Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 1

Well, I’m back to work on this short work-week after my travels to Spain where I definitely felt my lack of language skills! It was a new experience for me to visit some places where they just couldn’t speak a word of English. But I managed and it gave me a fresh appreciation for speaking the global language that gets you by in many, many places, even if not everywhere.

But the trip fell between two Bank Holidays (BrE) and I thought it might be an idea to talk about the names of these special days. Of course, every country (or even state here in Germany) has different national or public holidays so I’ll concentrate on helping you with the names for the days in North-Rhine Westphalia. I’ll also include a few days that are not officially days off but are still part of this general group. In NRW, we officially get a full 11 days which I believe is about in the middle of the German states – some, such as Saxony, get fewer than us and some, such as Bavaria, get more. However, on a particularly “employer friendly” year, several of these days can fall at the weekend and then don’t really feel like days off. I think that the lowest number of days we can get during the week in NRW is 7 due to the way the weeks fall in that year.

Let’s start at the beginning of the year and take 2017 as a template for the dates and days:

1st January – New Year’s Day

14th April – Good Friday (the Friday of the Easter weekend)

16th April – Easter Sunday

17th April – Easter Monday

1st May – May Day or Labour Day

25th May – Ascension Day

4th June – Whit Sunday – this whole weekend is called Whitsun (Anglican) or Pentecost

5th June – Whit Monday

15th June – Corpus Christi

3rd October – Day of German Unity or German Unity Day

31st October – Reformation Day (and also known outside the religious calendar as Hallowe’en)

1st November – All Saints' Day

24th December – Christmas Eve

25th December – Christmas Day

26th December – Boxing Day (not in USA)

31st December – New Year’s Eve

Let’s leave it at that for this week, and I’ll continue this topic next week with a little more insight into how we do things in the UK.

Enjoy the rest of your short week and I hope you’re looking forward to the potentially even shorter one next week!


What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?

Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.

Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!

Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot

Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?

Episode 30: Bless you!

Episode 31: What are you thankful for?

Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?

Episode 33: What's behind the door?

Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!

Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?

Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year

Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?

Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2

Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?

Episode 40: Sweet Valentine

Episode 41: A Reminder

Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!

Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils

Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question

Episode 45: The whole world's going green!

Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs

Episode 47: The joke's on you!

Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!

Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings

Episode 50: We use German words too

Episode 51: Celebrating St George

Episode 52: The perfect start to the day

Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)

Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)

Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)

Episode 56: Holiday season is coming!