2 minutes of silence -
Sunday November 11, 2018
Special Events : Commemorates the day that World War One ended in 1918, when the armistice was signed in Compiègne, Northern France, at 5am. Six hours later, the fighting stopped, and to commemorate this there is a two minute silence at 11:00 am
Poppy Day -
Sunday November 12, 2017
Culture : Remembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day, because it is traditional to wear an artificial poppy. They are sold by the Royal British Legion, a charity dedicated to helping war veterans, although they do not have a fixed price - they rely on donations.
The poppies are worn because in World War One the Western Front contained in the soil thousands of poppy seeds, all lying dormant. They would have lain there for years more, but the battles being fought there churned up the soil so much that the poppies bloomed like never before. The most famous bloom of poppies in the war was in Ypres, a town in Flanders, Belgium, which was crucial to the Allied defence. There were three battles there, but it was the second, which was calamitous to the allies since it heralded the first use of the new chlorine gas the Germans were experimenting with, which brought forth the poppies in greatest abundance, and inspired the Canadian soldier, Major John McCrae, to write his most famous poem. This, in turn, inspired the British Legion to adopt the poppy as their emblem. BBC
Christmas holiday (beginning) -
Thursday December 21, 2017
School holidays :
Christmas Day -
Monday December 25, 2017
Catholic or protestant : Since pre-historic times in Europe, festivities (bonfires, offrerings) were marking the beginning of longer hours of daylight with fires and ritual. The Roman festival of Saturnalia lasted several days in December (gambling and offerings). Germanic tribes also celebrated mid-winter (drinking and rituals). The Bulgarian (with Koleduvane) and the Polish (with Gwiazdka) perpetuate this tradition. Jesus of Nazareth was probably born in springtime (Reformists favour autumn). But in the 4th century, December 25th was chosen for the celebration of his birth by Pope Julius I (Bishop Liberus is also mentioned in 354 A.D.). Thus, a Christian element was introduced in the long-established mid-winter festivals. Before 1582, the Papal States and other Italian city states celebrated New Year’s Day on Christmas Day.
Boxing Day -
Tuesday December 26, 2017
Secular holiday : Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would traditionally receive gifts known as a Christmas box from their masters, employers or customers.
Due to historical reasons, depending on the year, Boxing Day can be celebrated BEFORE Christmas in the UK. [Wikipedia]