Going through the year planner and searching for all the holidays right at the start of a year is a common habit of people around the world.
Nothing makes them happy as an extra day off work. People of UK show these same characteristics as they enjoy a year filled with festivities and cultural events though not all are public holidays.
In case one of them falls on the weekend the holiday is extended to the next working day for the working population.
The list of UK’s bank holidays 2017 is a combined effort by the members of 123NewYear to bring to its revered readers a compiled list of holidays over the year with their respective dates and a brief idea about its traditions and religious beliefs as well as an insight of how people in UK celebrate these holidays.
Here’s a list of UK’s bank holidays in 2017:
|Holidays in UK||Date||Description|
|New Year’s Day||2nd January 2017||The holiday is extended as New Year falls on a Sunday. It marks the first day of the Gregorian Calendar and also the end of Christmas break before people head out to work again. New year’s eve is spent at parties in pubs and night clubs by many people so this day is often used to recover from the huge amount of energy spent the day before. In many regions around the coast of UK, people dress up in costumes and dive into the cold sea. Also, this is the time when people make new year resolutions to promise to themselves that they will take steps to make their life better in the upcoming year. There are also certain customs like people sing the song ‘Aud Lang Syne’ at midnight as well as the first person to enter a house (first-footer) on new year will bring good luck if it’s a male one or bad luck if it’s a female first-footer.|
|Pancake Tuesday||28th February 2017||Also known as Shrove Tuesday, it is the last day of gorging before the 40-day period of fasting during Lent. This holiday involves the consumption of high caloric and fatty food especially pancakes and thus the name. In England, mob football games are held on this day and pancake races are organized in several villages and towns of UK. This race involves people running with a frying pan in hand and tossing pancakes in the air and catching them while they run. The most famous pancake race takes place at Olney in Buckinghamshire.|
|St. David’s Day||1st March 2017||The Welsh culture and the life of the patron saint of the people of Welsh origin i.e. St. David is celebrated on this day each year. People generally attend special church services, choral recitals, parades and welsh literature readings on this day. Local schools arrange choirs with children dressed up in traditional costumes. Adults may pin the symbols of Wales i.e. a daffodil or a leek to their clothes. Also, the traditional meal on this day consists of ‘cawl’ which is a soup made of leek.|
|“St. Patrick’s Day||17th March 2017||“This holiday celebrates the Irish culture and commemorates the life of St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints. A large parade is held in Belfast on this day and many people go to celebrate in the local Irish pubs. Nottingham also hosts a weekend of celebrations which consist of a parade, arts and music festival, children’s workshops and stage performances by popular Irish musicians. Liverpool witnesses a three day Irish festival and London celebrates for an entire week including a parade to Trafalgar Square and Convent Garden and a festival too. These events help people understand and enjoy the Irish culture and their food, crafts, dance and music tastes.|
|Good Friday||14th April 2017||” Also known as Black Friday or Easter Friday, this day commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ and start of the Easter weekend. It is a bank holiday in the country and people will probably attend a special church service on this day. For some people, it is a day off work to enjoy the spring season and spend time with friends and family. Also, meat is generally not eaten on this day by the Catholics so consequently fish is preferred for this occasion. As per traditions, hot cross buns i.e. buns marked with a cross of flour and water paste on top are eaten on this day.|
|Easter Monday||17th April 2017||“Easter Monday is the day right after Easter Sunday and the last day of the 4-day Easter festivity. For some people, it is the perfect time to enjoy the spring season and work in the garden or relax before heading off to work the next day. Egg rolling competitions are arranged in some places along with special sport matches and Easter bonnet parades. The villages of Hallaton and Medbourne in Leicestershire hold a bottle kicking match every year since the early eighteenth century.|
|St. George’s Day||23rd April 2017||“This date marks the anniversary of the death of England’s patron saint. St. George. This day is considered to be the national day of England. St. George was a soldier in the Roman army and according to legends; he had killed a dragon to save a princess. Today, this festival is celebrated with parades and dances. Church services include the hymn ‘Jerusalem’ during this time. Flags bearing the St. George cross flutter on some buildings, pubs predominating along with people sporting a red rose on their lapel.|
|Early May Bank Holiday||“1st May 2017||“This holiday falls on the first Monday of May every year. In early times, this day originated as a Roman festival to honor and celebrate the start of the summer season. Then over the later years, it transformed into a day of paying tribute to the contributing union workers of the past and for the campaigning of worker rights. One of the most popular traditions is the Maypole Dancing which is the dance around a tall pole that has ribbons suspended from it. The aim of the dance is to create a beautiful and eye pleasing pattern on the pole using the ribbons. Another traditional performance takes place which is known as the Morris Dance. It involves men dressed in white with bells on their costumes, dancing with long wooden sticks. A May queen is also crowned who is considered to be the human avatar of roman God Flora. This day also celebrates and demands worker rights and hence large marches are organized by trade union members in London and other regions too.|
|Spring Bank Holiday||29th May 2017||“Also known as the late May Bank holiday, it falls on the last Monday of May. This holiday took the place of Whit Monday which was the Monday just after Pentecost. For some people it is a day spent in enjoying the spring season and taking a walk in the countryside or visiting parks and garden centers. There are a few customs associated with this holiday like the race down the steep Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth following a large round cheese weighing about 8 lbs. Another tradition is held in Endon, Staffordshire, where the villagers dress in their best clothes, and they organize a fair where the local med take part in a competition called ‘tossing the sheaf’. Also by the end of the event, a girl is crowned with the title of Well Dressing Queen.|
|Battle of the Boyne||12th July 2017||This holiday commemorates the Battle of Boyne which had taken place on Ireland’s east coast in 1690. This day is called by various names like “Orangemen’s Day”, “Glorious Twelfth” or just “Twelfth”. The northern Ireland towns host marches and walk accompanied by marching bands and organized with the help of Lodges of the Orange order. The people walking wear dark suits and collarette’s which are often made from orange cloth. A more traditional getup used to include black bowler hats and white gloves but those are not seen much nowadays. Lodges carry the Union flag in their hand also known as the Union Jack.|
|Guy Fawkes Day||5th November 2017||Also known as Bonfire Night, it marks the anniversary of the day in 1605 when the plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London was prevented successfully. Guy Fawkes was a catholic who was arrested, tortured and put to death for his contribution to the blowing up plot. People light bonfires and set off fireworks, some in their own gardens while others in big communal spaces. Also, the government organizes firework displays in parks. Popular eatables of this day are bonfire toffees, toffee apples and baked potatoes prepared in the fire of the bonfires.|
|Christmas Day||25th December 2017||This holiday celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ all over the world with UK being no exception. During this time, people decorate their homes with fairy lights, the Christmas tree and mistletoe bunches. In many places, scenes illustrating the birth of Jesus Christ are shown and special services in churches also take place. Family members give presents to each other and children find a stocking filled with gifts supposedly from ‘Santa Claus’. The Christmas day feast comprises of dishes like roast turkey, mashed potatoes, mince pies and a heavy, dense pudding filled with nuts and dry fruits which is often served after pouring brandy on top.|
|Boxing Day||26th December 2017||This holiday is the day right after Christmas and a major day as it’s the start of the post-Christmas sales. Earlier this day had a tradition of employers distributing food and cloth to their employees but in recent times it is a day of important sporting events like horse racing and soccer. For a part of the population, this day is a resting day to recover from the events filled days spent the week before. Another portion especially the shopaholic ones take to the stores on this day queuing right from dawn to grab the best bargains.|