Per Sarah's fantastic list. I've never even heard of half of these.
4th November, Mischief Night: This day is when people used to be mischievous by misplacing objects belonging to others. Young people make a “ penny for a guy” which is a doll normally made of hay and straw with clothing, sometimes barely un-recognisable. The young people would sit on the street with the ‘guy’ and say ‘penny for the guy’, this was a way to raise funds for fireworks and sweets for Guy Fawkes Night the following day.
5th November, Guy Fawkes Night: This night is in rememberance of when Guy Fawkes attempted and failed to blow up the London Parliament with a gunpowder plot in 1605. Large bonfires are made and the ‘penny for the guy’ is burned on top of it. The penny for the guy was an effigy of Guy Fawkes. Fireworks are set off throughout the night.
11th November, Martinmas Day: This is the feast of St. Martin. It was the farmer’s custom to give his workers a cake and ale feast. The cakes made where made with seeds and whole grains, they are called Hopper Cakes. The traditional meal eaten on this day is beef.
11th November, Remembrance Day: This day is when people remember all the people who died during the wars by wearing a red poppy. There is aa 2 minute silence in remembrance.
15th November, BBC Children In Need: This is an annual event which raises funds for the charity, Children In Need. This is a charity which funds projects in the UK to help children and young people who are suffering and disadvantaged. You can fundraise yourself as well. BBC put on a programme where people phone up to give funds and watch entertainment.
Last Sunday of the church year, Stir-up Sunday: This is the traditional day where you begin to make your Christmas pudding and make a wish. It is made a month before Christmas to lock in flavours, this was before you could shop buy the cake.
6th December, St Nicholas Day: This day also is a feast day. St Nicholas is the patron saint of children. In Europe it is believed he will bring sweets & presents on this day, in UK this is later on in the month, by Santa Claus as St Nicholas’s name has changed.
17th December, Lord of Misrule: This day comes from ancient roman times where presents were also exchanged, informal clothes worn and gambling took place.
1st December, Advent: Everyone normally has an advent calandar on this day where you open a door on the calander once a day and you will find either some chocolate or small toy.
24th December, Christmas Eve: The evening before Christmas. This day people decorate the house and Christmas tree, some people do it a few days ahead if it’s easier for them. This is the night when Santa Claus comes down the chimney. Children leave milk and mince pies in the room for Santa, Carrots and Hay for the Reindeers. Before people used to hang stockings on the mantlepiece near the chimney but nowadays people hang the stocking on bedroom doors or at the end of the bed in hope they will be filled with presents. In church there is mass, carols to be sung and a nativity play. Sometimes people will knock on your door to sing carols.
25th December, Christmas Day: The day is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. First thing in the morning children tend to open their stockings and presents. Some people go to church. A large feast is made for Christmas Dinner… probably the only day people cook and eat sprouts! At dinner people tend to pull crackers, inside is a small toy and a paper hat. Some people may watch the Queen’s speech on TV.
26th December, Boxing Day: The day after Christmas. Traditionally on this day there was a box which people would place gifts, on this day it was opened to give gifts to the poor. In some schools across the country children fill boxes to give presents to the poor, shoe box appeal is one of them.
New Year - Tesco and WHS Smith are collecting Christmas cards to recycle.
1st January, New Year's Day: Arrive after midnight at either of my parent's house carrying coal, a piece of greenery, some money and some bread. The belief is that giving them these items is good luck. The coal symbolises that the house will always be warm, bread symbolises no hunger, greenery symbolises to have a long life and money to symbolise never running out of money. I think it's a sweet idea! In London there is a parade with more then 10,000 acrobats,dancers, musicians and performers. It starts at 12 noon.
First Saturday of January, Wassailing: Is a custom when evil spirits are driven away and good spirits are welcomed in hope of bringing good cider for the next year. On that day I will drink cider & eat apples!
4th January, World Braille Day: raising awareness to blindness issues.
5th January, The 12th Night: Christmas decorations must be down as it is bad luck otherwise.
31st October 2012: Halloween: People believe that this is the night where witches, ghosts and fairies are active. On this day children dress up in scary costumes, do trick-or-treat and bonfires. Trick-or-treat is when children knock on neighbouring houses saying ‘trick-or-treat’, Trick is when you pull a prank on the neighbour if you do not get a treat. Most of the time you will receive a treat of sweets or small change. A typical game played on this night is apple-bobbing. Foods that are traditional eaten is toffee (red colour) or chocolate covered apples. (Plan: Bake Halloween themed cakes? Do something in fancy dress? Go on a zombie walk somewhere?!?)