There’s a reason people love Britain… several reasons, actually. Besides being a beautiful island, the UK is home to a variety of cultural niceties that warm the hearts of visitors. And, indeed, those who already living here. The fondness for tea, gathering around the TV to listen to the Queen’s speech at Christmas, Sunday roasts and a wide variety of quaint traditions all help to make Britain the infamous place it is. Below is a discussion of different activities that make up part of British culture.
Of course, Brits don’t just sit around coffee tables, drinking tea all day, as much as you may or may not be inclined to think that. They perform lots of other activities that give British life its cultural flavour.
Bingo became huge in the 1960s, with callers shouting out the numbers for the punters flocking to dance halls, concert halls and, of course, bingo halls. The arrival of TV had triggered a decrease in the number of cinema-goers, who were now looking for other forms of entertainment; finding it in the form of bingo.
Now, however, bingo websites are attracting plenty of punters, who are moving away from the bingo halls and favouring the convenience online bingo offers them. Not only can they play bingo in the comfort of their own home or on mobile devices, but they can also play for less as well as save on other costs a night at the bingo would entail, such as food, drinks and transport.
Food doesn’t get more British than tucking into some fish and chips. Often, the fish of choice is cod or haddock, but it’s possible to buy other fish to enjoy with your chipped potatoes. Fish and chips are associated with Britain and its seaside towns. If buying your fish and chips from a takeaway, you might also request some mushy peas to go on the side.
A Sunday roast is another popular British food tradition. Although you can eat a British roast dinner any time during the week if you wish to, the traditional time to eat one is Sunday afternoon. The roast will consist of either beef, chicken, pork or lamb, with vegetables, gravy and Yorkshire pudding.
Now, this may seem strange if you come from outside of Britain, but queuing is a big deal to the Brits. This goes back to wartime when people stood in single file to receive supplies. Today, the British will form and maintain an organised line for what might seem like anything.
The important thing of which to be aware of, however, is that you should never jump the queue, even if it may be acceptable to do so in your own country. To push to the front of a queue could well prompt others in the queue to voice their displeasure with your actions. In Britain, you wait patiently in the queue until it’s your turn.
Pubs, short for ‘public houses’, are a big part of British culture. These establishments are places where folk will gather to drink alcohol, often doing so after work. You’ll also find in Britain members-only social clubs, where people also meet to drink alcohol together and socialise. These clubs are common here.
‘Remember, remember, the 5th of November’. This is because that particular date is Bonfire Night, a rather strange celebration of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. As a result, you’ll also hear the Brits refer to Bonfire night as ‘Guy Fawkes Night’.
On Bonfire Night, people light fireworks and gather to eat different treats while they watch the fireworks. Some will also create effigies of Guy Fawkes and then burn them on a bonfire.
The Edinburgh Fringe
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which takes place up in the capital of Scotland, is one of the finest opportunities you’ll get here to enjoy a taste of the arts. People travel from all over the world to be part of the excitement as performers of theatre, dance, cabaret, comedy, music, circus, the spoken word and more descend on the city to showcase their talents.
The United Kingdom is a delightful place, packed full of simple but endearing cultural traditions that make it a charming place to experience, whether you already live here, are coming to visit or come to settle down here. Understanding these traditions will help you to get more out of any time you spend here and to navigate British cultural life easier.