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Things to look forward to in 2023 – January to March – Events, Sports, Celebrations and Holidays

By: Lee Watson

Now that we’ve seen the back of 2022 it’s time to look forward to everything that 2023 has to offer. Because there’s so much happening in 2023, we’re going to split the year up into quarters and publish new updates on what’s occurring over the coming three months. We’ll also be splitting it up into two separate posts, one with more active things to do, places to go, sports, events, and celebrations, and another with more sedentary pastimes like films, TV, and video games.

As with everything in the world right now, dates are subject to change, but everything is correct at the time of writing. In this part, we’ll explore all the that are arriving from January to March. You can find our posts on films, TV Shows, and video games HERE.

There are so many events and celebrations that are going on around the world that it’s impossible to cover everything in one blog post. We’ll concentrate on things for the UK and Ireland with a smattering of other key events from across the world.

January

January has been and gone, but there were a few things that happened during the month.

1st of JanuaryNew Year’s Day

The year kicked off with the traditional new year’s celebrations and, of course, the requisite recovery from the previous night’s libations.  Both the UK and Ireland have holidays on the 1st of January, which can come in quite handy. As the 1st was a Sunday, the following day would have been the actual day off, giving employees a gentle four-day week to start the year.

2nd of January- World Introvert Day

The 2nd of January was world introvert day, but thankfully nobody made a big deal about it, and frankly, everybody for whom the celebration was intended wouldn’t have appreciated the attention anyway. That said, it was good for them to have the day off due to the substitute new year’s holiday.

19th of January – 5th of February – Celtic Connections

Folk, roots, and world music make their way to Glasgow for the annual festival celebrating Celtic music. There were concerts, talks, exhibitions of art, workshops, and ceilidhs (traditional Scottish/Irish gatherings). There are no larger Winter festivals like this that are as vast in scale!

Website – https://www.celticconnections.com/

22nd of January – Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year

If you were living in China, you’d have had 7 days off work from the 21st of January, but sadly that can’t be said for denizens of the UK and Ireland. Other Asian centuries just get from 1-3 days off. Celebrations started on the 22nd of January and continued until the 9th of February.

 Why does the date change every year? Well as the title suggests, it’s actually based on the Chinese lunar calendar, which is typically 21-51 days out of sync with the Gregorian calendar used in much of the world. The day of the new year then falls on the day of a new moon. Every year is named for an animal from the Chinese zodiac with 2023 being the year of the Rabbit.

There was a free parade in London to celebrate the new year, which took place across Trafalgar and Chinatown.

25th of January – Burns Night

The annual celebration of the birth of Robert Burns took place on the 25th. It celebrates the birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. There was food (haggis, in particular), dancing, recitals of Burns’ poetry, and, of course, drinking.

Website – https://www.scotland.org/events/burns-night

25th of January – Dydd Santes Dwynwen

Dydd Santes Dwynwen is the Welsh equivalent of Valentine’s Day. The day celebrates St Dwynwen, a Welsh princess of the fourth century, who was forbidden from marrying the man she truly loved as her father the King had already promised her to a prince. There’s more to the story, but it ends with her unable to marry her true love. Instead, she becomes a nun.

Website – https://www.visitwales.com/info/history-heritage-and-traditions/st-dwynwens-day

 February

 4th of February – 18th of March – Six Nations Rugby

The Six Nations Rugby tournament kicked off on the 4th of February, with games taking place in Cardiff, London, and Edinburgh. The host nations of England, Wales, and Scotland will also compete against Ireland, Italy, and France.

Website – https://www.sixnationsrugby.com/

5th of February – Imbolc – St Brigid’s Day

Imbolc is Celebrated on the first Monday in February or, if the 1st of February is a Friday, it’s celebrated then.  Bonfires are lit and there are feasts to honor St Brigid. Modern-day pagans often focus on the Brigid aspect of the day and set up an altar to her with white flowers, a bowl of Milk, candles, and a corn husk doll.

10th – 26th of February – Dark Skies Festival –

The festival takes its name from the fact that the areas that host it, The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks, are some of the darkest places in Northern England. The lack of light pollution makes them the perfect places for stargazing, which, alongside things like kayaking and zip wires, is one of the activities you can partake in at the festival.

Website – https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/dark-night-skies/dark-skies-festival/

12th of February – Super Bowl LVII

The US’s premier American football event takes place on the 12th of February with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs vying to become the 57th winner of the coveted trophy. The event takes place at the State Farm Arena in Glendale Arizona and, if it lives up to the precedent set by last year’s contest, should pull in around 100 million viewers worldwide. As such, advertising during the games comes at a premium price and often companies will use the event to hype up their new products. Ad spots for new moves, with exciting reveals, tend to premier at this time, so there’s something for the non-sports fans to be excited about too.

Website – https://www.nfl.com/super-bowl/

14th February – Valentine’s Day

St Valentine’s Day once again sees the giving of cards and gifts from lovers and admirers looking to woo. Valentine’s Day originated as a Christian feast day but these days it’s mostly become an opportunity for card companies, florists, and restaurants to add to their bank balances. Still, if the spirit of romance is in you, today’s the day to let your significant other know how much you love them.

March

 1st of March – St David’s Day

St. David is the patron saint of Wales and his day is celebrated with parades traditionally held in Cardiff, daffodils, leeks, and Welsh and St. David’s flags.

Website – https://www.visitwales.com/info/history-heritage-and-traditions/have-happy-st-davids-day-celebration

 1st to 12th of March – Glasgow Film Festival

The third largest film festival in Britain, the Glasgow Film Festival, features over 350 events, with screenings of local and international films both new and old.

Website – https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival

 2nd of March – World Book Day

Taking place annually on the first Thursday of March, World book day is celebrated across the UK and Ireland. A variety of children’s books are made available at the bargain price of £1/€1.50 in an effort to promote literacy and book reading amongst the young. Schoolchildren will often be encouraged to dress up as literary characters. It’s generally an awful lot of fun and a good way to promote reading as a pastime.

Website – https://www.worldbookday.com/

 3rd of March – Employee Appreciation Day

Feeling unappreciated at work? Well, it might be time to remind your boss that the 3rd of March is Employee Appreciation Day. Celebrated every year on the first Friday of March, it provides an excellent opportunity for employers to show how valued they are by doing things like buying gifts, letting them leave early, or perhaps treating them to breakfast or lunch!

Website – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_Appreciation_Day

 8th of March – International Women’s Day

The 8th is the day on which we celebrate the achievements of women across the world. Whilst the fight for equality has had many victories, it most certainly hasn’t been won across the world and there are still places where women’s rights are continuing to be eroded.

Why the 8th of March? Well, that’s the day on which famous suffragette, Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in 1914 after taking part in a march calling for women to get the vote. Women finally did get the vote in 1918, though only for those over 30s. It wasn’t until 1928 that women gained equal voting rights to the men of the time and could cast their ballot once they reached the age of 21.

Website https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

8th of March – National Proofreading Day

A whole day dedicated to ensuring that there are no tpyos in your wrting! Amzaing! The day was created by a corporate trainer named Judy Beaver who chose the 8th of March as it was her mother’s birthday. Apparently, her mother was fond of correcting people, including, presumably, Judy, so take that as you will.

14th to 17th of March – Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is a horse racing event. It’s extremely prestigious and has the second-highest prize money for such an event, beaten only by the Grand National. It features several races including the Cheltenham Gold CupChampion HurdleQueen Mother Champion Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle.

Website – https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham-festival/

15th of March – 2nd of April – Glasgow International Comedy Festival

One of the largest comedy events in Europe takes place in Glasgow from the 15th of March. There you can see both big-name comedians as well as get the chance to spot new talent. Acts come from around Britain and the rest of the world, with the hope of filling venues around Glasgow with laughter.

Website – https://www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com/

17th of March – St. Patrick’s Day

Perhaps the most celebrated of all saints’ days across the British Isles and beyond, St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the patron saint of Ireland, who famously is said to have driven all the snakes from the Emerald Isle. Parades, concerts carnivals, and festivals take place the length and breadth of the land and you’re unlikely to find a pub that’s not filled with jubilant, green-clad punters. The day is a holiday in Ireland, but not, sadly, elsewhere.

Website – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Day

17th of March – Red Nose Day (Comic Relief) 

The 17th is also Red Nose Day, the yearly charity event which focuses on raising money for good causes around the world. As well as the traditional red nose, which this year has been developed by former Apple designer, Jony Ive, retailers will also be selling all manner of red nose/comedy-related clothing.

The whole day culminates in an event show on BBC featuring comedy segments, live performances, and a look at the work that Comic Relief, the charity behind Red Nose Day, does around the world.

Website – https://www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday

19th of March – Mother’s Day

Treat your mother to flowers, chocolates, a nice meal, or a day out in the traditional yearly celebration of motherhood. For anybody in the world outside of the UK, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Nigeria, Mother’s Day is celebrated in May, so you’ve still got a bit of time to show your Mum how much you love her.

Website – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day

 22nd of March – First Day of Ramadan

Predicted to take place around this time is Ramadan. The exact date does depend on the sighting of the phases of the moon, though. The Islamic Calendar is roughly ten days shorter than the Gregorian Calendar which is why the date changes each year. Each month in the Islamic Calendar begins with the first crescent of a new moon. Ramadan celebrates the month when the Quran was supposed to have been revealed to the prophet Muhammad by God (Allah). During this time, Muslims fast during daylight hours and abstain from doing anything that is considered to be impure.

Ramadan lasts for 29-30 days and the end is celebrated with Eid al-Fitr (the festival of the breaking of the fast).

Website – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan

 26th of March – Clocks go forward at 1 am

It’s daylight savings time once more where everybody gets their body clocks messed up by the change. Still, at least there’s an extra hour of daylight to look forward to after the long nights of winter.

 26th of March – The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race

Oxford and Cambridge rowers compete in their yearly grudge match in an event that first took place way back in 1829. The race regularly draws a crowd alongside of the banks of the River Thames for the 4.2 miles (6.8km) between Putney and Mortlake. A men’s and a women’s race are held on the same day.

Website – https://www.theboatrace.org/

 

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