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English Diary

British Customs, British Culture and British Traditions in April

1st April

April Fool's Day

Apart from it being Lynne's wedding anniversary, April 1st is also the day when people just act plain silly (like getting married).

There will probably be a session or two to discuss the silliness and check the forum for any discussions. Learn More

1st April

End of the UK tax year

The UK tax year runs from April to April not January to January. All residents of the UK must send in a self assessment tax form by September in order to have their tax calculated for the next year. Of interest to business English learners, this link will tell you more about the UK tax system.

2nd April

International Pillow Fight Day

Pillows at the ready? Learn More

3rd April

Fish Fingers and Custard Day

The 3rd of April is fish fingers and custard day.  Do you know why? In the Doctor Who episode "Eleventh Hour" the Dr, played by Matt Smith, ate fish fingers and custard, prepared for him by Amy Pond.  However, what he actually ate was breaded coconut sticks, and that's how tradition is born.  Learn More

4th April

International Carrot Day

International Carrot Day is celebrated every year on April 4th. It is the pinnacle for carrot lovers all around the world, and whether you boil it, bake it in a cake, or juice it, it is the day when the carrot is celebrated through carrot parties and other carroty fun. Not affiliated to Bugs Bunny. Learn More

7th April

No Housework Day

Put down the duster, put away the rubber gloves and put your feet up. Today is National No Housework Day.

9th April

The Grand National

Love it or hate it, it's here. Since the first Grand National Meeting in 1837 this race has claimed lives and injured many, horses and jockeys, but they carry on regardless. Often over 20 horses start the race and only a few finish. The most famous Grand National winner - Red Rum - mix up the letters and you get 'murder'!

12th April

The Grand Union

When James VI of Scotland also became James I of England in 1603 , the two kingdoms of England and Scotland became united through the institution of the Crown. On April 12, 1606 , a "Grand Union" flag was created to represent this grand union. Learn More

14th April

The Titanic

At 11:40 PM (ship's time) on Sunday April 14, 1912, RMS Titanic, the second of a trio of superliners, struck an iceberg. The rest, as they say, is history. Learn More

16th April

Record Store Day

The UK's unique independent record shops get their own day today, the one day that all of the independently owned record shops come together with artists to celebrate music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances to support independent businesses. You won't find any of the items online, or in the supermarkets. (It all started in America - hence "store".) Learn More

21st April

The Queen's Birthday

It's Oh No 90 today, with lots of special celebrations going on all round the UK. I can only presume that today is when she gets to unwrap lots of presents and invites friends round for a party. She also has an official birthday in June (which is for all the more boring, stuffy stuff).

23rd April

St George's Day

He slew a dragon (or not) and we English made him our patron saint! Learn More

23rd April

The Bard's Birthday

The Queen's not the only one to have a birthday this month. Wiliam Shakespeare was baptised on the 26th of April 1564 and as it was common practice to baptise children shortly after their birth, it has always been assumed that his date of birth was the 23rd of April. So if he had lived he would have been well over 400 years old today. Of course no one really knows the exact date of his birth, but this date has been chosen for him, and it's the thought that counts.

Strangely he is also said to have died on this day.

24th April

The London Marathon

Huff Puff. The first London Marathon was held on March 29 1981. Since then it has grown into one of the major marathons in the world.

An important aspect of the Marathon is its charitable status. It is one of the UK’s most successful annual fundraising event. Learn More

1st May

Maldon Mud Race

The mud race used to be held over Dec / Jan, but has been moved to around Easter. Maldon is usually associated with salt, but The 'Mad' Maldon Mud Race is just what it says on the label: A race, through mud. Having seen it, it should be called the Maldon Mud crawl.

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