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British Customs, British Culture and British Traditions in June




Jun 4th Old Maid's Day (Swun day) A national day in the UK for unmarried women. I don't like the term old maid, so I've coined a new term - SWUN, which stands for Single woman, unfettered.
Jun 6th D-Day Landings On this day in 1944 the first D-Day landings took place in Normandy. 130,000 men landed on the beaches and a bridgehead was established. Within a month the allies had over 1 million troops in France.

Jun 13th

The World Toe Wrestling Championship "One, two, three, four, I declare a toe war!" Toe wrestling is similar to arm wrestling, but with toes. It is played in bare feet, and it is common courtesy for each player to remove the other players shoes and socks. Players link toes and each players feet must touch flat on the other person's feet. The aim is to attempt to pin (capture or trap) your opponent's feet for three seconds. It should really have been included in the Olympics.

Jun 12th - Jun 14th

Sea Shanty Festival At the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival you have seaside and traditional music. What more could you want?
Jun 13th Trooping the Colour Held to celebrate the Queen's official birthday (it is sometimes called The Queen's Birthday Parade) this is a day of pageantry at Horse Guards in London. Precisely as the clock on the Horse Guards Building strikes eleven, the Royal Procession arrives and the soldiers from the Queen's Household Division are inspected by the Queen, they carry ("troop") their regimental flag ("colour"), and march past and the Queen takes the Royal Salute. The Queen drives slowly down the ranks of all eight Guards and then past the Household Cavalry. After the event, the Royal Family gathers on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch an RAF flyby. Her real birthday of course is in April, so I don't know if she gets any presents.
Jun 13th - Jun 14th Man vs Horse Marathon

The Man versus Horse Marathon is an annual marathon, with human and (mounted) equine contestants, which takes place in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells.

The event started in 1980, when local landlord Gordon Green overheard a discussion between two men in his pub, the Neuadd Arms. One man suggested that over a significant distance across country, man was equal to any horse. Green decided that the challenge should be tested in full public view, and organised the first event.

But the first time a man beat the horses, on foot, was in 2004, when Huw Lobb finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 19 seconds.

Jun 15th National Beer Day Hooray to the pint!
Jun 15th Signing of the Magna Carta I hope you didn't just read "singing". King John met the leaders at Runnymede, near London, on 15 June 1215, to seal the Great Charter called, in Latin, Magna Carta, which is considered to be one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy.

Jun 167th - 20th

Royal Ascot - Horse vs Horse Royal Ascot is arguably the most prestigious horse racing event in the world. Its mix of top class flat racing and traditional English hospitality and style make it a unique experience.
Not so much of a horse race as a fashion parade! Just make sure you don't have any fake tan, or a dress that's too revealing, the stewards have been known to throw a hissy fit.
Jun 20th World Nettle Eating Championship Competitors chew their way through nettle leaves. The organisers provide the raw materials of 2-foot lengths of nettle stalks from which all leaves must be consumed. The winner is the contestant who has stripped and eaten the leaves from the greatest number of stalks. (Vomiting is not allowed).
Jun 21st - 22nd Summer Solstice

At sunrise (around 4:45am) the Summer Solstice, otherwise known as Midsummer's Day, is celebrated in the UK. It's the longest day of the year and it marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere.

"Why, this is very midsummer madness." William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream

Jun 24th - Jun 28th Glastonbury Festival

Probably the most famous music event in the UK. (Take wellies).

Jun 27th World Worm Charming Championship

Worm charmers from around the world arrive at the small village of Willaston near Nantwich in Cheshire's Upper Weaver Valley, all to charm worms from the soil! No digging allowed.

Jun 28th World Egg Throwing Championships The organised sport of Egg Throwing is thought to date back to at least 1322 when the newly appointed Abbot took possession of the Parish of Swaton by royal decree. It is said that he was the only person to own chickens and ensured the attendance at church of his peasant by providing them alms of one egg for each attendee. However, when the River Eau flooded, preventing people getting to church, the monks would hurl the eggs over to the waiting peasants. It’s also said that when the flood was even wider that they used small trebuchets to get that extra distance required. It is from these humble beginnings that the sport of egg throwing started and has been played ever since in the village.

Jun 29th - Jul 12th

Wimbledon Every year there's a little tennis competition at Wimbledon. Strawberries and cream anyone?
May - July Glyndebourne Glyndebourne is a 700-year old country house and opera house near Lewes in East Sussex, England. Since 1934 it has been the venue of the annual Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The festival is regarded as part of the London/English summer season. Performances, which start in the afternoon, enable Londoners to leave town after lunch, and finish in time for them to catch the last train back. A long interval allows opera-goers the opportunity for picnic dinners on the extensive lawns or in one of the restaurants in the grounds.
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Previous Diary
June 2000
Revised: June 2015