Know Your Stuff | British Festivities/Holidays

New Year’s Day – January 1

Celebrates the new year by having a first footer step over the threshold.


Twelfth Night – January 5

Celebrated the night before Epiphany, it is tradition to take down your Christmas tree to avoid having bad luck.

Candlemas Day – February 2

This day marks the middle of the winter season – from the shortest day of the year to the Spring Equinox. This day also celebrates the cleansing of Mary.

Valentine’s Day – February 14

This day is celebrated with the giving of gifts, as well as writing verses of love in newspapers and magazines for your special someone.

St. David’s Day (Wales) – March 1

St. David’s day is to celebrate the man, Dewi Sant, who spread Christianity throughout Wales.


St. Patrick’s Day – March 17

Though this is an Irish holiday, the English will also celebrate with parades and parties.

Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) – Day Before Lent – March/April

Many celebrate this day by eating pancakes, as they contain many ingredients that are inappropriate for lent.

Lent – March/April

The first day of lent is 40 days before Easter. Many people give up something they enjoy during lent.

Mothering Sunday – 4th Sunday of Lent – March/April

Mothering Sunday is a day where children generally honor their mothers by giving them a gift and a card.

Maundy Thursday – Thursday Before Easter – March/April

Remembered as the day Jesus had his last supper.

Easter – March/April

Many people go to church on this sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This day is also celebrated by the giving of eggs.

April Fool’s Day – April 1

Much like other countries with this holiday, it is a day where people play practical jokes on each other.

St. George’s Day (England’s National Day) – April 23

Celebrating with parades, some people celebrate St. George who is said to have defeated a dragon.

May Day – May 1

This day is celebrated beautifully with may poles and flowers.

Trooping the Colours – Sometime in June

Trooping the Colours is celebrated every year with the British Army and the regiments of the Commonwealth performing a ceremony.

Wimbledon Tennis Tournament – Sometime in June

People attend the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament.

Swan Upping – Third Week of July

Many celebrate this day by going to the River Thames and watching a procession of swans and traditional boats.

Notting Hill Carnival – Last Monday in August

On this day, there is a street festival that millions go to see and participate in every year.

Harvest Festival – On or Near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon

A day to celebrate the growth of crops on the land.

Halloween – October 31

A day where people dress up, bob for apples and have bonfires.

Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Day) – November 5

This day is in celebration of the failed gunpowder attempt to blow up the house of Parliament in 1605. It is celebrated with fireworks at night.

Remembrance Day – November 11

This day recognizes the end of WWI. Many people wear a poppy in their pocket in remembrance.

St. Andrew’s Day – November 30

Advent – December 1-24

On the first 24 days of December, Advent celebrates the coming of Jesus.

Christmas – December 25

This day is celebrated by friends and family by giving gifts and going to a special Sunday service at church.

Boxing Day – December 26

Traditionally, this is the day that servants were able to celebrate Christmas, as they were serving their masters the day before.


About musingsofananglophile

Fran. 20. Anglophile. Daydreamer. English Literature Student.

Posted on July 19, 2012, in Festivities, History/Curiosities, London and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is brilliant, and definitely informative as someone who wants to live there some day. Love it! πŸ˜€

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