London loves its citrus! Every third Thursday in March, London celebrates Oranges and Lemons Day!
In 1919, Reverend William Pennington-Bickford restored the church bells of St. Clement Danes Church in London. The bells would play the tune “Oranges and Lemons”, a nursery rhyme about the bells of churches in London.
On March 31, 1920, the bells of St. Clement Danes Church were blessed and garlanded with oranges and lemons. There was also a special service where children were gifted an orange and a lemon. By 1924, 800 children attended the special service and Oranges and Lemons Day became a national celebration. The tradition endured the war years and deconstruction and reconstruction of St. Clement Danes Church.
Today, the day is still observed at St. Clement Danes Church. The children from the local Primary School attend the Oranges and Lemons Service where they receive an orange and a lemon. The service includes song and dance performances, poetry readings, and a handbell performance of Oranges and Lemons.
This year, Londoners will be celebrating on March 16th, why not celebrate with them! Read more about the day here!