British English Holiday Words
A holiday is any day set aside by law or custom where normal daily activities, particularly work or school including church, are either suspended or completely eliminated. In general, all holidays are meant to enable people to celebrate or commemorate a meaningful event or tradition of religious or cultural importance. In some instances, the intention of a holiday is to draw public attention to a particular issue such as a school holiday. In these instances, school authorities often restrict the school bus to use during the holiday and the drivers must display the school colors or other related symbols.
The history of the holiday dates back to the time of the Roman Empire when it was used as a way to pass away auspiciously. In 17th Century, Queen Elizabeth the Great officially changed the name of England’s most popular holiday from St. Valentine’s Day to Valentine’s Day. Since then, various names for the holiday have been used in Britain, but “vacation” seems to be the most common form. One reason why people go on vacation is to spend time with their family. Whether that time is spent catching up on the latest news or just relaxing with each other, or both, family vacations are one of the most well-known holidays in the United Kingdom.
Most common holiday names in Britain are designed to describe typical ways of celebrating holidays. While it may seem strange to refer to a tooth holiday as a “good time,” the British English language uses many words to describe normal activities during that time. For instance, we would refer to the traditional New Year’s celebrations as “the old year” or “the spring period.”
There are several words associated with different holidays throughout the United Kingdom. For instance, some areas of England and Wales refer to Mother’s Day as Mothering Sunday. In Scotland, the word for Christmas is referred to as “the festive period.” The most common holiday names throughout the rest of the United Kingdom are more generic, such as “Christmas,” “holidays,” “Thanksgiving,” “dinner” and “church.” When referring to a Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom, the term “bank holiday” is commonly used to describe any kind of holiday that takes place between banking hours on the banking holiday.
In the United Kingdom, public holidays and religious institutions are not necessarily associated with specific religions. In some cases, both public and religious holidays are used to identify certain days of the week. On some occasions, public holidays refer to non-religious events. For example, “Paisley day” in the United Kingdom is a public holiday on which citizens can observe the paschal cycle, a historical parade, and street celebrations.
When people spend away from home, they typically use holiday names that are descriptive of the locations where they are spending time. Although traditional names like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and Hanukkah are still used, more flexible terms such as a loved one’s birthday, a special celebration or the name of a loved pet are also used. More recently, many shoppers have begun referring to their holiday shopping as “pampering holidays” rather than referring to it as a “honeymoon”. In addition, many shoppers also give gifts that are designed to be personalized or customized to include a message or artwork, instead of purchasing something off a store shelf.