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International Haiku Poetry Day

Did you know?

You may remember having a go at writing a haiku at some point in your English lessons at school; it’s the Japanese three-line poem that has a strict 17-syllable count of five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third. And 17 April is the day for its international celebration.

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Presidents’ Day

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The president who was only in office for one month, the one who resigned and the four incumbents who were assassinated in office: all US presidents are remembered on Presidents’ Day which falls on the third Monday in February.

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Sing a song at Christmas!

Did you know?

Do you like singing Christmas carols and other Christmas songs? Then you’re sure to enjoy finding out about their histories.

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World card making day

Did you know?

Births, marriages and deaths are not the only reasons people send cards. There are over one billion reasons why greetings cards are sent in the United Kingdom.

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American Independence Day or Fourth of July

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A national holiday of fireworks and celebrations as the United States of America commemorates the day that it came into being in 1776.

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Traditional folk-dancing

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the bells are dusted, the sticks are polished and flowers are arranged around the straw hats – it’s the Morris Dancing season in England.

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Decimal Day

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In Feburary 1971, nearly half a century ago, the United Kingdom and Ireland changed from pounds, shillings and pence and joined the rest of the world’s metric currencies.

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Christmas comes but once a year …

Did you know?

… and when it comes, it brings good cheer.

Well, that’s what the saying claims, but for many people, Christmas and the holiday period can be very stressful. There are the cards to be written, the presents to be bought, the turkey to be stuffed and that’s without even thinking about all the other preparation that needs doing. And that’s not all…

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Freshers' Fair

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It’s the start of the university year in October and that means it’s Fresher’s Week – and there is sure to be a Freshers’ fair.

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National Quiet Day

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Shhh! Time to take a break from our noisy world on National Quiet Day.

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National Fishing Month

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Angling for an invitation or fishing for compliments: we have hooked a lot of fishing expressions into English. And now we can celebrate all things fishy in National Fishing Month.

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UK Snap General Election

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Not another one! The British electorate are getting fed up with going to the polling stations and making decisions. As Brenda in Bristol said: There’s too much politics going on at the moment!

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British Sandwich Week

Did you know?

It might only be two slices of bread with a filling, but the sandwich has a big role in the British kitchen. And you can celebrate all things ‘sandwich’ from 14th to 20th May.

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Easter traditions around the world

Did you know?

From cathedrals in the United Kingdom to parsley and potatoes in the garden, there’s plenty to consider over Easter. And don’t forget chocolate bilbies!

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World Water Day on 22 March

Did you know?

Water: tasteless, odourless and almost colourless – but it’s essential to our existence.
And that’s why the UN created World Water Day.

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New Year’s Eve Traditions

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Going first-footing, eating twelve grapes, singing 'Auld Lang Syne': there are some interesting traditions at New Year. Read more …

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The American election: a two-horse race every four years.

Did you know?

The United States Presidential Election comes around in the same year as the Olympics and it shares some similarities: contestants get knocked out, they need a great deal of stamina to finish and the winner takes all.

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British accents

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We all know Received Pronunciation – that’s the version of British English that is used in coursebooks and dictionaries. But what about all the other accents around the British Isles?

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The Cheltenham Literature Festival

Did you know?

Cheltenham is world famous for three things: the Gold Cup Horse Race, the Ladies’ College and the Literature Festival, the longest-running festival of its kind in the world.

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European Day of Languages

Did you know?

Hello! Bonjour! Bok! Ahoj! Terve!

Try saying hello in as many languages as possible on 26th September – the European Day of Languages.

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Life’s a picnic!

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Everyone loves a picnic and June is just the right time for a picnic in the park.

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Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her four score years and ten

God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen – but who would have thought she would still be going strong at ninety? Last year, Elizabeth II became the UK’s longest reigning monarch. And this year she celebrates her 90th birthday.

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Forget your chops and your steaks: it’s National Vegetarian Week

Did you know?

The Vegetarian Society of Great Britain runs the National Vegetarian Week to raise the profile of vegetarian issues. And in 2016 this is from 16 to 22 May.

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The centenary of the Easter Rising

Did you know?

Easter 2016 – the Irish will be thinking of more than Easter eggs and bunnies in this centenary year of the Easter Rising.

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Hats off to mothers!

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The British and the Irish always like to be different from the rest of Europe – and it’s the same with Mother’s Day ...

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Go wild in the New Year – Dook, Bear, Hurling and Helly!

Did you know?

You’ve managed to eat your way through Christmas and made some resolutions on New Year’s Eve. Now see what awaits you as the new year really gets underway.

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Giving thanks on Thanksgiving

Did you know?

Do you know what is happening in America on Thursday 26 November? It’s Thanksgiving, when families come together to share a meal, traditionally turkey and pumpkin pie. And it’s followed by Black Friday, a day when Americans go shopping and spend, spend, spend!

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Get your tongue in a twist with Tongue Twister Day

Did you know?

Introduce some variety into the classroom and get your students’ tongues twisting around the sounds of English. An excellent way to improve pronunciation – and have some fun on the way!

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More than jam and Jerusalem

Did you know?

The Women’s Institute is an organisation known for its jam-making and its inofficial anthem 'Jerusalem', but it is more than that – it campaigns, educates and supports. And on 15 September the UK Women’s Institute is going to celebrate its 100th birthday.

 

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Swim, swan, swim!

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If you go down to the Thames at the end of July, you may see the Royal Swan Marker and his fellow Swan Uppers – busy upping swans …

 

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Mud, yurts and music: It must be Glastonbury!

Did you know?

For the last 45 years on the last weekend in June, dairy farmer Michael Eavis has hosted what is now the world’s biggest pop festival on Worthy farm in Somerset. The cows are moved to other quarters, the multiple stages are erected and the thronging crowds are welcomed.

 

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The general election

Did you know?

The UK general election is just like a horse race: whoever is first past the post on 7 May has won and gets the keys to 10 Downing Street.

 

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Pets, pets, pets

Did you know?

The British really love their pets – in fact they have a special fund-raising period dedicated to them – National Pet Month, 1st April to 4th May.

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Prepare for the year of the goat

Did you know?

You may have just finished celebrating Christmas and New Year, but now comes another global festival – the Chinese New Year. And in 2015 we welcome the year of the goat.

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Try something different this New Year’s Eve

Did you know?

Everyone is familiar with New Year’s Eve on the South Bank in London, in Times Square in New York and at the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. But what about something smaller and more unusual this year?

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1914 - a very memorable Christmas

A cold winter’s night on the western front. For a few hours humanity shone in the cruelty of war: a football match between the enemy sides.

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The Lord Mayor’s Show – 8 November 2014

Most people have heard of the Mayor of London, the bouncy, publicity-loving, Latin-speaking Boris Johnson. But not many people know that there is another mayor of London, the Lord Mayor of the City of London – a far more ancient office.

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