Chronology of Events | International Calenders | UK Dates | Seasons | Weddings | The Zodiac

New Year's Day Jan 1 The beginning of the new year, celebrated in Scotland by the tradition of first footing
Twelfth Night Jan 6 A party after the Christmas break and before the return to work in the fields
Plough Monday Monday following twelfth night  Previous year's corn dolly is ploughed back into the earth (see harvest home)
Burn's Night Jan 21 A celebration marking the birth of the poet Robert Burns
Valentine's Day Feb 14 Originally a Roman fertility rite, now a declaration of love
St. David's Day Mar 1 The patron saint of Wales
St.Patrick's Day Mar 17 The patron saint of Ireland
Shrove Tuesday Pancake day The last day before Lent and the opportunity to use up remaining dairy products
Ash Wednesday   First day of Lent, 40 days before Easter Sunday
Mothering Sunday The fourth Sunday in Lent Traditionally a holiday when servants were able to visit their parents. Mother's Day is a US import
April Fools Day Apr 1 From the medieval Feast of Fools, a day of practical jokes
St George's Day Apr 23 The patron saint of England
Maundy Thursday Last Thursday before Easter Distribution of Maundy money by the Monarch
Good Friday   The Crucifixion of Christ, commemorated with hot cross buns
Easter Sunday   The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ
Mayday (Beltaine) May 1 Pagan fertility rite, celebrated in England with may poles and morris dancing
Ascension Day May 28 Ascension of Christ into Heaven
Oak Apple Day May 29 Celebration of the Restoration of 1660 marking the occasion when Charles II hid from Cromwell in an oak tree
Rogationtide The 5th week after Easter Crop blessing and beating the bounds; the re-defining of the borders of fields and property
Midsummer Day Jun 24 Summer solstice
Tynwald Day Jul 5 Holiday in Isle of Man
St James Day Jul 25 Start of the county fairs
Lammas-Tide Aug 1 Pagan festival. The blessing of sacramental bread and time of great fairs
St Swithun's Day Jul 15 40 days of bad weather will follow if it rains on this day
Harvest Home   The blessing of the gathered harvest. A corn dolly is made from the last sheaf
Michaelmas Sep 29 Livestock fairs, especially sheep. Tenancies are renewed and labour hired for the next year
Halloween Oct 31 The driving away of evil spirits
Guy Fawkes Night Nov 5 Marking the discovery of a plot to blow up Parliament in 1605
Martinmas Nov 11 Similar to Michaelmas
Armistice Day Nov 11 The end of World War 1
Remembrance Day Nearest Sunday to Martinmas Ceremony to mark the end of both World Wars
St. Andrew's Day Nov 30 The patron saint of Scotland
St. Nicholas' Day Dec 6 Yule logs, mumming plays and the return of Santa Claus
Christmas Dec 25 Originally a festival marking the winter solstice on Dec 22, now a religious ceremony commemorating the birth of Christ
Boxing Day Dec 26 A day for servants to go from house to house with collecting boxes
New Year's Eve Dec 31 Hogmanay, a traditionally Scottish celebration

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