Popular UK holidays: traditions and origins

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Popular UK holidays: traditions and origins
Popular UK holidays: traditions and origins

Any state has its own traditions. And as befits in such cases, traditions identify the holidays that are celebrated by the state and people. As a rule, the holiday is dedicated to the beginning of some cycle, whether it's Birthday or New Year, and is tied to the date on which this cycle begins.

Holidays in the UK are divided into officially established and the days falling on them are declared days off, and those that do not give a day off, but are solemnly celebrated. In both cases, festive events, concerts or processions are held these days. In the USSR, such processions were called workers' rallies. And, although many grumbled when it was necessary to go to them, but the general good mood arrived in those days among people, sometimes despite adverse weather conditions. But today we will not talk about the USSR, but a state with rich and ancient traditions. More specifically, about the holidays in the UK and the most interesting moments.

London from above

Unbreakable Union

Great Britain is a state on an island,located northwest of continental Europe. Despite the ancient history, the united Kingdom of Great Britain was formed not so long ago, namely in 1707 through the political merger of Scotland and England, which by that time included Wales. Having gone through some ups and downs with Ireland, Great Britain appears before us in its modern form as an association of three independent states. This is eloquently evidenced by the flag of this country, on which the flags of England, Scotland and Wales are superimposed.

Own features

It is interesting that according to the law issued in 1871, the days that are non-working and officially approved are called "banking". At this time, banks and government agencies stopped working. At the time of the adoption of the law, four such days were established. It should be noted that in each country that is part of the United Kingdom, today there are a different number of such days. For example, in England there are eight. The same is true in Wales. But in Scotland there are nine. And in Northern Ireland (which is still part of the UK) there are ten of them. This is such “inequality”.

First things first

So what holidays and traditions are celebrated in the UK? Let's start with official, "banking". It is worth saying that the days falling on these holidays are not only days off, but also paid, and are also added to the annual vacation. However, as in many developed countries.

New Year

Like people all over the world, the British do not deny themselves the pleasure of celebrating the New Year. And this is natural and understandable. Despitefor different chronology, according to which some countries live, the whole world considers the first day of January to be a universal holiday. And whenever possible meets him with a special scope. The inhabitants of the kingdom prefer to spend it with friends, and often make plans for the coming year, making promises to themselves related to them. On the first of January, Londoners and guests of the capital are always in for an unforgettable festive procession, which begins at noon on Parliament Square. Acrobats, dancers, musicians give it a special flavor and cheer up those present.

New Year in London

Good Friday

Friday before Easter. This holiday has religious roots. It starts on the Friday before Easter and lasts until the Monday after Easter. This Monday is also a public holiday. Chocolate eggs and cross-patterned buns are traditional items of exchange on this day.

What holidays are in the UK?

The first Monday of May is a legal holiday for the British and it is timed to coincide with the celebration of the First of May! No, do not think, no May Day, red banners and other Soviet paraphernalia. It's just that the British celebrate spring on this day. Meet with dancing. Traditionally, these are dances around the maypole and morris dances. These traditions are hundreds of years old. And the British honor them. So, for example, there are six styles of Morris dances, each of which has its own school. Accordions, violins, harmonicas are an invariable attribute of these dances, and in the hands of the dancing sticks, scarves and bells. Dancing around Maytrees are dancing around a pillar that represents the earth's axis.

Interestingly, the last Monday of May is also celebrated. But Mondays don't end there. The last Monday in August attracts the attention of many tourists to the UK. On this day, a traditional festive procession is held, comparable in scope to Brazilian carnivals. For those who do not know, the word "holiday" in English in the UK sounds like celebration [celebration].


December 25 is perhaps the most beloved holiday for the entire Western world. And even more so for the British. On this day, Christmas is celebrated. This is the most family holiday for the inhabitants of the country. The traditional festive turkey flaunts on their tables, along with other dishes. And the next day, everyone is waiting for another day off, which is called Boxing Day.

In Scotland, January 2 is added to the above holidays (we know why) and St. Andrew's Day, celebrated by the Scots, which falls on November 30.

Christmas in London

In conclusion

Holidays and traditions of the UK are so diverse that many of them, although not official "banking", are no less revered by the British. One of them is, of course, the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Oddly enough, the birthday of the monarch is celebrated in the UK not on the day of his real birth. It has been celebrated in June since 1908. But not everything is so simple here either. The first, second and third Saturdays of June can be"birthday" of the monarch. What can you do? Weather!

Halloween in London

You can celebrate a few more world-famous holidays in the UK. Valentine's Day (for some time now it has been well known to the inhabitants of Russia). On February 14, it is customary to give Valentines to your loved ones, thereby showing your attitude towards them. April 1st is April Fool's Day for many. And maybe Halloween. On October 31, people try to scare away evil spirits with the help of scary costumes and masks. This holiday combined two ancient ones - the eve of All Saints' Day and the Celtic Samhain. Now you know about all the most interesting holidays in Great Britain.

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