Apr
19
2009
0

What May Day traditions can children enjoy?

May blossom for May Day - also called hawthorn, whitethorn, maythorn etc. - photo by D.H.Wright - CC-BYIf you want to celebrate May Day as a family, or with a larger group of kids, try planning some activities based on old traditions. Creating your own festival is just as good as going to see a parade, or watching other people dancing round a maypole. And you can do both! May Day in [&hel[more...]

Apr
13
2009
0

What are rag trees, clootie wells, and raggedy bushes?

Scottish clootie well, with rags and ribbons tied on trees for good luck and healing, and water trickling nearby. (Photo by conner395 - CC-BY)Rag trees, clootie wells, and raggedy bushes are English, Scottish, and Irish names for special places with a mystical reputation. People visit in the hope of healing and good fortune and tie a piece of cloth on a particular tree or bush near a well or source of water. Often the tree is a hawthorn [&hel[more...]

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Mar
29
2009
0

What are some Easter egg traditions from Britain?

Coloured eggs for Easter rolling or hunting (Photo by kishbee - CC-BY) An egg hunt is popular in some parts of the UK, but at one time it was as likely to be a hare hunt – either really trying to find a hare or a ritual mock hunt. The idea of the Easter hare, or a rabbit, hiding eggs for children to find may have arrived [&hel[more...]

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Mar
12
2009
1

How does “Secret Santa” work?

Photo by Tony Kennick - CC-BYThe Secret Santa tradition has taken hold in the workplace in recent years. It offers a way for colleagues to give gifts to each other without needing to worry about what the recipient thinks of the present – because the recipient won’t know who gave it. In its simplest form, the organiser sets a price [&hel[more...]

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Feb
27
2009
2

What traditions belong to Mothering Sunday?

Primroses for Mother's Day?      Photo by ndrwfgg - CC-BYOnce UK shops have cleared out their Valentines, they stock up with Mother’s Day cards. In amongst them will be a few that wish you a Happy Mothering Sunday. It’s the Sunday about half way between Pancake Day (Mardi Gras) and Easter, and has been a day for recognising English mothers for several centuries. If [&hel[more...]

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