One of England's biggest celebrations is Guy
Fawkes Night, which commemorates the defeat of an anti-government
plot on November 5, 1605. English Catholics led by Guy Fawkes were
caught before they could blow up the Houses of Parliament. Today,
on November 5, children make stuffed figures of Guy Fawkes and ask
their neighbours for "a penny for the guy." The money is used to
buy fireworks and the guy is tossed into a bonfire.
The nearest Sunday to November 11, Remembrance
Day, honours Britain's war dead. People wear red paper poppies that
symbolize the flowers in World War I burial grounds. They attend
services at churches and war memorials and observe two minutes of
During the Christmas season, choirs sing carols
in churches and people may go out in the evenings to sing carols in
front of their neighbours' houses. On Christmas Eve, people place
presents under a decorated Christmas tree and children hang stockings
or pillowcases at the foot of their beds. They are hoping for gifts
from Father Christmas (the English name for Santa Claus). Many
families attend morning church services and listen to the Queen's
Christmas message on radio or television. At midday or in the evening,
families sit down to a hearty meal, with roast turkey, goose or beef,
and a rich Christmas pudding made with dried fruit and nuts and crowned
with flaming brandy.
Children usually have two weeks' holiday at Eastertime.
Many families mark Easter Sunday by attending church services, decorating eggs
and preparing a special family meal.
Did you know?|
On Boxing Day, December 26, families thank workers such as
tradespeople and letter carriers with a Christmas "box," that is, a gift of money.
For centuries, England did not celebrate a special national
holiday. Recently, however, St. George's Day, April 23, has been celebrated as
England's national day. Some people display flags bearing the red and white cross
of St. George, the country's patron saint, and exchange greeting cards.
||New Year's Day|
|March or April
||Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday|
|Last Monday in May
||Spring Bank Holiday|
|Last Monday in August
||Summer Bank Holiday|
|December 25, 26
||Christmas Day, Boxing Day
Did you know?|
The Queen has two birthdays: her real birthday in April
and an official birthday celebrated on a Saturday in June. The highlight of
her official birthday is a special parade, known as the Trooping of the Colour,