Sunday, 5 July 2009

4th July and a giveaway.

Happy 4th July to my American friends.

Why is it that in England, we celebrate nothing. I mean St Georges day passes without anyone noticing, Remembrance Sunday is of course remembered by some, to name but a few. I can remember as a child having street parties for things and certainly during my Grandmother and mothers time people would remember and celebrate event. But in modern day England "Certainly not" unless it is Christmas when people rush out to buy all sorts of crap and junk to get themselves into debt over. Halloween is kind of celebrated but only by children out alone in the dark wearing garish masks knocking on peoples doors for money and not sweets. Most of these children are teenagers who have gone into the nearest shop and bought a £1 mask. (sigh!!).

We have no national days, no special celebrations, remembrances or partys..

WHY ????

Because we are British ... (bleurgh)

OK so I am not feeling all too patriotic today, perhaps I should go out and buy a Union Jack to display, oh but there are rules about those too. grrrrrr..

Ok so as I have American relatives, who granted I have not seen in years (but my Mum keeps in touch with)... am I aloud to celebrate things like Thanksgiving and some of your other fun stuff. Can I be made an Honourany (is that spelt right???) American for the sake of my children who will grow up not having fab celebrations apart from their birthday and christmas ( yes I am probably one of those who dashes around getting stressed buying crap ;> ..... )

Now my English friends if you can prove me wrong then please do so and tell me what we celebrate over here.. Is it just that living way up north we are not civilised enough to know about these things, is there a whole party scene going on that we dont know about and the county dont tell the rough and ready Northerners for fear of invasion.. OK so I am kidding please dont send me emails!!!
BUT please do tell me what as English people we celebrate for our country. Please leave your ideas, links or suggestions in the comments and I will enter all of your names into a hat for a fab giveaway. I am happy to post overseas, please leave your ideas.


Lil'Green Bird said...

That's a tricky one :) I think it depends on whether we're thinking about patriotic celebrations or community/ family ones. We celebrate the seasons with harvest supper and dancing, epiphany (where we save a present for each other from Christmas), Plough Sunday when we ask blessing on the farmers and crops. Pancake day and then we fly kites for lent. Easter brings eggs hunts - Here in the North we have Rose Queen festivals in June where everyone gets together with a fete and then an annual Jazz and hogg roast. National rituals are few and far between and not always something we want to be involved in so we mark our community/ family year in lots of different ways. Thank you for a thought provoking post!

Anonymous said...

We celebrated St George's Day with Union flag bunting, Victoria sponge, salmon and cucumber sandwiches and a pot of tea in the garden. In our local town there was a St George's Day event on the Sunday and a local card shop was selling flags, cards and (I think) other related bits and pieces.

If people want to celebrate something they will, if they can't be bothered they won't. Apathy is likely the biggest reason for not celebrating. If folk want to celebrate there is nothing stopping them. Perhaps also there is an expectation that a celebration is something to be provided by someone else and not something to be organised yourself if you want it to happen. Who organised the street parties of your childhood? Perhaps you could get one going for next St George's Day.

You may also be interested in this:

I don't know if they are doing it next year, but it is a celebration of sorts and something that might get people interested in other types of celebration locally.

:) Mara

lisa ridgeon said...

I think that the English or to be correct...the local councils are so worried about 'upsetting' others that they simply don't encourage celebrations. My Hubby and i fly the St. Georges flag outside our's been there for 3 years now and we've had no complaints, in fact visitors love it! And on St. Georges day we close our business for the day and take our employees out. We start with a full English breakfast, then...paintballing last year, swinging through trees on ropes this year...followed by an English roast dinner at the local pub! If you want to celebrate something then gather your friends together and celebrate!!

Barbara said...

I often feel the same Sarah. As an English person living in Scotland I see that the Scots have pride in being Scottish, my husband is Irish and likewise that is a 'good' thing to be. But it does sometimes feel that if an English person tries to show their patriotism then it's often seen as a bad thing. I'm confused!
Though I do agree with Me in the last comment in that if we want to celebrate then we should and often it just needs one person to show a bit of interest and others will appear. People have perhaps got out of the habit of celebrating St Georges Day.
Where I live there is a civic week each July with masses going on for all ages. Everyone loves it but it's often very difficult to get enough people onto the committee in order to run it properly. So I know that apathy does play a part.

Anyway you go for it. I'd love if you organised a St Georges tea party next year and blogged all about it!
Btw - I've fixed the link for the cuffs. Bx

Greentwinsmummy said...

In our little hamlet here we have just had a village picnic & friday just gone we had the summer party,all to raise funds for the church but also a damn fine excuse if ever one was needed lol for me to hang red,white & blue bunting everywhere I could mwhahhaha,It looked so jolly flapping in the breeze :o)
Harvest festival is very big here,we have a lovely church service & then a lunch in the farm house.
I quite agree St Georges Day should be nationally recognised,a bank holiday.I think there is an ongoing campaign to do that,whether the powers that be ever start to listen to us folks tho doh!
GTM x xx

smilernpb said...

Ooh my hubby would love to respond to this post, I just know it. As others have said, it is simply a fear of upsetting others that we do not have mass celebration for days such as St George's Day.

In our school, we have a large number of Polish children...and of course, for fear of upsetting them, although they live in England...nothing was done on St George's Day....which was disappointing.

It really is sad, because you can just see how patriotic the Amercian's are, and I bet they all celebrated one way or another on Saturday.

The only time I can think of when we all go patriotic is for the World Cup or European football tournanments...there is nothing lovlier, I think, than seeing lots of people wearing England tops and having England flags from their car windows...oops, but then of course that is isolating the Scottish, Welsh and Irish. :o( I guess you can never win. xx

Re said...

We English are a bit backward in celebrating special days I was led to believe (by an inspirational history teacher) that the lack of Saint days is due to the Reformation - blame Henry VIII. Then of course we had Cromwell and the protectorate during which time May Day celebrations were banned as was Christmas.

periwinkle said...

We don't celebrate anything do we -- it is a bit upsetting. Like someone earlier said it's all about upsetting people but sometimes this just gets taken to far, it's like the whole Baa Baa Black Sheep thing and taking everything out of context. I was surprised that Milos school didn't have a harvest festival last year ... I don't know Sarah I really don't !!

Leigh said...

I am making you an honorary American for all holidays, yes I have that power (at least in blogland!) So feel free to take part in all of our celebrations!

I have missed blogging and you so much! You have really been busy, love the vacation photos!

I will not be away so long again if I can help it.

Slice of life said...

those are just some links.

maybe next year lots of blogging people could decide to coordinate street parties? then blog about it.

the more people who celebrate the more it will take off. You are now even allowed to take the day off. although you have to use your holiday entitlement.
you can also do this dwali, eid or any other holy day or saints day.

marit said...

I was certain England had some kind of celebration! In Norway, we celebrate our constitution day-May 17th- all the shops are closed, we have parades with music and flags, al the kids (and grownup's too) go in the parade, we end up at school, were we eat hotdogs and icecream, we all dress in nationalcostumes or really nice clothes, often invite friends over for a meal, or eat out. It's a big celebration, and it includes everyone that lives here, whether they are Norwegians or Pakistani, Americans or Polish. We also celebrate if we live abroad. I've celebrated May 17th in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and in Reykjavik on Iceland. Different, but also very familiar. It gives us a sense of belonging somewhere I think. I hope you can come up with a day. The Swedes have midsummernight's eve- a great celebration. You really need one too. Good luck!

Jane said...

Yes we are bad at celebrating days, althought our village does dress up for St George's day. We usually "borrow" Thanksgiving, We do celebrate all the usual feasts. jane x

MelMel said...

Thank you for you thoughtful comment..x