A selection of events taking place in the UK in 2012...
The Olympic Torch Relay
19 May to 27 July 2012
Around the UK
Summer 2012 will see people take to the streets to welcome the Olympic Torch as it travels around 8,000 miles of the UK, in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The 70-day journey will see the torch carried through more than 1,000 locations in the UK, by 8,000 torchbearers – each of whom have their own inspirational story. The torch – designed by Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby – has 8,000 small cut-out circles in it to represent these torchbearers.
The Olympic flame represents peace, unity and friendship, and the route of the Olympic Torch Relay has been created to help showcase the diversity of the UK. The torch will come within ten miles of 95% of people in the UK, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey – so, if you’re in the UK, have a look at the Olympic Flame map to see how close it will be coming to you!
The Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival
26–29 July 2012
The Cambridge Folk Festival started life way back in the ‘60s and is now one of the most famous folk festivals in the world, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Festival goers can enjoy listening to both well-known and up-and-coming artists. The 2011 line-up included Newton Faulkner and BRIT Award-winning Laura Marling.
As well as the music, there are lots of other activities to keep you entertained, such as music workshops, street theatre, juggling workshops and T’ai Chi.
For ticket information and more about the festival visit the Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival website.
8–12 August 2012
Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall
If you’re into your surfing, skating and BMXing, then Relentless Boardmasters will be right up your street.
Taking place on Fistral Beach, Newquay on the stunning Cornish coast, this festival will feature some truly talented guys and girls competing in these action sports. Boardmasters is particularly renowned for the men’s surfing event, which attracts professional surfers from around the world.
Along the coast at Watergate Bay, there’s also an incredible line up at the two-day music festival – Ed Sheeran, The Ting Tings, The Big Pink, Dizzee Rascal, Maverick Sabre, Maximo Park and Lissie are all set to perform, along with many more artists.
Check out the event website for ticket info and more details.
31 August to 4 November 2012
As the summer season draws to a close, Blackpool looks forward to long autumn nights bathed in light and colour with the switching on of the spectacular Blackpool Illuminations.
The Illuminations are an amazing sight – at almost 6 miles long and using more than one million lamps, they draw millions of visitors to see them over the 66 nights they are on display. Dazzling designs line the streets, and the Blackpool Tower and other landmarks are also covered in lights.
The lights are switched on in a ceremony that includes a concert and a celebrity appearance. This year’s celebrity will be announced closer to the event but if previous years are anything to go by, you won’t want to miss it – last year, the lights were switched on by TV’s funny man Keith Lemon, and in 2010 the switch was flicked by superstar Robbie Williams.
You can visit Blackpool to see the lights until early November. Check the website for switch-on times, which get earlier as the evenings get darker. Don’t miss this unique display.
More information about Blackpool Illuminations.
31 October 2012
Scared of things that go bump in the night? If you can’t beat them, you can join them – that’s the spirit of Halloween!
Halloween is said to be the night that ghosts, witches and fairies are most active. People used to think that if they dressed up as a ghost or some other spirit then they would be left alone by the real thing – this is where the tradition of dressing up comes from.
Halloween has developed over the years, and it is quite common for people to decorate their houses with toy bats, witches and ghosts. For young children, the custom is to dress up and go to nearby houses to ask for treats (usually sweets) – this is known as ‘trick-or-treating’. Adults can also join in with the fun, as there are always plenty of Halloween-themed parties where a spooky costume can be worn.
Another popular Halloween tradition is the pumpkin lantern. To make one, you buy a pumpkin (available at most supermarkets in October), slice off the top and scoop out all the insides – this may take some time, depending on the size of pumpkin. Then you can carve a scary face into the front, and place a candle inside for a spooky looking light.
5 November 2012
Bonfire Night is an annual UK celebration with a grisly origin. It commemorates the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament by Guy Fawkes and others in London in 1605. This is known as the ‘gunpowder plot’.
Bonfire Night celebrations involve a large bonfire (often with a life-sized dummy, to represent Guy Fawkes) and fireworks, and part of the fun is being out in the cold and enjoying warming winter food and drink like roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.
There are Bonfire Night celebrations planned around the UK, and these range from people having a few fireworks in their own back garden to huge organised events. Many towns and cities host spectacular fireworks displays. Details will be available locally.
So wrap up warm and enjoy it!