Articles Tagged 'Traditions'

MP’s And Lords Line-up For The Annual Parliamentary Pancake Race (Pic: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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 a thousand years, the event has picked up a few little quirks and idiosyncrasies along the […]

A hedgehog

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. As far as most people in Europe are concerned, the term Groundhog Day is merely a reference […]

The Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh

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 natural cycles of death and rebirth, starting today and ending on November 1, the first day of winter. To […]

Bottle Kicking

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 passing years are even harder to explain than those with a clear mandate from the […]

A black rabbit

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 even been to Europe, much less the British Isles, let’s just call it a […]

NapoleonDynamiteDancing

A Brit’s Guide to High School Proms in America

First things first, I’m not talking about the musical Proms we all know and love in the U.K., I’m talking about the fancy parties that mark the end of the academic school year. In the last decade, proms have become almost de rigueur in the U.K. with about 85% of schools reporting some kind of […]