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
This is the celebrated national day of Scotland.
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.