England - Traditional Holidays



England has various bank holidays, public holidays, traditional holidays and national events scattered across its calendar. Some date back hundreds of years, while others are more recent. Some are fun and festive, encouraging the locals to dress up and join in the festivities, while yet others are more sombre. These include (where the following dates are mentioned, they apply to 2011):

JANUARY
1 January - New Year’s Day
1 January - The New Year's Day Parade London (over 10 000 performers travel around London offering impressive dancing, acrobatics, cheerleading and musical acts)
5 January - Twelfth Night (Christian)
6 January - Epiphany (Christian)
12 January - Plough Monday (the start of the new farming year)
15 – 17 January - Straw Bear Festival at Whittlesey

FEBRUARY
2 February - Candlemas Day (Christian)
3 February - Chinese New Year
14 February - St Valentine's Day (a Christian festival associated with love and romance)

MARCH
Pancake Day (a Christian carnival on the eve of Ash Wednesday to start Lent, which is a time of fasting and devotions)
5 March – St Piran’s Day Cornwall
8 March - The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race
9 March - Ash Wednesday (the start of lent)
14 March - Commonwealth Day

APRIL
1 April – April Fool’s Day (traditionally the day of practical jokes and trickery)
3 April – Mothers’ Day
3 April - Simnel Sunday
17 April - Palm Sunday (Christian)
21 April - Maundy Thursday (Christian)
21 April – The Queen’s birthday
22 April - Good Friday (Christian)
23 April – St George’s Day (a church festival)
24 April - Easter Sunday (Christian)
25 April - Easter Monday (Christian)
25 April - Hop Monday
30 April – 2 May – Rochester Sweeps Festival

MAY
1 May - May Day
2 May - Early May Bank Holiday
30 April - 2 May - Rochester Sweeps Festival
24 May – Empire Day
29 May – Oak Apple Day (the birthday of Charles II)
30 May – Spring Bank Holiday
30 May – Cheese Rolling (in Gloucestershire)

JUNE
2 June - Ascension Day (Christian)
2 June – Coronation Day: Gun Salute
12 June – Pentecost / Whitsuntide (Christian)
19 June – Fathers’ Day

JULY
5 July - Tynwald Day (the national holiday of the Isle of Man)
15 July - St. Swithun's Day
TBC - Swan Upping (a census of swans on the River Thames)

AUGUST
1 August - Lammas Day
1 August - Yorkshire Day
26 – 28 August - Reading Festival
27 – 29 August - The Glenn Miller Festival (the largest jazz, swing and Jive festival in the United Kingdom)
28 – 29 August - Notting Hill Carnival
29 August - Late Summer Bank Holiday

SEPTEMBER
4 September – 8 November - Blackpool Illuminations
5 September - The Great River Race, London
TBC - Heritage Open Days (free entry to several National Trust properties)

OCTOBER
11 October - Apple Day
11 October - Trafalgar Day
17 October - Punky Night (children sing through the streets and at residential doors)
31 October - Halloween

NOVEMBER
1 November - All Saints Day (Christian)
1 November - London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
2 November - All Souls Day (Christian)
5 November - Guy Fawkes
5 November - Lewes Bonfire Night
11 November – Armistice Day
13 November - Remembrance Sunday
14 November - The Prince of Wales' birthday
20 November - Stir-up Sunday (last Sunday of the Christian Church Year)
27 November - Advent Sunday (Christian)


DECEMBER
TBC - Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
24 December - A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
24 December - Christmas Eve
25 December - Christmas Day (Christian)
26 December - Boxing Day
26 December - St Stephen's Day
31 December - New Year’s Eve