These are most important national calendar dates across the year. Many come from Christian festivals.
Many communities also celebrate non-Christian festivals like Chinese New Year, Diwali, Hannukah, Eid al-Fitr, Eid ul Adha and Vaisakhi.
January 1: New Year’s Day: a public holiday
January 2: public holiday in Scotland
February/March (date moves each year): Pancake Day. Officially known as Shrove Tuesday, it is the last day before Lent (a Christian time of fasting)
February 14: St Valentine’s Day. People send cards (and maybe flowers) to their partners. They might also arrange a romantic evening with them
March (Sunday; date moves each year): Mothering Sunday, also known as Mothers’ Day. A time to do nice things for your mother. For Christians, a time to celebrate their ‘Mother Church’. Be aware this is different to Mothers’ Day in most other countries, which is held in May.
March 1: St David’s Day, patron saint of Wales. Celebrated by Welsh communities
March 17: St Patrick’s Day, patron saint of Ireland. Celebrated by Irish communities (and many others)
March/April (Sunday; date moves each year): Easter. People celebrate with spring-themed decorations and chocolate eggs. Some people go to church to remember Jesus Christ being killed and rising from the dead. There are two public holidays: Good Friday and Easter Monday
April 1: April Fool’s Day. There is a tradition of playing silly jokes on your friends (but only before 12pm). Newspapers often publish a joke story.
April 23: St George’s Day. English patron saint. Rarely celebrated
May (first Monday): Early May Bank Holiday: a public holiday
May (last Monday): Spring Bank Holiday: a public holiday
June (Sunday; date moves each year): Fathers’ Day. A time to do nice things for your father
August (first Monday): Summer Bank Holiday (Scotland): public holiday in Scotland
August (last Monday): Summer Bank Holiday (England): A public holiday in England
October 31: Hallowe’en. Originally a Celtic festival marking the start of winter, today people celebrate with spooky costumes and sweets.
November 5: Fireworks Night or Bonfire Night. People remember when a man called Guy Fawkes tried (and failed) to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. People celebrate with bonfires and fireworks, or they go to an organised fireworks display.
November 11: Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. People wear poppies to remember those killed by war. The second Sunday of the month is called Remembrance Sunday and there are events across the country
November 30: St Andrew’s Day, patron saint of Scotland. A public holiday in Scotland
December 25: Christmas Day. A public holiday. People give each other presents.
December 26: Boxing Day: A public holiday. Many people go shopping because there are lots of discounts.
December 31: New Year’s Eve (called Hogmanay in Scotland): a night of celebrations and fireworks for the coming of the new year. Edinburgh and London have the biggest celebrations.