HJDS Travel Group

Holiday Celebrations In Britain

by on Mar.25, 2012, under Vacations

  • Sumo

Just as North America celebrates many religious holidays such as Christmas and Good Friday, Britain does as well. There are special holidays in Britain that come from historic events as well as some other traditions that allow for a long weekend in the spring and summer months.

The United Kingdom refers to their main holidays as Bank Holidays. Bank Holidays are a day off for most of the working population and students. When a Bank Holiday falls on a weekend, when many are off work already, the day will be celebrated on the Monday. Several cities also host games of Cricket on these days.

The Battle of Boyne took place on July 12th in 1690. This day is also recognized as Orangeman’s Day. The Battle of Boyne marks a day in history that William II of England conquered the catholic King James II. Annually on July 12th, Birmingham and Liverpool host Orange Day marches. Men and women who participate in the march wear black suits or dresses with orange sashes.

Orangeman’s Day is a main holiday within the UK, with Northern Ireland declaring it a Banking Holiday. Leading up to the marches and parades that take place on July 12th, groups reflect around bonfires the night before.

July 29th was a holiday in 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana. Since Royal Weddings are given a holiday, the same will happen on April 29th of 2011 for the nuptials of Prince William to Kate Middleton. Many citizens of Britain will use this holiday to watch the wedding ceremony.

On the last Monday in May, there is a Spring Bank Holiday for Britain. Once again on a long weekend, many plan small vacations given that most are off work and out of school. There are many local festivities that take place, including a cheese race in Gloucestershire. People compete by running down a hill, chasing a large rolling ball of cheese. The first to complete the race wins an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese.

The Holocaust Remembrance Day called Yom HaShoah is also celebrated in the UK. This day is to remember the Jewish people who were victims of the Holocaust in World War II. Ceremonies across the UK take place including services in the local Synagogues. Ancestors of survivors and living survivors tell their stories. Educators in schools teach Jewish history and about the Holocaust.

Though Scotland celebrates the Summer Bank Holiday the first Monday of August, the rest of the UK takes their break on the last Monday. The last Monday of August honors the ending of summer and the beginning of autumn. Banks, schools and businesses close to take part in the celebrations. Exuberant costumes are displayed in the second largest street parade in the world in Notting Hill.

The UK has many special days throughout the year. Some are considered Bank Holidays and others are days marked on the calendar. Holidays in Britain range from religious, historical and vacation days. These holidays allow all citizens of the UK to celebrate traditions and reflect on times past.

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