UK: Festivals & Celebrations                                            

  • May Day is a traditional springtime celebration. May 1st marks the arrival of spring after the cold months of winter. May Day is filled with lively music and dancing. Each village chooses a May Day Queen. At the center of the celebration is a huge maypole. Children skip around it, holding onto long ribbon streamers that wind around the pole as they dance. As they move in and out, the streamers are woven into a colorful braid. The lengthening of the days is symbolized by the unwinding of the ribbons when the children change direction. Ickwell, a village in England, still has a maypole that stands year round.  It was built in 1894 from a fir tree.

  • In Northern Ireland, Oul Lammas (the oldest county fair), is held in Bally Castle every summer. There are lots of stalls with people selling their goods. Also, many farm animals are on display.
  • In August, Wales holds the Eisteddfod Music and Poetry Festival

  • In August, people in Edinburgh, Scotland celebrate the Edinburgh Festival. There are concerts, exhibitions, plays and military displays.
  • Guy Fawkes’ Night is held on November 5th. Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.  He was caught just as he was about to light the gunpowder. The holiday celebrates the victory of the capture by lighting fireworks and bonfires.