10 facts about Remembrance Day and poppies

Remembrance Day is the day when the UK stops to think back to all the soldiers and people that have died in wars.

When students are studying with us in London at this time of year, they often ask the English teachers, ‘Why do British people wear poppies on their jackets’?

It is all because of The First World War and how British people remember that terrible event.

Here are 10 facts about Remembrance Day and Poppies to help you understand this important part of British culture.

10 facts about Remembrance Day and Poppies

1. Remembrance Day is on the 11th of November every year.

2. It is an event that commemorates the end of World War 1, which ended on ‘the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month’ in 1918.

3. A 2 minute silence is held at 11am to remember all the soldiers who died in all wars (not just the First World War). This 2 minute silence is normally observed throughout London and The UK and in some parts of The Commonwealth.

4. Today, Remembrance Day is on Tuesday, but ‘Remembrance Sunday’ is always held on the second Sunday in November (the nearest Sunday to the 11th of November)

5. On Remembrance Sunday, HRH The Queen, members of The Royal Family, top politicians and V.I.P.s attend a big ceremony at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London (this is very near to The Houses of Parliament, Downing Street where the Prime Minister lives and Buckingham Palace). This memorial service is always shown on live television in the UK.

6. It is also called Poppy Day. The poppy is the symbol of the fallen soldier from World War One.

7. Poppies grew in many of the fields in Flanders, Belgium where battles took place. The red colour of the poppies symbolised the blood spilled in the war.

8. Poppies were mentioned in the First World War poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Lieutenant Colonel John McRae from Canada. The poem was very popular at the time and so the poppy was used to raise money for soldiers.

9. Paper poppies are sold every year in the weeks before Remembrance Sunday to raise money for soldiers and families of soldiers.

10. All TV presenters, politicians and lots of people around the UK wear a poppy in the weeks before Poppy Day. You can even buy a Remembrance Poppy to put on the front of your car.

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