February

Now that the days are perceptibly lengthening thoughts turn to spring…love is in the air and the major fixed-date custom celebrates St Valentine’s Day. It’s also common for Shrovetide to fall in this month with its sport and food related customs, and every fourth year sees Leap Day, which makes the shortest month just a little bit longer.


Some events take place on exactly the same date every year, regardless of which day of the week they fall upon. The following table shows events which are fixed in this way:

DayEventArticle
1ImbolcArticle
2Carlows CharityArticle
2Forty Shilling DayArticle
2Ripon Candlemas FestivalArticle
3Holborn Blessing the ThroatsArticle
3St Blazey St Blaise's Feast DayArticle
13Glencoe Massacre CommemorationArticle
13Norham Blessing the Salmon NetsArticle
14Valentine's DayArticle
29Leap DayArticle

Some event dates differ from year to year in order for them to fall on a weekend or during a particular week of the year, for example the 3rd week in January. The following table shows events where dates may vary in this manner:

DateEventArticle
Weekday in February or MarchLondon Spital SermonArticle
1st SaturdayMarsden Imbolc Fire FestivalArticle
1st SundayDalston Clowns ServiceArticle
Sunday nearest 2ndBlidworth Cradle RockingArticle
2nd (earliest possible date)Collop MondayArticle
3rd (earliest possible date)Shrove TuesdayArticle
Monday after 3rdSt Ives HurlingArticle
4th (earliest posible date)Ash WednesdayArticle
Mid to Late in MonthJorvik Viking FestivalArticle
21 (latest possible date)Chinese New YearArticle
Saturday Late in MonthSlaithwaite Moonraking FestivalArticle
Weekend Late in MonthWakefield Rhubarb FestivalArticle
February or MarchLondon Trial of the PyxArticle

Shrove Tuesday is the day before the penitential season of Lent. Lent is the forty day period immediately before Easter, and because Easter is a movable feast, Shrovetide and Lent are also on differing dates from year to year. Shrove Tuesday can fall any time between February 3rd and March 10th, depending on whether Easter is early or late. The day following Shrove Tuesday is called Ash Wednesday (it’s the first day of Lent), and the day before Shrove Tuesday is called Collop Monday. Because Lent was a season of penance and fasting, it was customary to use up eggs by making pancakes and to let off steam with boisterous games. Some of these traditions survive today.

The fourth Sunday in Lent is Mothering Sunday, the fifth is Carlin Sunday, and the sixth and final Sunday in Lent is Palm Sunday, which falls a week before Easter Sunday.

DateEventArticle
Collop MondayCollopsArticle
Collop MondayHobkirk HandbaArticle
Shrove TuesdayAlnwick FootballArticle
Shrove TuesdayAshbourne FootballArticle
Shrove TuesdayAtherstone FootballArticle
Shrove TuesdayChester Cheese RollingArticle
Shrove TuesdayClovelly Lentsherd or Tin Can NightArticle
Shrove TuesdayCorfe Purbeck Marblers MeetingArticle
Shrove TuesdayDurweston ShrovingArticle
Shrove TuesdayEast Hendred ShrovingArticle
Shrove TuesdayGittisham TiptoeingArticle
Shrove TuesdayHarpole Clay Pipe Smoking ContestArticle
Shrove TuesdayLondon Inter Livery Pancake RaceArticle
Shrove TuesdayOlney Pancake RaceArticle
Shrove TuesdayPancake RacesArticle
Shrove TuesdayScarborough SkippingArticle
Shrove TuesdaySedgefield FootballArticle
Shrove TuesdaySt Columb HurlingArticle
Shrove TuesdayToddington Conger Hill Witch ListeningArticle
Shrove TuesdayWestminster School Pancake GreazeArticle
Ash WednesdayAshbourne FootballArticle
Thursday following Shrove TuesdayJedburgh BaArticle
Ash Wednesday to Easter MondaySt Albans Alban Hot Cross BunsArticle
Saturday following Shrove TuesdayAncrum BaArticle
Monday following Shrove TuesdayDenholm BaArticle
2nd Saturday following Shrove TuesdaySt Columb HurlingArticle
Mothering Sunday (4th Sunday in Lent)Mothers DayArticle
Mothering Sunday (4th Sunday in Lent)Upwey Clipping the ChurchArticle
Carlin Sunday (5th Sunday in Lent)Carlin PeasArticle
Palm Sunday weekend and Good FridayBury Pace EggersArticle
Palm Sunday (6th Sunday in Lent)Battle of Towton Service & Re-enactmentArticle
Palm Sunday (6th Sunday in Lent)Herefordshire Pax Cake DistributionArticle