A fantastic way to become fully immersed in British culture and customs is to study in the UK. Along with making new friends, trying new foods, and touring new locations, traveling lets you take part in a variety of British festivals that might not be observed in your own nation.
While there are numerous British customs and holidays to participate in while studying in the UK, here are some of the oldest and more popular British festivals:
The top 5 British festivals
What then is Halloween? Halloween, also known as All Saints’ Eve, is a holiday observed on October 31st in various nations to honor religious Saints and the deceased.
The custom originated from a centuries-old Celtic celebration celebrated on this day, when participants would dress up and ignite bonfires to chase away ghosts. Later, in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III decided to celebrate the saints’ days on November 1.
For many years, Halloween was a religious celebration, but in the last century, it has evolved into a joyful yet terrifying occasion. Halloween is a favorite holiday for kids and teens, who participate in a variety of events.
These activities include trick-or-treating, where children knock on neighbors’ homes and request candy, pumpkin carving, and horror movie viewing. Not to mention going to a fancy dress party and dressing up in spooky costumes like a vampire, witch, or zombie!
As a university student, there are many various ways to participate in this festival. On October 31st, most universities in the UK have Halloween parties. Additionally, it’s customary for movie theaters to screen horror films on Halloween as an alternative celebration for those who don’t like dressing up.
2. Bonfire Night
Bonfire Night, often called Guy Fawkes’ Night, is a British celebration that takes place on November 5 every year. What is the purpose of bonfire night then? It is a day set aside to remember the anniversary of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot.
A Catholic at the time, Guy Fawkes disagreed with the King’s treatment of Catholics. He then devised a plot to detonate Westminster Palace in London when King James I and parliamentarians were present. The scheme, however, was a failure, and he received a death sentence.
Londoners built bonfires to rejoice after learning that the monarch had escaped being assassinated. King James, I then decreed that the 5th of November would be a public day of gratitude for the heist’s failure. Today, toffee apples, fireworks, bonfires, and sparklers are used to commemorate this night.
You can go to planned outdoor events featuring bonfires and fireworks displays across cities and in public areas if you’d like to celebrate Bonfire Night. Be careful to dress warmly because November evenings in the UK may be chilly.
Christmas is a yearly religious celebration honoring Jesus’ birth on December 25. However, this cultural festival is observed by both religious and agnostic individuals nationwide. British people also celebrate Christmas Eve on December 24 and Boxing Day on December 26, even though Christmas Day on December 25 is the primary celebration.
Numerous British Christmas customs are connected to this day. For instance, on Christmas Day, people eat turkey, hang stockings and decorations, pull crackers, eat mince pies, exchange gifts with one another, and even watch the Queen make a speech on television.
In the UK, you will find several possibilities if this is something you’d like to do. You may reserve a typical Christmas lunch at a lot of bars and restaurants. Additionally, many cities host Christmas markets in December where you may shop for presents and sample mulled wine. This time of year is quite amazing.
4. New Year’s Eve
On December 31, just after Christmas, people in the UK and other nations throughout the world celebrate New Year’s Eve. It is the final day of the year before the start of the new calendar year on New Year’s Day.
British people recognize this holiday, which has been celebrated for generations, as the night they may ring in the new year. It is customary to light fireworks and firecrackers at midnight on New Year’s Eve and toast the new year with food and wine. Auld Lang Syne, a Scottish folk song that translates to “long, long ago,” is sometimes performed by families as they dance to say goodbye to the previous year.
To mark this occasion, cities, and towns around the nation host parties, fireworks displays, and other activities. You can look for a local event if you want to participate. Similar to this, you may watch the BBC or another important television network from home; they air live concerts, celebrity interviews, and the countdown to midnight every year.
In many nations across the world, including Britain, the winter solstice and the start of spring are observed. In the UK, Easter kicks off a week of festivities for both religious and agnostic people.
Palm Sunday, which kicks off Holy Week, is the first day of Easter. Easter Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Monday are all recognized public holidays throughout this week. Easter Sunday is always on a different day; in 2022, it will be on April 17.
Families may now gather for this festival’s opportunity to share a classic roast meal together. Some individuals use painted eggs, little yellow chicks, rabbits, and springtime flowers like tulips, daffodils, and white lilies to adorn their dining tables. It’s also customary to purchase chocolate Easter eggs for family and friends from bakeries or supermarkets.
If you want to observe Easter in the UK, you may purchase chocolate eggs and reserve an Easter roast meal at most pubs and restaurants. You may participate in a variety of Easter egg hunts as well. For instance, there is an event in London where you have to look for chocolate eggs all around the city. You may look around your neighborhood to see what events are planned.
Leave a Reply