Are you wondering what you’re going to do come Halloween after your relocation? While traditionally not celebrated to the extent that it is in other parts of the world, there are still Halloween celebrations and parties to be found in the city (see “Relocating to London UK – What’s on in London for Halloween!” for a sample). It’s trick or treating’ that is not a tradition. Americans moving here who are missing out on Halloween and Thanksgiving will have a host of other holidays to celebrate during the next few weeks.
England celebrates Guy Fawkes Night more than any other holiday in the year. This day 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. (see “Relocation to London – London Fireworks Displays for November’s Bonfire Night” for firework locations and dates) The nearest Sunday to November 11, Remembrance Day, honours the death of soldiers in war. 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 silence. Christmas is coming very soon, and I’m sure you’ve seen the first Christmas decorations going up in the shops around London. Christmas is big in the UK, and you need to prepare yourself for a slew of Christmas parties and evening events after your relocation to London. The day itself is usually a family affair, and if you missed out on a plump turkey over Thanksgiving, you’ll be able to get a fine bird for your Christmas dinner. 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. Other celebrated holidays which may apply in other countries as well are January 1 New Year’s Day, March or April Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday, May 1 May Day, Last Monday in May Spring Bank Holiday, Last Monday in August Summer Bank Holiday, December 25, 26 Christmas Day and Boxing Day. You won’t be stuck for days off after moving to London.