Traditions, Values and Young People

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Calendar of Festivals in the UK

January 1
New Year's Day
On New Year’s Day we usually celebrate the first day of the New Year with a family get-together. We have lunch with our family and have plenty to eat and drink. Sometimes after lunch we play games and make New Year resolutions for the forthcoming year.
February 14
St Valentine's Day
On Valentine’s Day, people send Valentine’s Day cards and gifts to people whom they have feeling for. A Valentine’s card sent to an individual is supposed to be anonymous and so not signed, which makes the receiver think about who might have feelings for them. Valentine’s cards are usually sent by young people, although older people send them too.
February or March
Shrove Tuesday
(Pancake Day)
On Shrove Tuesday or ‘pancake day’ we celebrate by making and eating pancakes. Sometimes we have competitions than involve flipping pancakes in a frying pan without breaking them. People have many different types of topping on their pancakes, such as lemon juice, honey, golden syrup, sugar, chocolate etc.

Olney pancake race

Pancake Race at Olney, UK.

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April 1
April Fool's Day
On this day we play practical jokes on family and friends. However, the joke/prank must only be played before 12 noon or it is said to bring bad luck!
May 1
May Day
Many towns and villages hold May Day celebrations. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer with lots of different customs that are expressions of joy and hope after a long winter. Some of these celebrations include Morris dancing and May pole dancing.

morris dancing

Father's Day
On Father’s Day we give our fathers a card and a present to say thank you for being a great dad!
July 15
St Swithin's Day
A day on which people watch the weather, for tradition says that whatever the weather is like on St. Swithin's Day, it will continue so for the next forty days – please don’t rain!
August 1
Lammas Day
This is an old festival that celebrates the first harvest. People sometimes go to church with Lammas bread and give it to the church.
Harvest Festival
The Harvest Festival is celebrated by people bringing food to churches, schools and community centres. It dates to when farmers used to celebrate the end a successful harvest by giving some food to the church and needy people. The food that is brought into schools and churches today is usually distributed to the poor and needy.
October 31
We celebrate this tradition by dressing up in fancy dress costume to portray terrifying monsters and creatures. We then go ‘trick or treating’ around the neighbourhood collecting sweets from neighbours.
November 5
Guy Fawkes Night’ or
Bonfire Night or
Fireworks Night
This night is celebrated to remind us of the failed plot by Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament to kill the king in 1605. We celebrate the fact that it was a failure by sometimes burning the ‘Guy’ on top of a bonfire and setting off fireworks.

Guy Fawkes effigy

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December 25
We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by giving presents to each other. We also go to church on this very special day. After church, we listen to the Queen's Speech and have Christmas lunch which is a feast! Later we play party games and watch television.