Europe

Holidays and National Customs in Wales

Public holidays

In Great Britain and thus also in Wales, there are the so-called “Bank Holidays”, which were first introduced in 1871 by the “Bank Holidays Act”. In general, today’s Bank Holidays are set for New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, the last Monday in May, the last Monday in August and the Christmas holidays from December 25th to 26th.

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
17. March St. Patrik’s Day (Northern Ireland only)
March April Easter (Easter Monday)
1st of May May Day
Last Monday in May Spring Bank Holiday
Last Monday in August August Bank Holiday
25./26. December Christmas

Cultural events

Note
Wales is known as the land of song. The local festivals are growing in popularity, but are usually different from the major and commercial summer events in the UK. Festival No 6
This music festival takes place every year at the beginning of September in the artificial village of Portmeirion in west Wales.

Guy Fawkes (Bonfire Night)
Guy Fawkes Day is a public holiday celebrated on the evening of November 5th in Great Britain and Wales. In recent years, however, the festivities have expanded to a few days before and after the actual date.
The holiday is celebrated as the annual commemoration of the “Gunpowder Plot”, in which a group of Catholic conspirators around Guy Fawkes wanted to blow up Parliament in London on the night of November 5, 1605 during a stay by the Protestant King James I.
During the festivities, dolls of the most famous of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes, are burned on burning pyre.
Today, however, it is considered “bad taste” to burn the doll, but what remains are the fires and fireworks. Green Man The Green Man Festival is a music and arts festival and takes place annually for four days in August in the Brecon Beacons in South Wales. The visitor is offered indie, rock, folk, dance as well as literature, film, comedy, theater and “poetry”.

Hay Festival
This festival is one of the most important literary festivals in the world. It takes place annually for ten days from May to June in the parish of Hay-on-Wye in Brecknockshire.

International Eisteddfod Festival
A festival of music, dance, literature and song that has existed since 1947. It takes place annually in early July in the village of Llangollen in Denbighshire in north-east Wales

Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is the day on which the victims of the First World War and other wars are honored not only in Great Britain and thus also in Wales, but also in France and Belgium.
The official ceremony is generally attended by war veterans. King George V introduced Remembrance Day on November 7, 1919.

Royal Welsch Show
This is one of the largest agricultural shows in the world, which takes place every year in mid-July in the vicinity of Llanelwed in County Powys. Wakestock This music festival has been held annually since 2000 on the 1st weekend in July on the Llyn peninsula in North Wales – between Pwllheli and Llanbedrog.

Sŵn
Sŵn is a music festival that has been held annually in Cardiff since 2007 in late October or early November. There is mainly alternative rock, punk rock and indie rock.

Sporting events

Britain is a people of sports watching. A large number of national and international competitions are popular and well attended all year round. Many important competitive sports also come from the UK, such as football, golf, tennis and cricket. Although they belong politically to one nation, the British cannot be united in sport and the teams from England, Scotland and Wales usually play as separate national teams, often also in international competitions.

Here are some of the most important sporting events in the country:

  • The annual Five Nations Rugby Union begins in February and ends in March. France competes with the teams of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
  • The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is a traditional eighth rowing competition between the cities’ two universities. It has been held every March on the Thames since 1845.
  • The cup match at Wembley in May is the highlight of national football every year.
  • The Grand National in April is one of the most famous horse races in the world and takes place in Liverpool.
  • The London Marathon in April attracts thousands of long-distance runners to the capital every year.
  • June is the month for the popular international grass tennis tournament at Wimbledon.
  • In July, major competitions such as the Royal Ascott horse race and the Henley Royal Regatta rowing competition become all-important high society gatherings where the latest hat collections and sunglasses of the nobility and celebrities seem almost as important as the achievements of the athletes.
  • The most important event for Formula 1 racing drivers is the British Grand Prix in Silverstone in July.
  • The popular British Golf Championship takes place across the country in July.
  • The Cartier International Polo Tournament in Windsor in July is mainly a meeting place for the aristocracy, but also one of the largest tournaments of its kind.
  • The Ashes is the most famous and oldest cricket tournament in the country and takes place in the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
  • In addition, London is now hosting the Olympic Games in summer 2012, for which preparations are already in full swing.

National customs

England and the whole of Great Britain have numerous traditional national customs. Particularly noticeable are the left-hand traffic and other smaller peculiarities that extend from differently functioning taps and door handles to the sockets. The traditional pubs (public houses), which are popular and often visited by all generations, still close very early compared to other countries. The traditional “Sunday Roasts” and “Pub Quizzes” (game evenings) are definitely part of the “pub culture”. The traditional “Builder’s Tea” (black tea with milk) is still one of the favorite drinks of the British, but the well-known “five o’clock tea” is now rather a rarity. What is also unusual in a European comparison is the fact that all public museums (with the exception of temporary exhibitions) are free. They are mainly funded by the state lottery revenue. The much discussed and controversial health system NHS (National Health Service) is also free for all Britons and residents of Great Britain.

Wales: climate

The British Isles generally have a mild climate throughout the year. Deep foothills that come from the Atlantic ensure that temperatures in Great Britain usually do not rise above 32 °C or fall below -10 °C. The rainiest months are generally the winter months of January and February, but this also depends very much on regional conditions. The heaviest rainfall is in the west of the country and in the Scottish Highlands, where the annual average rainfall can be up to 1,100 liters/m².

Travel times

Because the British climate is so consistently mild, you can actually travel to the country at any time of the year. However, the idea of ​​what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depends on various factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people planning a beach holiday. The state of health and age can also play a role in the experience of the climate. People who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause complaints are particularly recommended to stay in Great Britain in the months of June to August.
People who prefer a more warm climate should best plan a stay in the UK for spring (March to June) or early autumn (September to early November).

Climate table

Month Mean rainfall in millimeters Mean maximum temperatures in (°C) Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)
January 85 05-07 01-04
February 62 06-07 01-05
March 54 08-09 02-05
April 54 11-13 03-06
May 61 13-18 05-10
June 57 16-20 08-12
July 79 18-22 10-14
August 81 19-23 10-15
September 77 16-20 08-13
October 88 13-15 06-10
November 93 08-10 04-08
December 87 06-08 02-06

National Customs in Wales