The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

The British Habits and Ways or Holidays

Category: Customs + Festivals

There are not many official holidays in the UK. They are called bank holidays because the banks are closed and the people do not work. The British bank holidays are New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day (25th December) and Boxing Day (26th December). The Patron Saints’ Days are not bank holidays.

The special British holiday, celebrated throughout the UK on the 5th of November, is Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night: a man, named Guy Fawkes, decided to blow up the Parliament, but the tragedy was prevented. Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated by burning bonfires and dummies and fireworks.

Traditions, Customs and Meals

Every country has its customs. Englishmen are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. The English are stay-at-home people. “There is no place like home”, they say. When they don’t work, they like to spend their days off at home with their families.

Englishmen are very fond of the fireplace, that’s why many of them prefer the open fire to central heating. They also like to live in a small house with a small garden around it. People all over the world know the saying The Englishman’s home is his castle.

English people keep their traditions even in meals. Porridge is the dish they are very fond of. Many eat porridge with milk and sugar for breakfast. Breakfast time in England is between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Then, between 12 a.m. and 2 p.m. there comes lunch time. In some English houses lunch is the biggest meal of the day – they have meat or fish, vegetables, fruit or pudding.

In the afternoon, at tea-time (which is at about five o’clock), the English like to have a cup of tea with milk. Five o’clock tea became popular about one hundred and fifty years ago, when rich ladies invited their friends to their houses for an afternoon cup of tea.

The evening meal at about 6 p.m. is dinner, for which they have soup, fish or meat, vegetables, pudding or fruit.

For supper (the English eat it occasionally), they usually have a glass of milk and a cake or a cup of tea and a sandwich.

The English are tea-drinkers. They have tea many times a day. Some English families have high tea or big tea and no supper. For high tea, they may have cold meat, bread and butter, cakes and, of course, a lot of tea. The Englishmen always drink tea out of cups, never out of glasses.

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