Traditions

Shrove Tuesday: Football, Racing and Lots of Pancakes

Today is Shrove Tuesday, the last day before Lent (which is what Christians did before Stoptober became a thing), or as it’s better known in Britain: Pancake Day. And as it’s an ancient tradition that stretches back at least …

Never Mind the Groundhogs: Happy Hedgehog Day!

Groundhogs are far from the first beasts to have their hibernation schedules put to use by people who predict the weather. In fact, their role in divining how much winter there is left is a relatively recent development.

May Day: The Hills Are Alight With the Fire of Beltane

In the ancient Celtic societies of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cornwall (and indeed all across Europe) May Day—known as Beltane—was the first day of summer. It’s part of a binary calendar that is largely concerned with …

British Good Friday Traditions: Pace-Egging, Toss Pot and St. George

Having made an attempt to round up several of the more unorthodox Easter traditions of the British Isles earlier in the week, here’s one that we’ve saved for a more in-depth analysis, not least because it will be being …

Five British Easter Traditions That Will Surprise Americans

Tradition is the simple matter of doing something once because it’s the right thing to do, and then doing it again (and again) for no good reason at all. And traditions that have withstood the warping effects of hundreds of …

10 British Ways to Ring in the New Year

Before we get started, let’s be clear that traditions are often unique and singular, and have the capacity to travel far and wide. So if we happen across a thing you always do out in Missouri or Seattle, and you’ve never …