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EVENTS

Most businesses close on public holidays such as New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day Bank Holiday (the first Monday in May), Spring Bank Holiday (the last Monday in May), Summer Bank Holiday (the last Monday in August), Christmas Day and Boxing Day (26 December).

There are countless festivals and events in London. It all kicks off with the New Year's Eve fireworks and street party in Trafalgar Square, followed by the New Year's Day Parade. On Shrove Tuesday pancake races are held in Covent Garden, and in early May more serious racers take part in the London Marathon.

All London gets its colours on for the FA Cup Final in mid-May. There's even more colour at the Chelsea Flower Show, held in the last week of May.

Trooping the Colour, the Queen's birthday parade, is held in June; Wimbledon runs for two weeks in the same month and London Pride, Europe's biggest gay and lesbian festival, also hits the streets. In July the world's biggest military tattoo, the Royal Tournament, is held in Earl's Court, and the raucous Notting Hill Carnival takes over the streets in August.

Horsy folks can't resist late-September's Horseman's Sunday in Hyde Park, with more than 100 horses receiving the blessing from a vicar on horseback, followed by show jumping in Kensington Gardens.

Things wind down as the weather gets colder, though there are plenty of bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night, on the 5th of November. The Lord Mayor's Show is held in late November, complete with floats, bands and fireworks. Trafalgar Square lights up in December with the Lighting of the Christmas Tree.

26 Dec - Boxing Day
25 Dec - Christmas Day
last Monday in Aug - Summer Bank Holiday
1 Jan - New Year's Day
Mar/Apr - Good Friday
first Monday in May - May Day Bank Holiday
Mar/Apr - Easter Monday
last Monday in May - Spring Bank Holiday



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