Remembrance Day

This day is observed throughout the Commonwealth and dates back to November 11, 1918 when all fighting in the First World War ended. It now commemorates British soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives in the two World Wars. Special services are held and wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph, a war memorial at Whitehall, where thousands of Londoners observe the two-minute silence and participate in the remembrance ceremony. Similar ceremonies are held throughout the country.

December, 25.


In England Christmas is the most important of all the bank holidays of the year. It is celebrated much the same way as in the United States of America. On December 26, the Boxing Day, traditionally people give each other Christmas presents, which used to come in boxes. It is a very pleasant custom indeed.

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London remains one of the world's strongholds of pageantry much of which is centred on traditional observances connected with the Royal family. They are always attracting large crowds of spectators, native Londoners as well as foreign visitors. Here are two of them.

Trooping the Colour

This Ceremony is held on the Sovereign's official birthday in June. This is the most colourful of all London's annual events, a pageantry of rare splendour with the Queen riding side-saddled on a highly trained horse. On Horse Guards' Parade in Whitehall the Queen inspects the Brigade of Guards, dressed in ceremonial uniforms. Then comes the Trooping ceremony, followed by the March past of the Guards to the music of the bands. Specially noted should be the precision drill of the regiments.

The State Opening of Parliament

This is another royal event at the end of November which draws thousands of spectators, who see the Queen on the drive from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament in the State Coach. The public are not admitted to Parliament to see her read the speech from the Throne, prepared for her by the Government. But the State Opening since 1966 is televised. Visitors are admitted to the Public Galleries only by the personal invitation of the members of Parliament.


Each state has its national holidays which are dedicated to the important dates in the establishment and history of the country, interesting customs and traditions all its own.

Americans share some holidays such as Easter, Christmas and New Year's Day with other countries of the world. Here are public holidays which are celebrated only by the Americans.