Unit 7.1

Calendar: Public holidays, opening hours and daily routines

Conditions of life and social structure

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Festivals on a National Level

  • St George’s Day is the feast day of Saint George. It is the national day of England. It is celebrated by several churches, kingdoms and cities. It is always celebrated on the 23rd of April.
  • St Andrew’s Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is the official national day of Scotland celebrated by Scotland and many countries with Scottish connections. It is celebrated on the 30th of November.
  • St David’s Day is the feast day of Saint David. It is the national day of Wales celebrated by several churches and countries with Welsh connections. It is celebrated on the 1st of March.
  • St Patrick’s Day is the feast day of Saint Patrick. It is a cultural and religious celebration. It is celebrated by  Northern Ireland but celebrations are not that big as in the Republic of Ireland. It is celebrated on the 17th of March.

Holiday Periods

  • School Holidays: There are some holidays during the school term. Dates of some of them can change from year to year.
    • England and Wales usually have Christmas and Easter holidays, summer break which is the longest one and breaks through each of the terms. You can check exact dates at your council, to find it enter gov.uk/school-term-holiday-dates, and enter your postcode.
    • Scotland has breaks similar to England and Wales but the half-term breaks can be shorter or longer. You can check exact dates for your council on mygov.scot/school-term-holiday-dates.
    • Northern Ireland has free off school days on Halloween, Christmas and New Year break, Mid-term break, Easter break, and Summer holiday break. In addition, there are days off for bank holidays. You can check exact dates on education-ni.gov.uk/articles/school-holidays
  • Work Holidays: There are some holidays called bank holidays. These are public holidays, and in these instances, many organisations and businesses are closed. England and Wales have 8 bank holidays, Scotland has 9 and Nothern Ireland has 10.
  • Christmas and Easter Holidays:
    • Christmas is an annual festival to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and it is a public holiday. Free days are on 25 and 26 of December. If those days are on weekend, substitute days following it will be chosen as free ones.
    • Easter is a public holiday in the UK. Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday. It is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not Scotland. It happens on different days every spring. In those times, many organisations and businesses are closed.

Duration and Usual Hours of a Working Day

  • Working time can be different for a different type of work but usually, it is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Nighttime is from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., but it can be changed. Night workers work at least 3 hours during nighttime but can not work more than 8 hours.
  • An employer can ask workers to stay longer but can not force them to do so.

Breaks

  • There are three types of breaks in the United Kingdom:
    • Rest breaks at work: Workers have the right to a 20-minute break during their working day. If the working hour is more than 6 hours, there could be a lunch or a tea break.
    • Daily rest: Workers have the right to 11 hours rest between working days.
    • Weekly rest: Workers have the right to 24 hours rest without any work each week.

Daily Routines Related to Meals

  • Breakfast time is between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Lunchtime is between 12 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.
  • Dinner is normally eaten anytime between 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Hours of Public Establishments and Other Services

  • Many retail stores are open every day and some supermarkets are open for 24 hours.
  • Most stores do not open on public and bank holidays.
  • There is daylight saving time in the United Kingdom. British Summer Time is when the clocks are 1 hour ahead. It gives more daylight in the evenings.

Routines and Times in Schools

  • Schools do not have the same timetable, but most of them will start past 8:00 a.m. and most of them will end till 4 p.m.
  • Most schools follow a similar routine for a day. First thing in the morning, the teacher does the ‘register’ calling. The teacher checks who is present and who is absent.
  • Students have two breaks during the day. One of them is for lunch.

Use of Greetings According to the Time of Day

  • The most common greetings are good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night.
    • Good morning is said in the morning, until noon.
    • The good afternoon is said in the afternoon, from 12:00 p.m. till 6:00 p.m.
    • Good evening is said in the evening after 6:00 p.m.
    • A good night is said at night when somebody is leaving, or going to sleep.
  • Informal greetings like Hi or Hey can be used for the whole day.
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