Culture and Traditions series – no 3 – UNITED KINGDOM
Culture and Traditions series – no 3
Rich history and financial heart
The United Kingdom, also known as UK, is an industrialized country and a leading trading and financial center of the world. It is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Europe.
It is blessed not only with a treasure of spectacular landscapes, including serene lakes and beautiful beaches, but also boasts of many castles, mansions, and cathedrals.
It has a number of other tourist attractions, such as art galleries, royal palaces, national parks, and museums; all of which add to the fascination that prompt people from all over the world to visit, every year.
But, these are not the only attractions for the tourists. Many people visit United Kingdom to experience its interesting and distinctive culture.
United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales
England, Wales, and Scotland together form Great Britain. The culture of UK reflects the varied, but distinctive, influence of different customs and traditions of these four countries.
UK has no official language as such, however, about 90% of its citizens communicate in English.
Hence, English is considered as the official language. Individual countries in the United Kingdom prefer their indigenous languages; so Welsh, Cornish, and Scottish Gaelic are also commonly spoken.
Festivals and Events
A number of festivals celebrated in the United Kingdom are centuries old. Major festivals in UK are Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. Christmas is celebrated not only in the UK, but all over the world. Christmas in England started in AD 596, when St. Augustine brought Christianity to the English shores. The traditional Christmas dinner in UK includes roast turkey and vegetables with a sauce.
There are also popular events which people from all over the world attend. In England, there are Aldeburgh Festival, Beached Festival in Scarborough, Brighton Festival, Castlemorton Common Festival, Greenbelt Festival, and Harvest Festival.
Some famous events in Scotland include the Edinburgh Festival, Hebridean Celtic Festival, and Shetland Folk Festival. Festivals held in Wales are Pontardawe Festival, National Eisteddfod of Wales, Llangollen International Eisteddfod, and Urdd National.
British cuisine encompasses the cooking traditions of the British Isles. It reflects the cultural influence of the colonial era, as well as post-war immigrations.
The cuisine boasts of a rich variety of sumptuous dishes from its different regions. Staple foods include chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and fish, served with potatoes and other vegetables.
The most popular dishes are fish and chips, jellied eels, sandwiches, trifles, pies, and roasts. Some of the geographically indicated foods are the Yorkshire pudding, Cheshire cheese, Welsh rarebit, and Arbroath Smokie.