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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The holidays in the British Isles

Holidays, don’t we all just love them? A time away from work, a time to spend with your family, friends and your loved ones.

But this is also a great time to create.

Many people live and create crafts in the countries they were born in but some of them have moved to a different country and learned a new culture and traditions. The internet gave us new horizons and thanks to Etsy, the artists from the post Soviet countries are able to show and sell their creations all over the world! Though Etsy was born in the United States it has now become an international community of craftsmen and craft lovers.

My name is Katerina and I am a UK resident living in England and working in Wales. So I made this list of the UK holidays through the year to help my fellow crafters with their creative ideas.
January 1st, the beginning of a new year. Time to make some new resolutions! Some of the best gifts are calendars, organizers, planers and other presents with the new year number on it. Symbols of Chinese New Year are popular too, but to be clear the Chinese New Year starts a little later in a season. This year the Year of the Dragon and metal. Next year will be the Year of the Snake and water.
 February 14th, St Valentines’ day. This day is very popular in all Christian countries. Traditional gifts are cards, sweets, jewellery, love tokens and flowers, real or faux. Since not everyone has their true love, the anti-Valentine symbols are growing in popularity. So are sayings like: "Single and love it", "Kill Cupid". It does not matter if you love this day or hate it, I think it's all about fun!

February 21st, Shrove Tuesday. The other name for it is a Pancake Day. There is a similar holiday in Russia called Maslianitsa. This day is all about pancakes!    
March 1st, St David’s Day, St. David is the patron saint of Wales. Traditional motives are daffodils, the wild flowers of Wales and the Welsh flag with the red dragon. These motives will be used everywhere, in jewellery, car’s ornaments, tableware and so much more!
The Welsh are very proud people and they will use their favourite items with symbols through the year. 

 March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day.  St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. A very popular day all over the world! Green is a favorite color of this day. The traditional motives are shamrocks, leprechauns, bowler hats, harps and a Celtic Cross. Don’t forget that St Patrick was the saint who taught Irish people to brew a beer. As they say in Dublin, in every bottle of Guinness is a child. 

April 1st, Fools Day. April's Fools Day is the day of practical jokes and fun. 

Easter Sunday. This date changes every year, so this year it will be celebrated on April 8th. This is one of the main Christian holidays, full of love and light. The main colours are mint, pink and cream. The gifts are very cute. The Easter Bunny or Easter Rabbit brings baskets filled with dyed eggs, candy and sometimes toys to the children. 

 April 23rd, St. George's Day. There is no special tradition, but the parliament group in the UK parliament are trying to promote 23 April as an annual celebration of England and the country’s patron saint. The English flag, a red rose (the traditional flower of England) are widely used for creative ideas. 
May 1st, May Day. This day is celebrated as the start of the summer season. A widespread tradition is a Maypole and Morris dancing. Other traditions include making floral garlands, decorating houses with flowers and leaves and electing and crowning a May Queen. In some areas, girls go out very early to wash their faces in the morning dew to make themselves beautiful for the coming year. This is the time of the rebirth of nature with an explosion of colour throughout the land. Use these ideas as an inspiration for your collections!

June 5th, the Diamond Jubilee is from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. She is the oldest and 2nd longest reigning British monarch in over 1,200 years of history. Use images of crowns, a red rose and the English flag in your creations!

June 17th, Father's Day. Think of a creative present for dads and dads to be. Also, "The best dad” and “Superman” cards are very popular on this day. 
 There are no more holidays in the summer but who needs it when it’s sunny, warm and kids are on their summer school break. There are lots of country fairs, music festivals, car shows and this year, the Olympic games are coming. Use your creative imagination!

 October 31st - November 1st, Halloween or All Saints Day. Everyone loves this holiday and you really don't need my tips on crafts for this holiday. Did you know that the popular glass balls we use to decorate our Christmas tree were used in witchcraft for fortune-telling and divination? All Saints Day made all good Christians think about their soul, so Halloween decorations must disappear overnight and should be hidden until next year.  

November 5th, Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night. On the 5th of November in 1605, Guy Fawkes, a member of Gunpowder Plot, was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder. This day is still commemorated each year with fireworks and bonfires in England. Time to make nice photos! 
 November 11th, Remembrance or Poppy Day. A special day to remember all those men and women who died during the two World Wars and other conflicts. It is traditional to wear an artificial poppy. They are sold by the Royal British Legion, a charity dedicated to helping war veterans. Lots of jewellery designers create jewelled poppies and sell them with part of profit going to a charity. 
 November 30th, St. Andrew's Day. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. The thistle is the emblem of Scotland and the tartan pattern is used among Scottish national symbols.

According to a legend, a group of Scots were sleeping in a field when a group of vikings crept up to attack. Fortunately one of the vikings stood on a thistle, whose prickles penetrated through to his foot and made him scream with pain. His cries woke the sleeping Scots who were able to fight off their attackers. It is said that from this day forward the thistle has been adopted as Scotland's national emblem. 

Scots carried their symbols with them to every corner of the globe. As a result there are many more people who regard themselves as Scots outside Scotland than within. 

St. Andrew's Day marks the opening of Christmas Markets. 
So, December 25th is Christmas!

These dates are just some of the main holidays in the British  Isles

Story by Katerina (newcraft)


Luxury by Vera said...

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing!

Katrinshine said...

Very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Great list of Holidays, it will be a big help for crafters

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