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English Diary

British Customs, British Culture and British Traditions in February

Valentine's day
First Monday in Feb

National Sickie Day

The first Monday in February is dubbed "national sickie day" - when bosses are most likely to discover that staff have stayed at home taking a "sickie", as in phoning in as too ill to work, when there's nothing really wrong with them, apart from the fact that they are "sick of going in to work". Learn More

1st February

La Feill Bhride

Otherwise known as St. Bride's Day. This is yet another religious festival that absorbs ancient Celtic traditions into the Christian calendar. St Bride is the patron saint of milkmaids. Learn More

2nd February

Candlemas Day

Many churches used to bless all the candles to be used during the year on this day. Learn More

2nd February

Groundhog Day

Will Phil see his shadow? Groundhog Day is an American/Canadian holiday. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks. We really don't celebrate this in the UK, probably due to the lack of groundhogs. Learn More

7th February

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born on 7th February, 1812. Learn More

14th February

Valentine's Day

Romance is in the air this month. Valentines Day is the day that sweethearts and couples let their romantic side show, but it is full of traditions, and I'll admit, not all of them make sense. Learn More

17th - 21st February

London Fashion Week

The créme de la créme of fashion descends on London this week. 170 designers will showcase their collections, from the sublime to the ridiculous, but never boring. Learn More

21st February

International Mother Language Day

Started by UNESCO, this International Day has been observed every year since February 2000. So, put down your English text books and get together to speak your native tongue. Oh dear,linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism, but I am English - so I guess I'll have to put down my German text books. Learn More

28th February

Shrove Tuesday

Yum, yum, yum. Pancake Day is here again! Traditionally, all the foods that are forbidden during Lent – meat, eggs, fat and milk – are eaten up on Shrove Tuesday.   Learn More

1st March

Ash Wednesday

Marks the beginning of Lent a time of mourning and penitence, spiritual renewal, fasting and almsgiving. Associated with the Christian Church season known as Lent—the 40 days preceding Good Friday and Easter. Christians in the UK still give up something they enjoy, (usually cigarettes, alcohol or chocolate) for Lent. This year I am giving up chocolate.   Learn More

26th February

Tell a Fairy Tale Day

You probably know what Einstein is supposed to have said, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Today is the day to read more fairy tales.

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