Otázka: Holidays and other notable days in British calendar
I would like you to introduce important holidays of almost every month of the year in British Calendar. We are going to speak about few of them a little bit more.
The beginning of the year is celebrated in almost every country. New Year´s Day is also one of the holidays that are official in all four parts of UK – England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The day before, called New Year´s Eve, people usually make resolutions, go to parties to celebrate and wait till the midnight when fireworks begin. For example firework around the London Eye is considered to be one of the most beautiful in England.
February offers St. Valentine´s Day. People express their love by making sweet cards, taking their loved-ones to dinners etc. There are many superstitions. For example if woman saw a robin, she would marry a sailor one day.
March – important day for Irish people especially St. Patrick´s Day. Patrick was man who brought Christianity to Ireland. Celebrations are majestic – parades, colouring river to green, drinking green beers and much more.
The most famous christian holiday is in March/April – depends on which Sunday is the first after full moon. Easter is dedicated to the death and coming to life of Jesus Christ. Two banks holidays are included – Good Friday and Easter Monday. People go to churches, decorate Easter eggs and take part in typical competitions. Children believe in Easter bunny who hides eggs in their gardens or honses.
On 23rd April, St George´s Day celebrates brave George, saint patron of England, who died because of his beliefs. He was against tortures on Christians by Romans.
May Day, also known as the Early May Bank Holiday is public holiday celebrating the neginning of the summer on the first Monday of May. Many traditional dances are associated with this day. E.g. maypole dancing around a tall pole or Morris dancing, performed by men in white clothes with bells and long wooden sticks. People also decorate their houses with floral garlands and crown a May queen who should presents Flora, a Roman goddess.
On the other hand, Summer Bank Holiday – in Scotland celebrated on the first Monday of August and in the rest of the country on the last Monday of August, is a bank holiday which marks the end of summer. Usually people improve their homes and gardens or go to trips with family. First celebration was in year 1871 and real cause of this holiday was to give an opportunity to bank employees to watch or play cricket matches.
Halloween (31st of October) and its traditions come from Ireland. It dates back in the 19th century. Celts used to wear horrible masks to protect themselves from evil souls. Pumpkins, costumes and trick or treats are essential.
Remembrance Day, also known as a Poppy Day is dedicated to those who sacrified their lives for others during wars and wearing a red poppy is nice gesture.
Finally, we´re getting to the Christmas. It´s slightly different from the Czech Republic. They have to wait to unwrapped their presents in the morning of Dec 25. On midday, they eat lunch with their family and spend Boxing Day (Dec 26) visiting their relatives.