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English Traditions and Holidays You Need To Know About

Emma Hart

In England everyone enjoys having something to look forward to.  As soon as one holiday finishes, stores flip overnight and out come the next holiday’s seasonal treats and decorations. Holidays tend to be born out of Christian celebrations, but in modern society are celebrated by more than just Christian followers. If you are completely new to the UK, here are some of the main holidays and traditions you need to know about.

Valentine’s Day - 14th Feb


Valentine’s Day is the day to show someone special that you care about them.  High Streets boom with bursts of red roses and heart shaped boxes of chocolates. It’s the perfect time to bring out your romantic side. Valentine’s Day is always held on the 14th of February every year in the UK.

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake day - 9th Feb


Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Tuesday. It is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. Therefore, everyone fills their boots with pancakes on Tuesday and then gives up one of their loves for forty days starting the next day. Shrove Tuesday will take place on the 9th of February in 2016.

Mother’s Day - 6th Mar


Mothering Sunday is the day when we all honour our Mothers. It’s traditional to get your mother a card and present.  Flowers always tend to go down well.  Young children tend to make their mother presents and with the help of Dad, breakfast in bed. Mother’s Day this year is on Sunday the 6th of March.

Easter - 27th Mar


Easter Sunday triggers the end of Lent.  It celebrates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  Children (and adults) are given chocolate Easter eggs from the Easter Bunny. This year Easter Sunday will eb held on the 27th of March.

Father’s Day - 19th Jun


Just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is the day that everyone honours their fathers.  It is also traditional to give Fathers a card and present.Father’s Day in 2016 will take place on the 19th June.

Halloween - 31st Oct


Halloween is a night for horror, and it takes place on the 31st of October every year.  In England, everyone dresses as something scary. Witches and ghosts are common outfits for children. Children go trick or treating in the early evening for sweets and chocolate.

Bonfire Night/ Guy Fawkes Night - 5th Nov


Guy Fawkes Night is the night where everyone goes to watch fireworks displays.  This night marks Guy Fawkes’ foiled plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  At the displays a ‘guy’ is burnt on a bonfire. Fireworks/bonfire night is always held on the 5th of November every year in the UK.

Remembrance Sunday - 13th Nov


At 11 o’clock a.m. on Remembrance Sunday everyone takes a minute in silence to remember those who fought for in the world wars and other wars since. Prior to the day everyone pins poppies to their chest to show support for the veterans and to also raise money for charity. Remembrance Sunday 2016 will be on Sunday the 13th of November.

Christmas - 25th Dec


Christmas is by far the biggest holiday in England.  Traditionally, the build up to Christmas starts from December the first when people follow the advent period.  Although, many people start planning for Christmas a lot earlier.  People put up a Christmas tree in their front room and decorate it with tinsel and baubles.

Santa or Father Christmas delivers presents on Christmas Eve in return for a mince pie and a tipple of alcohol (and a carrot for the reindeer). Families all get together, exchange presents, eat a large dinner of turkey with all the trimmings and they watch the Queens’s speech on the TV. Christmas Day is always on the 25th of December in the UK, and Boxing Day is on the 26th December.

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