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What special foods are eaten during festivals in England?

In England, we have special foods connected with certain festivals. The main ones are shown below.

Shrove Tuesday

Pancakes (recipe)


Good Friday

oss bun
Hot cross buns (recipe)

Fish dish


Easter Day

Chocolate egg
Chocolate Eggs

Roast lamb served on a plate
Roast Lamb

Lamb is considered to be the traditional meat for Easter due to its religious connections. Many different religions throughout the ages have ritually sacrificed lambs in honour of their respective gods.

Roast Chicken

Chicken has long been a modern favourite for Easter Sunday dinner mainly due to the baby (spring) chicken being associated with birth and new life. Chicken is also less expensive than lamb these days, which helps to explain its popularity.


Mothering Sunday

Easter cake
Simnel cake (recipe)

Mulled ale
In Lancashire the tradition was to accompany the simnel cake with ale which was heated by having a red-hot poker plunged into it.


May Day

Madi of Honour

Maids of Honour cakes (recipe)
Small round puff pastry cheesecakes sometimes flavoured with almonds and rose water.



Harvest loaf
Special bread, made to look like sheaves of wheat.



Toffee Apples


All Souls Day

Soul Cake (Recipe)


Bonfire night

Hot soup

jacket potato
Jacket potatoes etc. cooked in foil in the fire.

Parkin Cake, a traditional sticky cake containing a mix of oatmeal, ginger, treacle and syrup. Recipe


Christmas Day

Christmas Dinner
Turkey, vegetables, stuffing, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy.

mince pies
Mince pies

Christmas pudding
Christmas pudding flaming with brandy
Find out more about Christmas Dinner here

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Events and special days in the UK
British Life
Pooh down the River Thames

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© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.