Confession time: are you already thinking about when you can take your next holiday? If we did a poll, I am sure the percentage of people saying they haven’t would be very low. There are many online offers being sent to straight to your inbox, trying to tempt you to part with your hard earned January cash. Did you know that there were – historically – far more British Holidays than there are now…..?
St George’s Day was once a national holiday – 23 April – in honour of the patron saint of England. Oak Apple Day, sometimes known as Royal Oak Day – 29 May – was the birthday of Charles II who is said to have hidden in an oak tree after his defeat at Worcester. On the same date in 1660, he entered London at the Restoration of the monarchy. This day was officially abolished in 1859.
Handsel Day was the first Monday of the year. A day when gifts were offered, this has now been replaced by Boxing Day. And the first Monday after Twelfth Night, marking the end of the Christmas period, was once known as Plough Monday. A plough festival was held in rural areas with ploughboys collecting ‘plough-money’ for a riotous celebration.
And then there was Merry Monday! This was the day before Shrove Tuesday and was frequently spent in debauched revelry – hence it’s name. Sadly, no longer a holiday.
Do you know of any other defunct British Holidays?