Christmas crackers are a Christmas favourite. They were first made in 1850 by a London sweet maker called Tom Smith. One night, while he was sitting in front of his log fire, he became very interested by the sparks and cracks coming from the flames. Suddenly, he thought what a fun idea it would be, if his sweets and toys could be opened with a crack when their fancy wrappers were pulled in half.
The Crackers that are used today are short cardboard tubes wrapped in colourful paper. There is normally a Cracker next to each plate on the Christmas dinner table. When the crackers are pulled - with a bang! - a colourful party hat, a toy or gift and a festive joke falls out! The party hats look like crowns and it is thought that they symbolise the crowns that might have been worn by the Wise Men.