July 4, 2022

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The Great British Street Party: Why does Britain love war-time tradition?

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A resident of Cambrian Road wearing a period costume holds a street party to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in Chester

Jubilee provides the perfect excuse for a street party (Picture: Paul Ellis via Getty Images)

Whether it’s a royal wedding or just a community get-together, many Britons will never miss the opportunity to hold a traditional street party.

Between June 2 and 5, lakhs of people will take to the streets along with neighbors for the queen. Platinum Jubilee. But what’s behind the country’s love for a good old-fashioned street party?

Many people will think of VE Day, marking the end of World War II, as the start of a British love affair with the street party – but it goes back and forth.

Here’s everything you need to know…

When did British street parties start?

While it was not that historic day of May 7, 1945 – the first VE Day celebration – that carried on the tradition, it is steeped in times of war – namely World War I.

Yes, it was 1919 when the Great British Street Party obsession began, with the so-called ‘peace tea’ installed between households across the country to mark the end of the Great War.

Photograph of the 'Peace Tea' street party held in 1919

‘Peace Tea’ street parties were held to celebrate the end of World War I (Picture: Halten-Deutsche via Getty Images)

Events were set up primarily for children, but it was not long before they became a tradition for all ages after seeing the effect of parties on community solidarity.

A national day of street parties was held in 1935 for the birth anniversary of King George V, in 1937 to celebrate the coronation of King George VI, and in 1945 for VE and VJ days at the end of World War II.

A street party held in Morpeth to celebrate the Queen’s coronation in 1953 (Picture: Getty Images)
A street party held to celebrate the Queen’s coronation in 1953 (Picture: Getty Images)

Since then, events have been happening Reserved for VE Day and days marking the major life events of Queen Elizabeth II and other major royals—including coronations (well, only one), weddings, and of course, jubilee.

What’s going on to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?

Some celebrations are already underway across the country. In fact, some schools had street parties on the Friday before half-term on May 27, allowing students to come in fancy dress or non-school uniforms.

A party is held to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee at a primary school in Landeilo, Wales (Picture: Adisa Amanor-Wilkes)

Entire areas of London will celebrate in style, with organizers working with Rambert and Pineapple Dance Studio A huge dance party at Wembley Park,

The organizers of the event told Metro.co.uk: ‘Street parties provide a unique opportunity for local communities to come together in a spirit of joy and celebration. This is especially true in one of the most diverse areas of London, Brent, where 150 languages ​​are spoken.

‘Outdoor community events such as the Jubilee Dance Party enable local residents to connect in new ways, rediscover their local area and get to know their neighbours.’

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In Covent Garden, businesses are teaming up for the ‘Great Piazza Party’ where visitors can walk the royal red carpet at the Royal Opera House and pose with the ‘Queen’s Guards’ at the Ivy Market Grille.

On normal residential streets across the country, people will be planning their events for the big weekend. On a street in Woodford, northeast of the capital, residents are planning a party that has drawn people from all over the area and talking to neighbours.

Organizing her street party, Deepti Solanki said: ‘We will be hosting our street party on 5th June and there has been an overwhelming response from all our neighbours.

‘Not only do we know everyone on the street but we just discovered a couple attending a party for silver jubilee celebrations 30 years ago – they’re going to be our royal guest of honor and they’ll open the party by cutting a ribbon and giving them The crown will be worn.

‘We have traditional party games, activities, live music and DJs as well as food from around the world for kids and adults.

Artwork of plans for Wembley Park's Jubilee Celebrations

Wembley Park will turn into a huge street party for the Platinum Jubilee (Picture: Wembley Park)
An artist expects a day of celebration at Wembley Park (Picture: Wembley Park)

Meanwhile, in the Welsh village of Landby, Adisa Amanor-Wilks will host dozens of people in her courtyard, which will be ’embellished with British and Welsh flags’.

He said Metro.co.uk: ‘For us as a local community, the celebration is a reminder that we are more united than we are allowed to believe. The Queen has long been a symbol of unity for a country as diverse as Britain.

‘There are people from all walks of life from this small village and we are proud that we can come together to celebrate this wonderful moment for someone whose values ​​represent all of us.’

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