMINO’S has combined two of the food greats – pizza and chocolate – to create The Chocoholic Dessert Pizza. But the fast food chain’s sweet new treat, which packs in a staggering 1,822 calories, is currently only available in Australia. The Sun Online has contacted the takeaway giant to see if the sugar-laden pud will […]

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DOMINO’S has combined two of the food greats – pizza and chocolate – to create The Chocoholic Dessert Pizza.

But the fast food chain’s sweet new treat, which packs in a staggering 1,822 calories, is currently only available in Australia.

The Chocoholic Dessert Pizza comes in at a staggering 1,822 calories
Dominos

The Sun Online has contacted the takeaway giant to see if the sugar-laden pud will be making its way to the UK.

The Chocoholic Dessert Pizza has a milk chocolate base and is topped with chocolate brownie chunks, mini marshmallows, and white and milk chocolate and buttons.

A rich chocolate fudge sauce is drizzled over each slice of the £5 pizza.

Nick Knight, Domino’s CEO Australia and New Zealand, said the pizza is going to “meet the highest standards of chocoholics around the country”.

The sweet treat is topped with marshmallows, hot fudge sauce and brownie pieces
Dominos

Earlier this year, we revealed that Domino’s had added the Lotta-Chocca Pizza to its British menu.

It’s made up of a six-inch Domino’s dough base, topped with a generous helping of melted milk chocolate.

The Lotta-Chocca Pizza costs £4.99 and is intended for four people to share.

One serving of the choccy pizza contains 204 – and if you were to scoff the whole lot yourself, well that’s an eye-watering 816 calories.

Meanwhile, we previously revealed the 12 Domino’s and Papa John’s secrets you need to know… from money saving tips to things you never knew about takeaway delivery.

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Christmas 2016

Where did the term ‘Christmas’ came from, what does it mean and why do we shorten it to Xmas?

MANY of us are gearing up for the Christmas season, eagerly anticipating the festive food, excessive boozing and being unashamedly skint at the end of December. But ever wondered what the word “Christmas” actually means, or where it came from? Here’s all you need to know… Where does the term “Christmas” come from and what does […]

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MANY of us are gearing up for the Christmas season, eagerly anticipating the festive food, excessive boozing and being unashamedly skint at the end of December.

But ever wondered what the word “Christmas” actually means, or where it came from? Here’s all you need to know…

Christmas for many of us means a great deal of eating, drinking and spending too much money
Getty Images

Where does the term “Christmas” come from and what does it mean?

Most of us would assume it originates from the word Christ, as the whole idea of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus (no, it’s not just about the presents).

To a point that is the case – the word is a shortened form of “Christ’s mass”, or “Cristes Maesse” as it was first recorded in 1038.

This was followed by the term Cristes-messe in 1131, according to the The Catholic Encyclopedia.

The term “Christ” – or Crīst as it originally read – comes from the Greek word Khrīstos, a translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, which means “anointed”.

Naturally the first part of the word Christmas derives from the word 'Christ'
Naturally the first part of the word Christmas derives from the word ‘Christ’
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The second part of Christmas – maesse – is a version of the Latin word missa, the celebration of the Eucharist tradition of eating bread and drinking wine in memory of Jesus.

This is also called Holy Communion and the Lord’s Supper.

When did we start celebrating Christmas?

Interestingly, early Christians actively rejected the celebration of Christ’s birth as they saw birthdays as a pagan ritual, followed in the bible by figures like the Pharaoh.

Easter and Pentecost (celebrated seven weeks after Easter to mark the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ) were the main occasions in the Christian calendar for ecclesiastical feasts until midway through the fourth century, when Christmas and Epiphany were added.

Why do we often refer to Christmas as Xmas?
Why do we often refer to Christmas as Xmas?
Alamy

December 25 was then established as the Nativity Feast Day (not necessarily the day Jesus was born – but that’s another story) and the official ‘Nativity Mass’ was the first Mass of the day, held at 9am.

As time passed the celebration of Christmas became more popular – and so too did the liturgical practices that went with it.

Christmas Mass became a central fixture in the church calendar, which led to the day becoming known as Christ’s Mass by the 11th century.

Why is Christmas shortened to Xmas?

It turns out we’ve got the Greeks to thank for that.

As we mentioned earlier, the word Khrīstos (the origin of the word Christ) appears as “Χριστός” when written in Greek.

The abbreviation Xmas is based on the first letter – chi, which appears as X – followed by “mas”; a shortened version of Mass.

There is an alternative theory that the use of Xmas stems from an attempt by some to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by removing the word Christ, but it’s use dates all the way back to the 16th century.

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Christmas 2017

19 of the strangest Christmas traditions from around the world – from deep-fried caterpillars to the Catalonian ‘pooing’ man

WE ALL have our treasured Christmas traditions, whether it’s leaving a mince pie out for Santa or watching the Queen’s speech with a hearty glass of mulled wine. But in other parts of the world, typical yuletide celebrations can be a touch on the unusual side. Here we’ve rounded up 19 of the strangest Christmas traditions […]

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WE ALL have our treasured Christmas traditions, whether it’s leaving a mince pie out for Santa or watching the Queen’s speech with a hearty glass of mulled wine.

But in other parts of the world, typical yuletide celebrations can be a touch on the unusual side. Here we’ve rounded up 19 of the strangest Christmas traditions from across the globe…

Some Christmas traditions from around the world make lighting the pudding seem tame

The Krampus – Germany, Austria and eastern Europe

If you misbehave as a child in the run-up to Christmas in this country, the worst you can expect is a lump of coal in your stocking.

But if you’re a kid in Krampus territory, be afraid.

The horned figure, often described as half-goat, half-demon, apparently preys on naughty youngsters on the evening of December 5, armed with rusty chains and bells.

He’s so creepy he was banned in Austria in the 1930s for being too, well, terrifying.

Watch out for the creepy Krampus!
Watch out for the creepy Krampus!
Rex Features

The “pooing” man – Catalonia

We all know three wise men visited the baby Jesus – but in Catalan tradition there’s an extra chap on the scene (though his gift leaves a lot to be desired).

The man in question is a Caganer – a charming figurine of a peasant man wearing the Catalan red cap with his trousers down taking a poo.

The name “El Caganer” literally means “the crapper” or “the s*****r”.

The Catalonians’ obsession with festive defecating doesn’t stop there – there’s also the Caga Tio, a “pooping” wooden log (pardon the pun) with a painted face and two front legs.

It appears in homes on December 8 every year and is ‘fed’ by children until Christmas Day, where it’s beaten up and ‘poops’ out presents, which are usually the goodies it’s ‘consumed’.

Hunt the Wren – The Isle of Man

If you go out for an afternoon stroll on Boxing Day in the Isle of Man, you may come across a gang of men and women singing and banging sticks.

Don’t panic – this is the centuries old Celtic tradition of Hunt the Wren.

Originally it was quite a bloodthirsty ritual, where gangs would scour the countryside looking for the tiny “sacred” bird to trap and kill it as a sacrifice, before it was plucked and buried in the local church with much pomp and ceremony.

The Caganer is a figurine of a peasant man wearing the Catalan red cap with his trousers down taking a poo who crops up in the Catalan nativity scene
The Caganer is a figurine of a peasant man wearing the Catalan red cap with his trousers down taking a poo who crops up in the Catalan nativity scene
Alamy

These days it’s a more humane affair, with the wren represented by an artificial bird which is the centrepiece for a “bush” – two wooden hoops placed on top of a pole, covered with ribbons and evergreens – which is carried from house to house.

One theory as to why the wren is targeted for ‘revenge’ is that it’s the reincarnation of an enchantress who lured Manx men to their deaths.

Eating raw whale skin with blubber and mouldy birds – Greenland

Before you ask, this isn’t buying a turkey on sell-by the previous year and cooking it up when it’s way out of date.

The mouldy bird “delicacy” in Greenland is called kiviak.

It’s made with a small bird called in auk which has been preserved in the hollowed-out body of a seal, buried for several months, and then eaten once it’s decomposed. Mmm.

Another treat on the menu is mattak, made from the skin and blubber of a whale and usually eaten raw – though sometimes it’s deep-fried and munched on with soy sauce.

Swapping baubles for spider webs – Ukraine

The Ukranian custom of adorning your Christmas tree with a fake spider and web is believed to bring good luck and stems from an old wive’s tale about a poor woman who couldn’t afford decorations.

The story goes, she woke up the next morning to find a spider had covered it in a glittering web.

In Ukraine, people decorate their Christmas trees with spider webs
In Ukraine, people decorate their Christmas trees with spider webs
Getty Images

Roller-skating to church – Venezuela

In the capital there’s a ‘wheelly’ fun tradition which involves pretty much the entire city roller skating to early morning church services throughout the Christmas period.

They even close the roads off specially to allow for the unconventional commute.

According to Hispanic Culture Online, children are put to bed earlier than normal the night before to give them enough strength to wake up and attend the Mass.

Afterwards, those who attended apparently all go out, eat tostados and drink coffee.

In Venezuela people roller skate to early morning church services throughout the Christmas period
In Venezuela people roller skate to early morning church services throughout the Christmas period
Getty Images

Hiding the brooms – Norway

Norwegians don’t take any chances on Christmas Eve.

Apparently the night is renowned as a prime broom-joyriding time for evil witches and spirits, who may help themselves if yours isn’t hidden from sight.

Traditionally families squirrel away their brooms before they go to bed.

Filling the shoe – Germans

German children leave a shoe outside the house on December 5th which is then filled with sweets overnight.

Naughty children awake to find a tree branch in the shoe instead!

Killer kitty – Iceland

You’d better hope you’re the one with nine lives if you come into contact with this furious feline while when you’re not looking your best.

The Jólakötturinn, or Yule Cat, is a monster from Icelandic folklore who lurks in the snow and eats people who are wearing scruffy clothes.

Apparently the pussy dates back to medieval times and was a way to motivate wool workers during autumn, ahead of the chilly Scandinavian winter.

If you worked hard, you got new clothes – if you didn’t, risk the wrath of the Yule Cat.

Beware the Yule Cat - especially if you're wearing old clothes
Beware the Yule Cat – especially if you’re wearing old clothes
Getty Images

Shoe tossing – Czech Republic

Feeling lonely this Christmas?

Why not take a leaf out of Czech womens’ books and try this clever trick to see what lies in store for your love life in the coming year?

Standing with their backs to their front doors, unmarried ladies toss their shoes over their shoulders.

If one lands with its toe pointing towards the door, the woman will supposedly get married within the next 12 months.

Night of the radishes – Mexico

Mmm, who doesn’t love a nice juicy radish with their Christmas lunch?

The Night of the Radishes (Noche de Rábanos in Spanish) is an annual event held in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, where people carve oversized radishes into scenes, with the best ones receiving prizes.

The contest now attracts more than 100 competitors and thousands of visitors.

People flock to Mexico for the Night of the Radishes festival
People flock to Mexico for the Night of the Radishes festival
Getty Images

Santa, and machine guns – Arizona

It may sound like the latest offering from the team behind the film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but this is a genuine Christmas tradition in the American state.

Since 2010 Arizona’s Scottsdale Gun Club has hosted what may well be the oddest selfie opportunity of the holiday season – a snap of you with jolly Santa, and an AK-47.

Club spokesman Ron Kennedy said in 2011: “People decide to celebrate the holidays in unique ways.

“Some choose to do it with Santa at the mall, others in front of their tree.

“Our members and customers like to do it with ‘Santa and Machine Guns’.”

KFC Bargain Buckets for Christmas – Japan

Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan, but when a group of foreigners tried and failed to find turkey in the country on Christmas Day and opted for chicken instead, KFC saw a gap in the market.

Thanks to the successful ‘Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!’ (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974, Japan now can’t get enough festive bargain buckets.

KFC is a popular choice for Christmas lunch in Japan
KFC is a popular choice for Christmas lunch in Japan
Getty Images

Wearing red knickers – Spain

OK, so this is actually a New Year tradition, but that’s still covered in the 12 days of Christmas.

It’s a Spanish ritual to wear red undies on the last night of the year in order to bring you good luck.

Though one little Valencian village – La Font de Figuera – has gone a step further.

Here it’s tradition to run through the streets wearing nothing but your scarlet lingerie – and probably a red face to match.

Hide the pickle – Germany

It’s a very old Christmas Eve tradition in Germany to hide a pickle (of the ornament variety) in the branches of the Christmas tree.

In the morning, the child who finds it first gets a special gift from Santa, while the first adult traditionally gets good luck for the coming year.

Mmm, deep-fried caterpillars for Christmas lunch, anyone?
Mmm, deep-fried caterpillars for Christmas lunch, anyone?
Alamy

Deep-fried caterpillars – South Africa

Rather than pass around the cheese board on Christmas Day, South Africans choose to snack on caterpillars from the Emperor moth.

Although it sounds like a Bushtucker trial, they do at least deep-fry them first.

Parading the skull – Wales

This sounds like something out of Hamlet, but it’s a Christmas tradition in some Welsh villages to parade through the streets bearing the skull of a mare on the end of a stick.

The ancient custom is called the Mari Lwyd and is used to mark the passing of the darkest days of midwinter.

Santa’s postcode – Canada

How cool is this?

In Canada, the postal system genuinely recognises the address Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, HOHOHO.

Any letters received bearing this address are not only opened – they’re also replied to!

Santa has his own postcode in Canada
Santa has his own postcode in Canada
Getty Images

Loksa fun with pudding – Slovakia

While a sixpence in the pudding is a good luck token in Britain, Slovakia has a much messier tradition regarding dessert to secure future happiness.

It’s tradition for the man of the house to hurl a spoonful of traditional loksa (made from poppy seeds, honey, milk and bread) at the ceiling.

The more that sticks, the better your luck.

 

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