I am going to talk about festivals in the UK. To be honest we don’t have as many festivals as in Spain. Every weekend there seems to be another festival. We don’t have quite many. I am going to tell you about the main ones.
The festivals in UK are:
New Year’s Day (January 1st)
Halloween (October 31st)
Bonfire Night (November 5th)
Christmas (December 25th)
New Year’s Eve (December 31st)
New Year’s Eve/Day
It’s pretty simple. People set fireworks at midnight. People go out to have drinks and maybe have a meal. And they will sing at midnight. There’s a song in old English (Scottish) called Aul
This is London. People would gather in London on New Year’s Eve. There’s a massive firework display in the centre of London. I have a video of the fireworks display but I am not sure it’s worth show you because it’s a bit bright. There’re hundreds and thousands of people who gather in the centre of London, watch the fireworks and then they would sing this song.
Song: Auld lang syne
Have you seen the film? There’re hundreds of people hugging and singing. You can’t see it very well but listen to the song:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And the days of auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet
For the sake of auld lang syne
What traditions do you have for New Year’s Day?
We eat prawns, chicken or fish
Halloween is October 31st. Halloween is a new festival
for us. It doesn’t have too much history. It comes from America. People get dressed up, supposedly in scary costumes.
But generally people just get dressed up in whatever they want. They dress up with funny costumes or favourite part of tv series, anything they want. As well they carved pumpkins outside their houses. There you can see on the picture on the left with pumpkins.
Kids go “Trick or Treating”. People generally give them some food. There are also more people that make Halloween a longer period. They celebrate few weeks. People also watch scary films during the Halloween period.
Bonfire night is celebrated only in UK. It is based on the story of Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up the houses of Parliament in 1605.
The Houses of Parliament is the building in which the government make his decisions like voting the laws. In 1605 the king had a big role in the parliament. Guy Fawkes tried to blow it up. He basically put gunpowder, a type of explosive, underneath the houses of Parliament. He was trying to burn it. But he got found out. He wasn’t able to do that, he was caught and sent to prison.
There’s been a celebration for catching him. On the right there’s what we call and effigy. It is a statue that it’s made of material that would burn and you can set on fire. They made their way to the street. Some people make and effigy of Guy Fawkes and burn it, others just light bonfires. People also set off lots of fireworks.
We have Christmas’ Eve. A few things we do for Christmas’ Eve. There’s a story of Santa Claus, basically of Saint Nicolas, which becomes more commercial. It’s about a man who lives in the North Pole who wraps and gives presents on Christmas’ Eve. He is coming on a sledge around the world delivering presents.
Parents will leave a mince pie and a glass of brandy (or a glass of milk depending on the kind of family) for Santa Claus underneath the chimney (and a carrot for the reindeer).
People play some games like puzzles and have some drinks.
On Christmas’ Day you come down and hopefully there are presents under your tree or in your stocking or both. Kids get up very early, they run down the stairs, open up the presents and they all get very excited. One thing that I forgot to tell you about the stockings. The story goes you have your stocking out in the fireplace.
Santa has a nice list and the naughty list. If you’ve been good through the year, you’ve got presents. For the naughty list he put coal in your stocking. It is a story parents use to try to make their children to behave. They tell them to stop doing that unless Santa is putting a lot of coal in your stocking.
For lunch there’re sausages wrapped in bacon. And it’s called pigs in bandages. Traditionally they eat beef for roast dinner. We eat all kinds of meat. Beef is very popular but we eat chicken as well. But on Christmas lunch Germany people eat turkey. And we have Brussels sprouts.
We eat Christmas pudding. One thing that we do for Christmas pudding is that we cover it in alcohol and set it on fire. And we turn the lights off you cover it in pure alcohol, you get matches and spark it and we set it on fire. When the alcohol is off, you eat the cake. Then we go for a walk after lunch to work it off. Then we play some more games and hang out with the family.