Traditions and holidays of Great Britain
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Saint Valentine’s Day February 14 Was started in the time of Roman Empire. Is dedicated to St. Valentine. People send a card to someone they love, like, fancy or admire.
The Boat Race In March A rowing race between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. On the river Thames in London (7,2 km).
Pancake Day In March The last day before Lent. Pancake race-running while holding a pancake in a frying pan. Competitors have to throw it in the air and catch it again in the pan.
Good Friday The Friday before Easter. The church marks the death of Christ. British usually eat hot-cross buns, which are marked on top with cross.
Easter In April. The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ Schools are closed for two weeks. People give each other chocolate eggs that are wrapped in silver paper.
The London Marathon One of the biggest marathons in the world. Each year about 30,000 people start the race and about 25,000 finish. Raise money for charity.
May Day May 1 A pagan festival to celebrate the end of winter and welcome summer. Children dance around the maypole and sing songs.
Chelsea Flower Show In May Britain’s most important flower and garden show. Thousands of people come to see the prize flowers and specially built gardens.
Midsummer Day June 24 Summer solstice. People stay up until midnight to welcome in midsummer day. When the fires die down, men run or jump through it to bring good luck.
Trooping The Colour The second Saturday in June. Celebrates the Queen’s official birthday. Lots of marching, military music and the soldiers are dressed in colourful uniforms.
Saint Swithin’s Day July 15 Saint Swithin was England’s Bishop of Winchester. 40 days of bad weather will follow if it rains on this day.
Wimbledon The last week of July and the first week of June. At Wimbledon in South-West London. One of the four great world tennis championships and the only one which is played on grass.
Notting Hill Carnival The last weekend in August. Takes place in Notting Hill. People dress up in fabulous costumes. Steel bands play African and Caribbean music.
Harvest Festivals In September. A Christian festival. It was held to say thank you to God for a good harvest. Churches are decorated with fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Halloween October 31 A pagan festival celebrates the return of the souls that visit their former houses. People dress up as witches, ghosts etc. Houses are decorated with pumpkins.
Guy Fawke’s Night November 5 He was a terrorist. The day marks the discovery of a plot to blow up Parliament in 1605. People make models of him and burn them on big bonfires.
Christmas Day December 25 Religious ceremony commemorating the birth of Christ. Children wake up early to find presents in their stockings. Traditional Christmas tree and dinner.
New Year’s Eve December 31 Traditionally Scottish celebration. At midnight everybody joins hands and sings Auld Lang Syne.