Afternoon tea , is a small meal snack typically eaten between 2pm and 5pm. The custom of afternoon tea originated in England in the 1840s. At the time, the various classes in England had a divergence in their eating habits. The upper classes typically ate luncheon at about midday and dinner (if not eschewed in favor of the later supper) at 8:00 pm or later, while the lower classes ate dinner at about 11:00 am and then a light supper at around 7:00 pm. For both groups, afternoon tea filled a gap in the meals. The custom spread throughout the British Empire and beyond in succeeding decades. However, changes in social customs and working hours mean that most 21st Century Britons will rarely take afternoon tea, if at all.
Over half the weddings in the UK take place in local register offices and the rest are religious ceremonies of one
kind or another. A few years ago changes in the law allowed couples to get married in all sorts of places (known
as a civil Wedding Ceremony).
Most weddings take place on Saturday afternoons, this is very much the “peak period” in any week for getting
Before the Wedding takes place
Brides have 'Hen' nights and bridegrooms have 'Stag' parties (similar to bachelor/bachelorette parties).
For couples getting married in a church, 'banns' announcing the proposed wedding are read aloud in the church
three Sundays before the wedding. The groom chooses a Best Man who will look after the couple rings during the
The Wedding Day
It is unlucky for the groom to see the bride on the wedding day before the service. Traditionally the bride wears a
white dress and the groom wears a suit (top hat and tails). The bride may be attended by bridesmaids and
pageboys. The groom and the bride say their vows. They give each other rings. They sign a wedding register.
After the wedding ceremony
After the wedding ceremony guests are invited to attend a meal and further celebrations. This is known as the
Wedding Reception. Guests leave presents for the bride and groom on a table in the room where the reception
takes place. It is traditional for the Best Man, Brides Father and the Groom to give a speech at the wedding
What is British Humour?
In popular culture, British humour is a somewhat general term applied to
certain types of comedy and comedic acts from the United Kingdom. Many
UK comedy TV shows typical of British humour have become popular all
round the world, and, for good or bad, have been a strong avenue for the
export and representation of British culture to an international audience,
but like many things the "typical" British sense of humour doesn't really
There are many different kinds of humour, and
often culture and tradition
plays a big part in how funny you may find
something, or not.
Changing the Guard
Perhaps the epitome of London's surviving pageantry can be found in the
ceremonial Changing of the Guard. A hugely popular spectacle, the
Changing of the Guard takes place at a range of royal locations in and
around London daily during the summer (April-July) and on alternate days
for the rest of the year. There is no ticketing, so make sure you get there
early. Ever since 1660 Household Troops have guarded the Sovereign
Palaces. The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence until 1689 and
was guarded by the Household Cavalry (they can still be seen here
today; outside Horse Guards Arch). The court moved to St James's
Palace in 1689 and when Queen
Victoria moved into Buckingham
Palace (1837) the Queen's Guard
remained at St James's Palace and a
detachment guarded Buckingham
Palace, as it does today.
Trooping the Colour
Often cited as the ceremonial event of the year, the Trooping the Colour marks the
'official' birthday of the Queen. Her actual birthday is 21st April but it is a long-standing
tradition to publicly celebrate her birthday on a summer day. This tradition dates back to
the early 18th century when the Colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (Trooped)
past soldiers to reinforce the colours of their regiment so that they would recognise them
in battle. Ever since 1748 this ceremony has also marked the Sovereign's birthday.
Trooping the Colour takes place in June when the Queen leaves Buckingham Palace to
her arrival at Horse Guards Parade when a gun salute is fired from Green Park.
The action centres on Horse Guards Parade, where the Queen receives the royal salute
and inspects the troops.
Ceremony of the Keys
Every night the Tower of London is locked up by the Chief Warder who makes
his way to the gates from the Byward Tower at exactly 9.53pm. Once all the
Tower gates are locked, the Last Post is sounded by a trumpeter and the
ceremony is concluded. This ceremony represents a 700-year-old
tradition and lasts no more than 10 minutes.
The Chief Warder represents the Yeoman Warders (more commonly known as
'Beefeaters') who have looked after the Tower since the 14th century. Today
they perform the role of tour guide in addition to their ceremonial duties.
The origins of the now traditional Christmas Celebration, distinct from earlier pagan
winter holidays, date to sixth century England. By the middle ages, it was a well
established important holiday, with traditional pageantry, customs, music and feasting all
its own. Customs from pre Christian days were incorporated into the Celebrations, and
many still remain.
However in 1647, the English parliament passed a law that made Christmas illegal, all
festivities were banned by the Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell, who considered feasting
and revelry on what was supposed to be a holy day to be immoral. The ban was lifted
only when Cromwell lost power in 1660.
In Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551
(which has not yet been repealed) states that every
citizen must attend a Christian church service on
Christmas Day, and must not use any kind of vehicle to
get to the service There are a large number of Britons
who break this law every year. The law may have been
intended to encourage humility by forcing even the
wealthy to attend the church on foot, or perhaps it was
simply to avoid the traffic and parking crush that
universal attendance would otherwise
have brought about. Later, during Queen Victoria's
reign, Christmas became a time for gift giving, and a
special season for children.
Boxing Day - December 26th
In England Boxing Day celebrated on December 26th, is traditionally a time to
give gifts to tradesmen, servants, and friends.
It originated in medieval times, when every priest was supposed
to empty the alms box of his church and distribute gifts to the
poor. Wealthy people indulged in huge Christmas feasts, and when they were
finished, packed up the remains of feasts in boxes and gave them out to their
servants. It didn't become widely celebrated though until Victorian England.
In Ireland there is an Irish custom called "feeding the wren". The custom is
based on a legend of St. Stephen. Once he was forced to hide in a bush, but a
chattering wren gave him away. In the past
Children caged the wren to help it do
penance for this misdeed. Nowadays
children carry a long pole with a holly
bush at the top - which is supposed to
hide a captured wren.
In the UK Boxing Day is still a public
holiday, some shops and supermarkets
open nowadays, but banks and most
offices remain closed.
New Year's Day Parade
The New Year's Day Parade is parade of 10,000 performers from all around the
world through the streets of the West End of London from Parliament Square to
Piccadilly, which takes place annually on 1 January.
London International Mime Festival
The London International Mime Festival is an annual festival of contemporary
visual theatre which takes place every January.
Chinese New Year Festival
The Chinese New Year festival to mark
the start of the Chinese New Year, the
date varies from late January to
Whisky Live London
Whisky Live London is the most important England's whisky event of the year, offers the
chance to learn about the culture and history of whisky, try and taste hundreds of whisky
St Patrick's Day Parade The Parade is in commemoration of St Patrick where bands
from the UK, Ireland and USA, community groups, and others take to the streets of
central London for a spectacular march.
Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
Cambridge and Oxford University boat clubs race annually each Spring on the Thames
river along 4.25 miles. The event is very popular, not only with the alumni of the
universities also with rowers in general and the public who wants participate.
The London Marathon is the second largest marathon in participants terms, the race is
along a course of 42.195 km (26 miles and 385 yards), runners stretches from
Greenwich Park and Black Heath to the Buckingham Palace Mall.
London Golf Show
It is the biggest public European Golf Show. It shows a wide range of golf equipment,
apparel and all related to the game.
London Horse Harness Parade
The London Harness Horse Parade is a horse parade and takes place annually on
Easter Monday at The South of England Centre, Sussex.
The Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show is a garden show and takes place every year on five
days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society in the grounds of the Royal
Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, it shows the best garden designs and horticulture,
and show ideas to take for new gardens designs.
Hampstead & Highgate Festival
Hampstead & Highgate Festival is a competition of classical compositions, and
variety of arts. It takes place at North London villages.
Dulwich Festival (London)
Dulwich Festival is an arts and cultural
events aim to celebrate local talent,
professionals and amauteurs participate
in artistic events.
London International Festival of Theatre
London International Festival of Theatre,
is a progressive biennial theatre
festival which creatively explores local
and global issues using theatre as a
City of London Festival
The City of London Festival is an arts festival that takes place in the City of
London for two or three weeks in June and July. The Festival offers classical
music, opera, film screenings, lectures and guided tours.
Spitalfields Festival is a music festival that takes place in the Spitalfields area of
Tower Hamlets. Classical music is typically played, however in addition much of
the music reflects local ethnic groups.
Summer Olympia Fine Art & Antiques Fair
The Summer Olympia Fine Art & Antiques Fair is one of the largest fairs in the
international art and antiques calendar. Hundreds of distinguished UK and
international dealers showcase an
unrivalled selection of the finest works
of art at the Olympia Exhibition Centre
East Barnet Festival
East Barnet Festival is a three-day
music, arts and sports festival and one
of the largest community festival in the
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is an annual event run by the Royal
Horticultural Society at Hampton Court Palace.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
The BBC Proms is an eight-week summer season of orchestral classical music
concerts held annually in Central London.
Greenwich + Docklands Festival
The annual Greenwich + Docklands International Festival is an extended
Midsummer weekend of ravishing free outdoor performances from major
international companies, and pioneering new work from UK artists.
Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival is a large street
festival and celebration of Caribbean
culture, whith parades of costumed dancers
and colourfully decorated floats.
Coin Street Festival
The Coin Street Festival takes place at Coin
Street and celebrates the co
operation in its many forms and is held on the
South Bank between the National
Theatre and Tate Modern.
The London Festival of Chamber Music
It is a four weeks festival, aims to make chamber music
accessible to a wider audience, with performances of the
highest standard at local venues.
The Chelsea Crafts Fair’s
The Chelsea Crafts Fair’s is a showcase of the finest
contemporary craft from the UK.
Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival
Shows the original Pearly Kings and
Queens gather in their buttoned suits for
the annual Harvest Festival Service,
takes place at the church of
St Martin-in-the Fields, Trafalgar Square.
The London Film Festival
The Times BFI London Film Festival showcases the best new films of world cinema, ith
an extensive schedule of industry and public forums, education events, lectures and
London to Brighton Veteran Car Run The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the
longest-running motoring event in the world the racers have to drive for 86km (54 miles)
from Hyde Park in London to Brighton, it takes place every first sunday in November.
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night is a annual Britain celebration on November 5th. The event displays
firework, the lighting of bonfires and the
ceremonial effigy-burning of one Guy
Lord Mayor's Show
The Lord Mayor's Show is a street parade
which in its modern form is a fairly light
hearted combination of traditional British
pageantry and elements of carnival.
Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree
It celebrates the beginning of Christmas, is world’s most famous