http://projectbritain.com/curious/calendar.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2008/apr/06/festivals.uk

 

http://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/england/articles/the-uk-s-10-most-unusual-festivals/

http://calendarcustoms.com

https://caltrics.com/calendar/royal-birthdays-royal-weddings-anniversaries-and/40592

February

2  Candlemas Day,--  Anglican  churches.  On this day, the candles that were to be used in the coming year were brought to the church to be blessed.  

18  Happy Birthday, Prince Andrew, Duke of York.  Born 1960 

20-26  National Chip Week-- Celebrating the nation's favorite fast food (aka French Fries in the USA)

March

March

1  St. David's Day-- Wales,  the day to  honour the patron saint of Wales on the day of his death in 589 A.D.  The Welsh celebrate the day by attending parades and by wearing a daffodil or a leek.  Read more.

5  Shrove Tuesday--  The day before Ash Wednesday in Anglican churches.  The word shrove derives from the English word shrive, which means to absolve.  The day got its name from the Christian custom of  going to Confession to have one's sins forgiven, so that one could enter the Lenten season of prayer and fasting with ones sins absolved.

5  Pancake Day-- Throughout UK.  This is the day to use up the household supply of eggs, butter and fat before beginning the Lenten fast.  

 

5-6 Royal Shrovetide Football, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.  A Medieval-style game played by the entire town, on its streets and in the river!  The goals are 3 miles apart and the ball is filled with cork so that it will float.  Also, there is no kicking involved.  

Read more.

16  Oranges and Lemons Children's Service-- In 1919 the Church of St. Clement Danes commemorated the re-hanging of its bells with a special service.  Ever since, the church has hosted the service, which includes dance, singing and readings by each class from the local primary school.  The children each receive an orange and a lemon when the leave.  Of course, the famous nursery rhyme is sung.  The event harkens back to the days when the Thames was wider and barges filled with citrus fruit would dock at St. Clement's to pay tolls.

 

April

20  Queen Elizabeth II, 93rd birthday. Her majesty's birthday is officially celebrated in June, when fine weather can be expected.

21  Easter Sunday

22  Prince Louis of Cambridge, one year old today.  

22  World Coal Carrying Championship - Gawthorpe, N. Wakefield , Yorkshire.

     On Easter Monday, the 56th World Coal Carrying Championship will take place. Contestants run for 1012 meters whilst carrying a big bag of coal.  Men and women compete in separate races;  men carry 50 kg., women carry 20 kg.  There are also children's races, with 10 kg. bags.  

     The races date from an incident at the Beehive Inn in 1963, when one Lewis Hartley said to Reggie Sedgewick: "Ba gum, lad, tha' looks buggered!" to which the aggrieved Mr. Sedgewick replied, that he was "As fit as thee.'  A bystander  suggested, "Let's 'ave a coil (coal) race from Barracks t' Maypole." They did, and coal racing became an annual event which now draws not only local contestants, but competitors from Scotland, Ireland  and other parts of England as well. The World Coal Carrying Chapmpionship is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records.

23  St. George's Day.  Celebrates the patron saint of England, with parades, displays of the Flag of St. George, and often with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.  

A St. George's Day celebration in Trafalger Sq., London,  2010

 

28  Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's eighth wedding anniversary.

 

 

 

May

 

May 1

May Day/Beltane

Originally a celtic festival of fire, celebrating fertility and the return of summer,  its roots go back to ancient Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland.  Modern versions are becoming more popular, with some of the largest in Edinburgh, Thornborough in Yorkshire and Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire, where the traditional 30-foot Wicker Man is burned at sunset.  

Puget Sound locals can enjoy the MossyBack Morris Men dancing at dawn 

at Gasworks Park to welcome summer. 

May 5-7

Sweeps Festival--Rochester, Kent

A traditional celebration of the arrival of warm weather, opening

the season for the cleaning of dirty chimneys.  

There is a procession and many events and performances provide lots of activity and fun over the three days. Check it out here.  

May 5-7

Tulipfest--Camelgate, Spalding,  Lincolnshire

 A mix of entertainment, activities, tulip displays, local crafts and decorations,  Tulipfest carries on the tradition of the Spalding Flower Festival, which was discontinued in 2013.  Tulipfest is held at Springfields Festival Gardens.  Picnic on the grounds, or join the tea party.  

May 7

Early May bank holiday

May 28

Spring bank holiday

 

June 

 

4     Lindfield Village Day-- Lindfield, West Sussex, one of the largest     traditional events in Britain. On the Common you will find games, food stalls, live entertainment and The Grand Competition. Competitors' talents will be on display in a range of categories.  The Grand Procession arrives at 13:00-13:30. The theme of this year's procession is Transport, in honour of the railroad's arrival nearby in 1841.  Details at: Lindfield Village Day

6   75th Anniversary of D-day    Read More

 

10    National Service of Thanksving-- St. Paul's Cathedral, London. This service begins the weekend of official celebrations of the Queen's 90th Birthday. BBC1 will broadcast it, starting at 11:00 AM BST. 

 

The Cathedral is celebrating with the gift of a new anthem, "I Love All Beauteous Things," which will be sung at the service by the Cathedral Choir. The anthem was made available to choirs worldwide on St. Paul's website, where you can learn more.  

 

10    Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh's 95th Birthday--

The Prince has requested that his birthday be celebrated quietly in order that it not distract from his wife, the Queen's, birthday festivities. Philip is expected to attend the National Service of  Thanksgiving with Elizabeth, the royal family, and invited guests.

 

11-12   Bristol Festival of Nature--The Bristol Natural History Consortium presents the UK's biggest free natural history event.  A weekend celebration of the natural world featuring hundreds of educational opportunities, including arts, lectures, hands-on events, tours, film screenings, a local produce market and entertainment.  Info & the festival programme at: Festival of Nature

11  The Queen's Official Birthday Observed-- UK & Many Members of  the Commonwealth.  Celebrations begin in London with The Trooping of the Colour on the Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall.  It will be televised live in the UK on BBC1.  More about: Trooping The Colour

12   The Patron's Lunch-- on the Mall, London.  A not-for-profit extra-vaganza celebrating the Queen's patronage of over 600 charitable orgni-zations. For this event, the climax of the weekend of celebrations, the Mall will be transformed into an enormous street party where 10,000 ticketed guests will enjoy lavish entertainment and an individual bespoke picnic hamper lunch.

9000 of the £150 tickets were made available to the charitable organizations for which the Queen is Patron.  The charities were permitted to auction 40% of their tickets with the  proceeds going to the charities.  In February, the remaining 1000 tickets (+1000 remaining from the charities, for a total of 2000) were released for sale on a public ballot. Applicants could request no more  than 2 tickets; successful applicants were duly notified and could purchase their tickets online.  

 

The general public can enjoy watching the proceedings on giant screens in St. James's Park and Green Park as well as on BBC1.

 

14-18   Royal Ascot-- Ascot, Berkshire. Made even more famous by the race scene in the musical "My Fair Lady," the Royal Ascot is the most-attended race meeting in Europe.  These days of thoroughbred horse racing and fashion are a highlight of the British social calendar.  If you will be attending, be sure to acquaint yourself  with the Dress Code, which is different for each of the enclosures. 

 

23-26   The Royal Highland Show-- Edinburgh, Scotland. A large agricultural show that attracts over 140,000 visitors. Highlights of the show include displays of over 5,000 animals, food and drink exhibits, a flower show and craft goods. The show is run by the Royal Highland and Agri-cultural Society of Scotland, a registered charity. The show offers educa-tional programmes, showcases the best in agriculture and food, and it is family-friendly, too!  Children under 16 are admitted free. The Animal Parade is always a hit with kids.  For adults, in addition to the many attractions, there are several bars located about the grounds.  Learn more: RHS Visitors.  

 

26   Swaton Vintage Day-- Swaton, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire. Since 1994, the day has grown from a Vintage Tractor show held to raise money for good causes to an internationally-known festival.  The highlight of the day will be the 11th World Eggthrowing Championships.  There will also be a classic car show, tea tent, live music, crafts, charity stands, trade exhibitions, a dog show, children's games and rides. Last year, the festival raised £7980 for its causes and participaing charities raised an additional £2000.  Read more at: Swaton Vintage Day

July

Jul 2 Sancreed Pig Walk--Originally started to for fun and to raise funds to refurbish the Town Hall, this is the 10th consecutive year  for the Pig Walk, which  celebrates the farming history of Sacreed Parish, East Penwith, Cornwall .  Starting and ending at the Town Hall, the 2.5-mile walk celebrates the "Genune Sancreed" pigs which were once in great demand due to their high-quality meat which resulted from being dairy-fed.  The Pig Walk will be followed by a barbecue, cakes and live music.  

JUL 20-24  RHS Flower Show, Tatton Park, near Cheshire, UK.  The North's greatest greatest garden party with music, food and inspiration for all.  Visit the display gardens, including Young Gardeners'; garden art; classes, talks and demos; celebrity gardeners and, of course, plants for sale.  Presented by the Royal Horticultural Society.  Proceeds from all ticket sales support the charitable work of the RHS, including RHS Apprentices and other activities aimed at bringing young people into horticulture.

Jul 22-24Sunderland International Air Show, Sunderland UK,   The biggest free annual air show in Europe.  A fantastic mix of music, aerobatics, pyrotechnics and fireworks will have something for everyone with all the fantastic ground exhibitions, activities and fairgrounds open from Friday teatime. Expected to fly on the opening Friday evening are: The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with live musical accompaniment from The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band), the Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon and the pyrotechnic Twister Duo. The evening will close with the traditional firework display at around 10pm.

Among the teams taking part in the packed flying programme on Saturday and Sunday are: RAF Falcons, Royal Navy Black Cats, The Blades, Norwegian historic Flight MiG 15 and Vampires, OV-10 Bronco, Curtis P40 Warhawk and P51 Mustang and the stunning Fairey Swordfish from the Royal Navy Historic Flight and the Impressive RAF Chinook.

Jul 29th– Aug 6 – Eisteddfod.  Wales’ biggest artistic event and one of Europe's oldest cultural festivals. This is a chance to hear Welsh music and literature, see dance and theatre performances, shop for books and crafts, and much more.

Jul 25--Swan Upping

World Toe-Wrestling Championships

Held at the Bentley Bridge Inn in Derbyshire every July

 

2 Sancreed Pig Walk--  Sancreed, East Penrith, Cornwall.  Originally

started for community fun and to raise funds to refurbish the Town Hall, the Pig Walk is in its 10th consecutive year of celebrating the farming history of Sancreed Parish.  Starting and ending at the Town Hall, the 2.5-mile walk commemorates the "Genuine Sancreed" pigs which were once in great demand due to their high-quality meat which resulted from being dairy-fed.  A barbecue, cakes and live music follow the Pig Walk.  

20-24  RHS Flower Show-- Tatton Park, near Knutsford, Cheshire, the North's greatest greatest garden party with music, food and inspiration for all.  Experience the display gardens, including Young Gardeners'; garden art; classes, talks and demos; celebrity gardeners and, of course, plants for sale.  Presented by the Royal Horticultural Society.  All proceeds from ticket sales support the charitable work of the RHS, including RHS Apprentices and other activities aimed at bringing young people into horticulture. RHS Flower Show

22-24  Sunderland International Air Show-- Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.  The biggest free annual air show in Europe.  A fantastic mix of music, aerobatics, pyrotechnics and fireworks will have something for everyone.  All of  the ground exhibitions, activities and fairgrounds will be open from Friday teatime. 

     Expected to fly on the Friday evening are: The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with live musical accompaniment from The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band), the Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon and the pyrotechnic Twister Duo. The evening will close with the traditional firework display at around 10 pm.

     Among the teams taking part in the packed flying programme on Saturday and Sunday are: RAF Falcons, Royal Navy Black Cats, The Blades, Norwegian historic Flight MiG 15 and Vampires, OV-10 Bronco, Curtis P40 Warhawk and P51 Mustang and the stunning Fairey Swordfish from the Royal Navy Historic Flight and the Impressive RAF Chinook.

Sunderland International Air Show

18-22  Swan Upping-- Thames River, London.  The swans in the River Thames all belong either to the Sovereign or to the Worshipful Companies of Vintners or Dyers who were granted the privilege of ownership--for eating purposes--by the Crown in the fifteenth century. Every year the beaks of cygnets used to be marked to show who they belonged to,  If a bird had two nicks it belonged to the Vintners; if one, to the Dyers and if none at all, to the Queen. The process of marking and counting the young birds is called Swan Upping and it takes place over five days during July, but nowadays the birds are marked with leg bands for identification. The birds are also weighed and a report is later produced by the British Trust for Ornithology on the health of the swan population for the year. The Swan Marker and Swan Uppers wear colourful livery and travel up the river in traditional Thames skiffs with flags a-flutter.  Royal Swan Upping

 

25-31  National Parks Week-- UK, Celebrating the United Kingdom's fifteen National Parks.

August

Faversham International Hop Festival, Faversham, Kent 

A celebration of the hop harvest when thousands of Londoners went to Kent for a working holiday.

Bog Snorkelling Championships, 
Waen Rhydd peat bog, near Llanwrtyd Wells in mid Wales

The aim is to swim two lengths of the 60-yard Waen Rhydd peat bog with flippers and snorkel in the fastest time. There are different categories including juniors, fancy dress, women's and men's.

Aug 24  St Bartholomew's Bun Race St Bartholomew's Hospital, Sandwich, Kent

On St. Bartholomew's Day, children run around the church of St. Bart's. After completing the circuit they are given a bun and the adults are given a biscuit especially baked for the occasion.  

Aug 10-18  Scarecrow Festival, Kettlewell, N. Yorkshire

Life-size scarecrows are made and displayed around the village by local people in early to mid-August. A hugely popular event, celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year.  All profits go to Kettlewell Primary School, the village hall, St Mary's Church and other community projects. Read more here.

 

Aug 5–29 – Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The largest arts festival in the world, ‘the Fringe’ features over 40,000 performances and more than 2,500 shows at 250 venues. Any type of performance may participate, across theatre, comedy, music and dance, and many students visit Edinburgh to put on their own shows. For more, read our Edinburgh Festivals guide.

Aug 15 India Independence Day,

August 8-13--The European Boat Wakeboard Championships hosted by Waterways Ireland Riverfest, Colerane, County Londonderry, N. Ireland.  Held annually in a defferently European or African contry, the event is expected to attract about 150 competitors from 18 different countries across Europe and Africa. On the 12th and 13th of August, on the water we will have two days of finals, along with Barefooting Freestyle Jetski Displays.
 

On land there will also be vintage vehicle and motorcycle shows, bouncy castles and play area, boat and outdoor recreation displays, tradestands for local businesses to showcase their products and services and a local food market.

Aug 25  Janmashtami,   India

Aug 27-28 – Notting Hill Carnival. Held in west London over a bank holiday weekend, Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival. Around 1 million people go to see colourful floats and dancers in flamboyant costumes, hear music from salsa to reggae, and taste Caribbean food from street stalls. Bring your party spirit, enough cash and a lot of patience – it can be very crowded.

September


Head to Bo Beep Cider Festival to sample and enjoy the many different types and brands of cider. Don’t worry if cider isn’t your thing; there’ll have some local ales on board too! Kids are welcome (and go free!) there will even be entertainment for them too, such as dragons, fairies and you might even see a knight or a wizard on stilts! Facepainting, circus skills, pantomime and story telling are also likely to make an appearance. There’s live bands and musicians playing music to suit all tastes and there’s cider too, did we mention that?

Where:Bo Peep Caravan Park, Adderbury

When: 9-11 September 2016 

How Much: From £35

October

First Sunday
Pearly King Harvest Festival 

Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. 
Dating from the 19th century, the Pearly Kings & Queens are a much-loved Cockney tradition. It started when a young boy covered a suit with pearly buttons to attract attention and to raise money for the poor at charity events and fairs. Other boroughs were so impressed that they got their own Pearly King or Queen. 
The tradition continues to thrive today and Pearly Kings and Queens can be seen in their full spectacle at the annual Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival.

The annual Harvest Festival Service at the church of St. Martin-in-the Fields offers a spectacular display of historical London in all its glory.

October

13       World Conker Chapionships, Southwick, Northamptonshire.   On the second Sunday of the month, competitors and more than 2,000 spectators converge on the village for a sporting event that dates back to 1965.  According to legend, a group of fisherman in Ashton started it because the weather was too bad for fishing that day. As the event grew, it move to Southwick.  All proceeds go to charities for the blind and partially sighted;  over the years over £420,000 have been raised.

The game is played by two opponents who use a conker i.e. horse chestnut which has been attached to a string.  The players take turns receiving 3 three swings from the opponent's nut with three turns striking.  The winner is determined when one of the nuts is broken.  Learn more about the World Conker Championship.

21     Apple Day, Country wide.  A festival established in the 1990's intended to encourage owners to maintain their orchards and to encourage apple consumption.  Today various growers, shops  and historic sites organize events with cider and apple tastings as well as the sale of the fruit, apple products and baked goods  The events are becoming increasingly popular and can be found throughout the country. More Information.

 

24      Punky Night,  Hinton St. George, Somerset.   Held on the 4th Thursday, this was

the day for children in the South of England to carve their "Punkies" (pumpkins) into Jack O'Lanterns. Then the children would go out in groups, carrying their pumpkins  through the streets singing "punky" songs at friendly houses.  When childrens would meet on their peregrinations, there would be competitions for the best Jack O'Lanterns. One wonders how that was determined!

The tradition lives on in Hinton St. George, where children still carry thier candle-lit pumpkins thourgh the streets in the evening.

31     Samhuinn Fire Festival, 7 PM-11 PM, Edinburgh, Scotland.  A celbration of the Celtic New Year, it marks the end of  Summer and the beginning of Winter, complete with flaming torches, wild drumming, acrobatics, fire dancing, intricate costumes as well as battles between the otherworldly forces of  Summer and Winter.

This year, the Festival will be held on Calton Hill.  Tickets are £6 advance, £9 on the day.

Under 5's go free.  More Information

November

3        Tar Barrel Racing, Ottery St. Mary, Devon UK.  Races are held on the Saturday before Bonfire Night.  The tradition probably dates back to the Gunposder Plot in 1603.  Many towns had the tradition of rolling burning tar barrels on Nov. 5, but a tsome point Ottery decided that carrhying full size blazing barrels was more exciting.  It is the only town in Britain where this is done, and thousands decend on Ottery to witness the procession through the streets.  Visitors are advised to dress for the occasion--wear clothing that can withstand flying sparks!  More information      

 

5         Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes.  On this date in 1605,  Guy Fawkes was arrested for his participation in the failed Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I.  Ever since then, celebratory bonfires have been burned all over England.  By the 18th Century, children would go from house to house carrying effigies of  "The Guy" and eventually, the burning of Guy Fawkes effigies became part of the tradition. Today, Bonfire Night is more about fun and spectacle, and Fawkes is less likely to be burned than effigies of politicians or celebrities who are out of favor. Guy Fawkes masks have become popular, however.

9         Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, renowned for wild living and extravagant drinking, died on this date in 1953. 

 

10       "Doctor Livingston, I presume."  On this date in 1871, Sir George Morton Stanley said those famous words upon finding  the explorer and missionary, David Livingston near Lake Tanganyka.  Stanley had been assigned by the New York Herald to find Livingston, who had not been heard from for over a year.

11      Remembrance Day/Armistice Day.  Commemorates the end of World War I, and honors those who died the battlefield  in "the war to end all wars," and those who have  given thier lives in defence of their country in the wars which have followed.

 

24      Origin of the Species is published by English naturalist Charles Darwin in 1859.

30      St. Andrews Day, Country-wide, but especially in Scotland.

 

November

3 Tar Barrel Racing, Ottery St. Mary, Devon UK.  Races are held on the Saturday before Bonfire Night.  The tradition probably dates back to the Gunposder Plot in 1603.  Many towns had the tradition of rolling burning tar barrels on Nov. 5, but a tsome point Ottery decided that carrhying full size blazing barrels was more exciting.  It is the only town in Britain where this is done, and thousands decend on Ottery to witness the procession through the streets.  Visitors are advised to dress for the occasion--wear clothing that can withstand flying sparks!  More information

 

5  Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Day, UK.  Since the failure of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I, celebratory bonfires have been burned all over England.  By the 18th Century, children were going from house to house carrying effigies of The Guy; eventually, the burning of Guy Fawkes effigies became part of the tradition.  Today, Bonfire Night is more about fun and spectical, and Fawkes is less likely to be burned than effigies of politicians or celebrities who are out of favor.  Guy Fawkes masks have become popular, however.

  A Magical Evening Of Witchcraft And Wizardry

Woodland Manor Hotel on Sat, 17th Nov 2018 @ multiple start times (see ticket info)

Live your wizarding dreams with this quirky Harry Potter-themed dining event in Bedford. Enjoy a magical three course meal alongside games, puzzles, a goody bag and even prophecies from the one and only Professor Trelawney. 

December

 

Thru Dec 24-- Birmingham German Christmas Market.  The largest German market held outside of Germany and Austria, it has been held for 51 years and draws millions of visitors. 

Dec 1-- St. Paul's Cathedral opened in 1697

 

Dec 3--Percy Pud 10K Race, Sheffield.  Entry is limited to 2,200.  In honor of the 25th anniversary of the race,  in addition to the traditional Christmas pudding, finishers will also receive a commemorative tee shirt.

Dec 6-- The Irish Free State (26 southern states) was granted independence from Britain in 1921. Ulster remains part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland.

 

Dec 11--Britains's King Edward VIII renounced the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. 

Dec 23--British Broadcasting Co. (BBC) began transmission of the first regular wireless /radio  entertainment broadcasts in the world. 1921

Dec 25--Christmas Day. Bank holiday

Dec 26-- Boxing Day.  Bank holiday--Celebrated throughout UK.  In Middleton, Metropolitan Borough of Rochedale, Greater Manchester.  The old tradition of gathering in the main street when darkness falls has recently been reestablished.  With flaming torches, folk move toward the sound of a slow drum beat,  and the Molly Dancers & Musicians recreate the East Anglian form of Morris dancing.

Dec 30 First performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, at the Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, Devon. 1879

Dec 31--Tar Bar's Ceremony, Allendale, Northumberland, UK.  A t midnight, a procession of a brass band and 45 barrel carriers (whiskey half-barrels, actually)  carries flaming tar through the streets  to the town center. The fire from the tar bar's is used tolight the Baal Fire and everyone shouts, " Be damned to he who throws last."  Thought to be of pagan origin,  or perhaps started by carol singers the tradition started in 1858. and had remained popular.  

December

Thru Dec 24-- Birmingham German Christmas Market.  The largest German market held outside of Germany and Austria, it has been held for 51 years and draws millions of visitors. 

Dec 1-- St. Paul's Cathedral was consecrated in 1697.

 

Dec 3--Percy Pud 10K Race, Sheffield.  Entry is limited to 2,200.  In honor of the 25th anniversary of the race,  in addition to the traditional Christmas pudding, finishers will also receive a commemorative tee shirt.

Dec 6-- The Irish Free State (26 southern states) was granted independence from Britain in 1921. Ulster remains part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland.

 

Dec 11--Britains's King Edward VIII renounced the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.

 

Dec 23--British Broadcasting Co. (BBC) began transmission of the first regular wireless /radio  entertainment broadcasts in the world. 1921

Dec 25--Christmas Day. Bank holiday

Dec 26-- Boxing Day.  Bank holiday--throughout UK.  In Middleton, Metropolitan Borough of Rochedale, Greater Manchester, the old tradition of gathering in the main street when darkness falls has recently been reestablished.  With flaming torches, folk move toward the sound of a slow drum beat,  and the Molly Dancers & Musicians recreate the East Anglian form of Morris dancing.

Dec 30-- First performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, at the Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, Devon. 1879

Dec 31--Tar Bar's Ceremony, Allendale, Northumberland, UK.  A t midnight, a procession of a brass band and 45 barrel carriers (whiskey half-barrels, actually)  carry flaming tar through the streets to the town center. The fire from the tar bar's is used to light the Baal Fire and everyone shouts, " Be damned to he who throws last."  Thought to be of pagan origin,  or perhaps started by carol singers, the tradition started in 1858 and has remained popular.  

January

25 Burns Night-- Throughout UK and the world.  Celebrates the 1759 birth of Scottish Poet Robert Burns, best known for Auld Lang Sine.  Burns Suppers are held with all due honor to he bard and the traditions of the festivities.  Read more.

 

26 Australia Awareness Day--  Marks Captain Cook's first arrival in Australia (which actually occurred in October of 1788).  The Day celebrates Australia's accmplishments and future, as well as being a time to reflect on Australia's history.  

28-29  RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch -- The 40th annual bird count by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, is the biggest in the world.  RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation organization, working to protect nature not only in the UK, but in British overseas territories.    Read more.