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HOLIDAYS AND TRADITIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN

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HOLIDAYS AND TRADITIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN

 

 

 

They are (2012):


1 Jan - New Year's Day

2 Jan - New Year's Day Holiday

6 Apr - Good Friday

8 Apr - Easter Sunday

9 Apr - Easter Monday

7 May - Early May Bank Holiday

4 Jun - Spring Bank Holiday

5 Jun - The Queen's Diamond Jubilee

27 Aug - Summer Bank Holiday

31 Oct - Halloween

5 Nov - Guy Fawkes Day

25 Dec - Christmas Day

26 Dec - Boxing Day

They are (2013):


1 Jan - New Year's Day

29 Mar - Good Friday

31 Mar - Easter Sunday

1 Apr - Easter Monday

6 May - Early May Bank Holiday

27 May - Spring Bank Holiday

26 Aug - Summer Bank Holiday

31 Oct - Halloween

5 Nov - Guy Fawkes Day

25 Dec - Christmas Day

26 Dec - Boxing Day

 

(Public holidays in Britain are called bank holidays. The banks as well as most of the offices and shops are closed.)

 

 

New Year's Day in United Kingdom

(1 JAN)

 

 

New Year's Day marks the start of a new year in the Gregorian calendar, the official calendar used in the United Kingdom.

  1. It marks the start of the New Year in the Gregorian calendar.
  2. However, there are some special customs, particularly in Scotland.
  3. On New Year's Eve (December 31), just before midnight, many people turn on a television to show pictures of one of the four clocks on the Clock Tower on the Palace of Westminster, or Houses of Parliament, in London counting down the last minutes of the old year.
  4. At midnight, as the New Year begins, the chimes of Big Ben, the bell inside the Clock Tower, are broadcast to mark the start of the New Year.
  5. Champagne or other sparkling wines are often served at this point.
  6. Many people hold parties at home or go out to pubs or night clubs.
  7. These parties often continue into the early hours of the morning.
  8. Many people make New Year's resolutions.


 

 

Good Friday in United Kingdom

(just before Easter Sunday)

 

 


  1. Good Friday is just before Easter Sunday and is a public holiday in the United Kingdom.
  2. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is a public holiday in the United Kingdom.
  3. It falls just before Easter Sunday, which is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox.
  4. People who regularly attend church will probably attend a special church service on Good Friday.
  5. For other people, it is a day off work in the spring.
  6. Some people use the day to work in their gardens, while others take advantage of the long Easter weekend and the school holidays at this time of year to take a short vacation.
  7. Many Catholics do not eat meat on Good Friday.
  8. This means that, in some areas, it is common to eat fish on this day.
  9. It is traditional for all denominations to eat hot cross buns.
  10. These are made of leavened dough, to which sugar, currants and spices have been added.
  11. The top of the bun is marked with a cross made of flour and water paste or rice paper.
  12. The buns are eaten as they are or split in half, toasted and spread with butter.
  13. There is a traditional rhyme about these buns, which is often used to teach children basic music notes.

 

 

 

Easter Sunday in United Kingdom

(the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox)

 


  1. Easter Sunday in the United Kingdom is traditionally about Jesus Christ's resurrection from death, according to Christian belief.
  2. However, many people use the day to decorate Easter eggs, share chocolate eggs and participate in Easter egg competitions.
  3. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.
  4. It is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox.
  5. People who regularly attend church often attend special services on Easter Sunday.
  6. These may be longer or more elaborate than on other Sundays.
  7. In churches, it is generally a festive occasion with an emphasis on the dawn of a new life. In Battersea Park in London, there is a large Easter parade.
  8. Easter is an important time for the confectionery industry.
  9. In the United Kingdom, Easter eggs are often large hollow chocolate eggs filled with bonbons or other candy.
  10. The eggs are covered in decorative foil and packaged in elaborate boxes.
  11. Many people celebrate Easter Sunday by decorating, exchanging or searching for eggs.
  12. The eggs may be fresh or boiled eggs laid by chickens or other birds, chocolate eggs or eggs made of other materials.
  13. Many children believe that the Easter bunny or rabbit comes to their house or garden to hide eggs.
  14. They may search for these eggs or find that the Easter bunny has left them in an obvious place.
  15. Some businesses and attractions hold Easter egg hunts.
  16. These can be competitions to see who can collect the most eggs.
  17. In some parts of the United Kingdom, people roll hard boiled down slopes.
  18. In other places, there is a game in which people roll hard boiled eggs against other peoples' eggs.
  19. The winner is the person whose egg remains whole.
  20. After the game, the eggs are eaten. In some parts of Scotland, fondant filled chocolate eggs about the size of a hen's egg are covered in batter and deep fried.

 

 


Easter Monday in United Kingdom

(the day after Easter Sunday)

 


  1. Easter Monday occurs after Easter Sunday, which commemorates Jesus Christ's resurrection, according to Christian belief. It is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but not Scotland.
  2. For many people, Easter Monday is the last day in a four day weekend.
  3. If people have been on a short vacation or have visited family or friends, who live some distance away, they often travel back on this day.
  4. For other people, it is just a welcome day off to enjoy the spring weather or work on their garden or home improvements.
  5. In some places, there are egg rolling competitions, Easter bonnet parades, displays of traditional Morris dancing fairs or special sports matches.
  6. In Biddenden, Kent, special cakes are distributed in memory of conjoined twins born in 1100, who lived to the age of 34.
  7. In Leicestershire, the villages of Hallaton and Medbourne hold a bottle kicking match.
  8. It has been held at least since the early eighteenth century, but its roots may be in pagan times.
  9. The event starts with the three bottles and a hare pie, which are actually wooden barrels, a parade through the two villages.
  10. Two of the barrels are filled with beer. The third is actually solid wood.
  11. The actual game consists of the two teams taking turns to get the three barrels across two streams a mile apart, by any means possible.
  12. The game is quite rough and participants can leave the game for refreshments at any time.
  13. The winning village gets to take the filled barrels to the local pub.

 

 

 

Early May Bank Holiday in United Kingdom

(on the first Monday of May)

 


  1. May Day, or the Early May Bank holiday, is on the first Monday of May each year.
  2. The first Monday of May is a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.
  3. It called May Day in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  4. It is known as the Early May Bank Holiday in Scotland.
  5. It probably originated as a Roman festival honoring the beginning of the summer season (in the northern hemisphere).
  6. In more recent times, it has been as a day to campaign for and celebrate workers' rights.
  7. In many places, the first day or the first Monday in May is celebrated as the start of the summer season.
  8. Events are held to celebrate the end of the winter season and the fertility and hope of the approaching summer.
  9. A particularly widespread tradition is that of maypole dancing.
  10. Children, particularly girls, dance around a tall pole, from which ribbons are suspended.
  11. The aim of the dance is to create a decorative pattern on the pole with the ribbons.
  12. Many schools, particularly in rural areas, organize displays of maypole dancing.
  13. Other traditions include making floral garlands, decorating houses with flowers and leaves and crowning a May queen as a living image of the Roman goddess Flora.
  14. In some areas, girls go out very early to wash their faces in the morning dew.
  15. This is supposed to make them very beautiful in the coming year.
  16. In Rochester, there is a festival of chimney sweeps. Traditionally, May 1 was the only day in the year that they did not have to work.
  17. In Derbyshire, villagers decorate, or dress, the wells with flowers.
  18. May 1 or the first Monday in May is also a day for large marches, particularly London, to celebrate and demand rights for workers.
  19. Many aspects of these marches are organized by the trade unions. Some people travel very large distances to join in the marches.
  20. In some years, the marches have ended violently, but in recent times they have remained peaceful.

 

 

 

Spring Bank Holiday in United Kingdom

(the last Monday of May)

 


  1. The spring bank holiday in the United Kingdom is on the last Monday of May each year.
  2. The spring bank holiday, also known as the late May bank holiday, is a time for people in the United Kingdom to have a day off work or school.
  3. It falls on the last Monday of May but it used to be on the Monday after Pentecost.
  4. For many people the spring bank holiday is a pleasant day off work or school.
  5. Some people choose to take a short trip or vacation.
  6. Others use the time to walk in the country, catch up with family and friends, visit garden centers or do home maintenance.
  7. However, in some parts of the United Kingdom, there are some customs associated with this day.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in United Kingdom

(5 Jun)

 


 

  1. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday was held in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2012.
  2. This event honored the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II in the UK.
  3. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrated 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
  4. Celebrations were held across the UK during the first week of June in 2012.
  5. Many people had a day off work or school to celebrate the bank holiday on June 5, 2012.

 

 

 

Summer Bank Holiday in United Kingdom

(the first Monday of August)

 

 

  1. The summer bank holiday is on the first Monday of August in Scotland and the last Monday of August in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  2. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the summer bank holiday is on the last Monday of August.
  3. In Scotland it is on the first Monday of August.
  4. This day marks the end of the summer holidays for many people who return to work or school in the autumn.
  5. For many people, the summer bank holiday marks the end of the summer.
  6. Some people take trips or short vacations during the three day weekend.
  7. For others, it is another opportunity to work in their gardens or carry out home improvements.
  8. In London the Notting Hill Carnival is held.
  9. This street festival is best known for its exuberant costumes, dancing and music played by steel drum bands.
  10. The festival has been held every year since 1965 and was originally organized by immigrants from the Caribbean, particularly Trinidad, to the United Kingdom.
  11. It started as a protest against the racism, poor working and housing conditions that they suffered.
  12. Today, the Notting Hill Carnival is a multicultural celebration, attracting over two million people.
  13. It is thought to be the second largest street carnival in the world.
  14. In the past, a considerable amount of public disorder occurred round the event, but it has been calmer in recent years.

 

 

 

Halloween in United Kingdom

(31 Oct)

 


  1. Halloween is a holiday annually celebrated on October 31.
  2. Some people hold Halloween parties on or around this date, where the hosts and guests often dress up as skeletons, ghosts or other scary figures.
  3. Common symbols of Halloween include pumpkins, bats and spiders.
  4. Halloween celebrations in the United Kingdom include parties where guests are often expected to arrive in a costume to reflect the day's theme.
  5. Other people gather together to watch horror films, either at home or at a cinema.
  6. Some children go trick-or-treating.
  7. This means that they dress up and go to other peoples' houses, knocking on the door for treat of sweets or a snack.
  8. Those who do not give out a treat may be tricked with a joke instead.
  9. Halloween has its origins in pagan festivals in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
  10. Many stores and businesses see Halloween as a chance to promote products with a Halloween theme.

 

 

 

Guy Fawkes Day in United Kingdom

(5 Nov)

 

 

  1. Guy Fawkes Night is annually held on November 5.
  2. It is sometimes known as Bonfire Night and marks the anniversary of the discovery of a plot organized by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605.
  3. Many people light bonfires and set off fireworks.
  4. Many people light bonfires and set off fireworks.
  5. As it is the end of autumn, it is the ideal opportunity to burn garden rubbish.
  6. Some light small bonfires in their own gardens, while other light larger ones in a communal space.
  7. In some towns and cities, the municipality organizes a bonfire and professional firework display in a park.
  8. These tend to be very popular.
  9. Due to its proximity to Halloween, many people organize a combined party for Guy Fawkes Night and Halloween.
  10. These parties often include elements from both festivals, such as a bonfire and dressing up in spooky outfits.
  11. Popular foods include toffee apples, bonfire toffee and potatoes baked in the ashes of the fire.
  12. Guy Fawkes, a Catholic, was arrested, tortured and executed for his part in the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
  13. Hence many Catholics are more restrained in their celebration of this day.
  14. In addition, many injuries and even deaths occur as a result of fireworks being used incorrectly.
  15. For this reason, many safety campaigners call for the sale of fireworks to the public to be restricted even more than at present and for more professional displays to be organized.

 

 

 

Christmas Day in United Kingdom

(25 Dec)

 

 

  1. Christmas Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom on December 25.
  2. It traditionally celebrates Jesus Christ's birth but many aspects of this holiday have pagan origins.
  3. Christmas is a time for many people to give and receive gifts and prepare special festive meals.
  4. What do people do?
  5. Prior to Christmas Day, people decorate their homes and gardens prior to Christmas Day.
  6. These decorations may include:
  7. Christmas trees.
  8. Small colored fairy lights.
  9. Leaves and berries from holly trees and mistletoe bushes.
  10. Various other decorations with rich colors that spark the Christmas mood.
  11. In many towns and cities, the shopping streets are also decorated with lights and large pine trees.
  12. In some places a Nativity scene is arranged.
  13. This illustrates the story of Jesus' birth using statues or actors and live animals.
  14. Many churches hold special services in the night before Christmas Day.
  15. Many people spend Christmas Day with family members, with whom they exchange gifts and cards.
  16. Many children wake up to find a sock or stocking filled with small gifts on their bed .
  17. These have supposedly been brought by a mythical figure called 'Father Christmas' or 'Santa Claus'.
  18. He travels in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and enters houses by climbing down the chimney.
  19. He hopes to enjoy a small snack of mince pies and brandy at each house.
  20. He supposedly travels so fast that he can deliver presents to all children in one night.
  21. Although some in some stories elves help him with his work.
  22. Later in the day, people may attend special church services, even if they do not usually go to church.
  23. Nearly everyone prepares and eats a special meal.
  24. This often includes roast turkey, potatoes and parsnips, and other vegetables.
  25. After the main course, Christmas pudding is often eaten.
  26. This is a heavy steamed, dense, cake-like pudding filled with dried fruit and nuts.
  27. Burning brandy is often poured over it as it is served, giving a spectacular effect.
  28. Mince pies are also popular on Christmas Day.
  29. They are sweet pastry cases filled with a mixture of dried fruit, fat and alcohol.

 

 

Boxing Day in United Kingdom

(26 Dec)

 

Boxing Day in the United Kingdom is the day after Christmas Day and falls on December 26.

Traditionally, it was a day when employers distributed money, food, cloth or other valuable goods to their employees.

In modern times, it is an important day for sporting events and the start of the post-Christmas sales.


Boxing Day is traditionally day for sporting events such as fox hunting with dogs (which is now outlawed).

  1. For many people Boxing Day is a time to recover from the excesses of Christmas day and an opportunity to spent time with family, friends and neighbors.
  2. Some people choose to go for a walk in the countryside, while other flock to the post-Christmas sales in large stores that often begin on Boxing Day.
  3. Some people even spend part of the night and early morning queuing to get into the stores when the best bargains are still available.
  4. Boxing Day is also an important day for sports events.
  5. Traditionally, using dogs to hunt for foxes was a popular sport amongst the upper classes.
  6. Pictures of hunters on horseback dressed in red coats and surrounded by hunting dogs are often seen as symbolic of Boxing Day.
  7. Nowadays, fox hunting is outlawed. Horse racing and football (soccer) are now popular sports.