HOLYDAYS IN ENGLAND
NEW YEAR IN ENGLAND
In England the New Year is not as widely observed as Christmas. Some
people ignore it. Many others do celebrate the New Year. The most common
type of celebration is a New Year party. It begins at 8 pm and goes on
until morning. There is a buffet supper of cold meat, pies, sandwiches,
cakes and biscuits. At midnight everyone can hear the chimes of Big Ben
and drink a toast to the New Year. Then the party goes on.
Another way of celebrating is to go to a New Year's dance. Dance halls
are decorated and there are several bands playing merry music.
The most famous celebration is in London round the statue in Piccadilly
Circus where crowds welcome the New Year. In Trafalgar Square someone
usually falls into the fountain.
Some people watch others celebrating on television. There are no
traditional English New Year festivities, and television producers show
Some people send New Year cards and give presents and make "New Year
On New Year's Day the "New Year Honours List " is published in the
newspapers of those who are to be given knighthoods, etc.
ST. VALENTINE'S DAY
Saint Valentine's Day is observed on February 14. The first Valentine of
all was a bishop, who before he was put to death by the Romans sent a
note of friendship to his jailer's blind daughter. Roman soldiers had no
right to get married. Valentine wed them secretly and for this he was
sentenced. February 14 is the date of an old pagan festival when Roman
maidens put love letters into an urn to be drawn out by their boy
In England Easter is a time for the giving and receiving of presents
/Easter eggs/, for the Easter Bonnet Parade and hot cross buns. Nowadays
Easter eggs are made of chocolate but painting egg-shells is still
popular in some country districts. Emblems of Easter are also fluffy
chicks, baby rabbits, daffodils, catkins, and lily. They signify the
London greets the spring with Easter Parade on Easter Sunday. The parade
begins at 3 p.m. It consists of many decorated floats bearing the Easter
Princess and her attendants. The finest bands take part in the parade.
LATE SUMMER BANK HOLIDAY
On Bank Holiday the town folk usually flock into the country and to the
coast. They take a picnic-lunch and enjoy their meal in the open.
Seaside towns near London are invaded by thousands of holiday-makers.
Bank holidays is also an occasion for big sports meeting. There are
large fairs, a Punch arid Judy show, and bingo. Many Londoners will
visit Whipsnade Zoo. There is also much boat activity on the Thames and
Christmas Day is observed on December 25. In Britain this day was a
festival long before the conversion to Christianity. On that day people
began the year and it was called "modranecht" - mother's night, Many
Christmas customs go back to pagan times. In 1644 the English puritans
forbade the keeping of Christmas by Act of Parliament. At the