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Does the UK have a National Day?

National Days are not celebrated in the same extent as National Days are in a number of other countries. Only St Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland (and the republic of Ireland) and St Andrew's Day in Scotland (from 2007) are taken as an official holiday. All the other national days are normal working days.

Each part of the United Kingdom has its own Saint's Day:

Northern Ireland

(see note below)
Ulster flagNote: The Union Jack (or Union Flag) is Northern Ireland's official flag. The well known Red Hand Flag (the Ulster flag shown on the right) has not been officially used since 1973. It ceased to have official government sanction when the Parliament of Northern Ireland was dissolved by the British government in 1972. However, the flag still exists and is used to distinguish Northern Ireland from the other three countries and from the Republic of Ireland.

1 March, St. David's Day,
is the national day of Wales.

National Days and National Holidays This is the flag of St David

St David's Day is celebrated in Wales on 1 March, in honour of St David (Dewi Sant), the patron saint of Wales. He was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who lived in the sixth century. He spread the word of Christianity across Wales.

The most famous story about Saint David tells how he was preaching to a huge crowd and the ground is said to have risen up, so that he was standing on a hill and everyone had a better chance of hearing him.

St David's Day is commemorated by the wearing of daffodils or leeks. Both plants are traditionally regarded as national emblems.

On St David's Day, some children in Wales dress in their national costume, which consists of a tall black hat, white frilled cap and long dress. The national flag of Wales, depicting a fiery red dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) against a green and white background, is also flown.

Flag to colour


17 March, St. Patrick's Day,
is the national day of
Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

This is the flag of St Patrick.

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Born in Britain, he was carried off by pirates and spent six years in slavery before escaping and training as a missionary.

The most famous story about Saint Patrick is him driving the snakes from Ireland.

The day is marked by the wearing of shamrocks (a clover-like plant), the national emblem of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


St Patrick's Day information from the History Channel website

St Patrick's Day activities for Children

Interactive book of St Patrick Facts

23 April, St. George's Day,
is the national day of England.

A story dating back to the 6th century tells that St George rescued a maiden by slaying a fearsome fire-breathing dragon. The Saint's name was shouted as a battle cry by English knights who fought beneath the red-cross banner of St George during the Hundred Years War (1338-1453). More information...

Some people wear a red rose on St Georges Day.

30 November, St. Andrew's Day,
is the national day of Scotland.

St. Andrew was one of Christ's twelve apostles. Some of his bones are said to have been brought to what is now St. Andrews in Fife during the 4th century. Since medieval times the X-shaped saltire cross upon which St. Andrew was supposedly crucified has been the Scottish national symbol.

For more information, visit our St Andrew's Page




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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.