Culture and history of England
The Megalithic cultures were the first inhabitants of England at around 4000 BC. This civilization constructed the mysterious stone structures of Stonehenge and Avebury. At about 800 BC Celts that came from central Europe brought the Gaelic and Breton languages to the island states. Then came Julius Caesar. The Romans took over England around 43 AD and their control over it lasted until the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Angles, Saxons and Jutes then began to migrate into and create the Anglo Saxon Kingdom in the 7th century. After their occupation, Danish vikings began to come to England and took over the military command. In the 11th century Wilhelm the Conqueror reached the south coast of England and conquered the land together with his nomadic army.
The 'Hundred Years' War' with France commenced in the centuries that followed. Conflicts between heirs to the throne and between royalty and the church also occurred during this time. In the 16th century Henry the 8th's marital issues led to the country's breaking with the Roman Catholic Church. Parliament nominated Henry the 8th to be the leader of the Church of England.
England also secured countless colonies for itself. These colonies were located on the American coast, the East India Company as well as in Canada and Australia. England developed towards becoming the industrial center in the 19th century. Industrial cities arose in the Midlands and drove the international trades upwards. Queen Victoria's Great Britain was the largest power in the world at the time (1837-1901).
England was one of the Allies in the Second World War and played a significant role in defeating the Third Reich. In contrast to this, more of the colonies such as India, Malaysia and Kenia gradually regained their independence.
The British Royal Family is on the media's favorite type of news to publicize and this is one of the reasons why there are so many movie and series adaptations of famous historical events. Examples of these adaptations are "The Crown", which shows the life of young Queen Elizabeth II and "Reign", which is a series about the life of Mary Stewart when she was younger and lived at the French royal court. One of the most famous series, "Tudors", portrays the scandalous story of King Henry the 8th, a trailer of which you can watch below:
Brighton Festival: The Brighton Festival takes place in May of every year and displays all forms of art. It has been taking place in Spring since 1965 and is visited by more than 500.000 people.
Great Escape Festival: This music festival takes place in May and showcases a multitude of genres. Some of the music genres are Rock, Hip Hop and electronic.
London Design Festival: In September you can explore the fascinating world of designs at the London Design Festival. You will be able to find artistic pieces created by Design artists from all around the world for an entire week.
Notting Hill Carnival: The Carnival at Notting Hill takes place in August and is quite an experience. It is the largest city festival in Europe as it welcomes more than one million visitors. It is also one of the largest Carnival celebrations in the world! This very colorful festival is bound to enchant you too.
The United Kingdom also celebrates quite a few special holidays aside from the commonly known ones, such as Christmas and Easter. Additionally, not all holidays are celebrated throughout all parts of the UK. One example of this is the fact that Saint Patrick's day is only celebrated on the 17th of March in Northern Ireland. The first Monday of May is the 'Early May Bank Holiday'. The 9th of May, which is also known as Liberation Day, is only celebrated in Guernsey and Jersey.
Everyone celebrates the Spring Bank Holiday, which is the last Monday of May. The Isle of Man celebrates the 'Tynwald Day'on the 5th of July. This holiday is a celebration of the Isle of Man's two chamber parliament, which dates back to 979.
The Battle of the Boyne is celebrated in Northern Ireland on the 12th of July. The day is meant to celebrate this battle which took place at the Boyne river. King William the 3rd defeated the previous King Jacob the 2nd of the Stuart family by the river Boyne. This is why it was called the Battle of the Boyne and hence the celebration on the 12th of July was named 'Battle of the Boyne'.
England, Scotland and Wales also have a bank holiday in August. However, the date varies depending on where it is celebrated, as Scotland has it on the first Monday of August, whereas Wales and England have it on the last Monday of August.