Understanding Holidays in the UK

A holiday is an ordinary day set apart by law or custom, where normal activities, particularly work or school, are either suspended or totally reduced for a period of time. In general, holidays are meant to let people commemorate or celebrate an occasion or tradition of particular cultural or spiritual significance to the person. In some parts of the world, however, a holiday is also a legal holiday against government regulation which allows people to go about their normal business as usual. Holidays are also referred to as fixed works. Fixed works are usually scheduled in a particular order which ensures that there will be no disruptive works or activities.


There are several different ways of defining holidays; for American English, the definition usually involves a period of time that is designated to rest from work or school and has no other specified end. Holiday weekends in the United States are widely used by students and workers alike, and there are many types of holidays based on a wide variety of themes. By way of instance, many people spend their Christmas holidays at home with their loved ones, but others take off for the weekend and stay over at a resort. Some American English speakers use words such as vacation and getaway in relation to holidays, while British English speakers would most likely describe a holiday as an event lasting for a short period of time.

In terms of food, we have the traditional Christmas turkey and roast potatoes to thank our loved ones on their return from vacation. In British English, however, this same term would more likely describe the annual All Saints’ Festival which falls in mid-November. The All Saints’ Day holiday in British English symbolizes thanksgiving for all that the people of that nation have done for all their relatives and friends. This festival is also popular among tourists who visit Britain and its surrounding areas during the Christmas holidays. Many foreign tourists organize trip-a-visits to the various regions of Britain during this time.

As a nation that is proud of its history and traditions, it is important that we recognize the differences between British English and American English. One of the largest distinctions is the holiday pay or salary that employees receive. While in America the holiday pay is often seen as something that employees buy for themselves as a show of appreciation, it’s actually a legal requirement in Britain. That’s why, in addition to the typical gifts and cards on Christmas day many workers go above and beyond and receive a one-off, lump sum amount of money as compensation for missing their shifts and being absent from work.

Another significant difference between British and American English is the use of holidays. In America, everyone takes a break on New Year’s Eve and returns to spend the evening in pubs and clubs. On British Holidays (which fall on different dates each year), however, a much longer period of time is allowed to pass without taking a break. This can be quite frustrating for employees who prefer to take a break on New Year’s Day and get right back into the swing of things. The fair labor standards act on British Holidays ensures that workers don’t miss a whole week of paid time off. This law was introduced in order to encourage employers to offer more paid holidays.

Finally, if you’ve recently relocated to Britain, there’s no need to fret. There are many UK holidays available to you – even if your job doesn’t take you away on a traditional holiday. You may find that staying behind is actually a better way to experience Britain. You can simply find a government contract where you’re entitled to holidays and find out more about them by visiting the UK holidays website.