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Oranges And Lemons Day is a joyful celebration held once a year at St. Clement Danes Church. The origins of Oranges and Lemons Day go back even earlier.

They speak to the fascinating historical accounts of the church’s bells. Even more interestingly, it includes a local custom of distributing citrus fruits—a relatively rare treat of that era.

History of Oranges And Lemons Day

Oranges And Lemons Day traces back to Reverend William Pennington-Bickford’s 1919 restoration of the bells at St. Clement Danes Church.

In 1920, these bells were blessed and adorned with garlands of oranges and lemons, and that day marked the first official celebration of this event. Using oranges and lemons to decorate the Church was a nod back to an older tradition when oranges and lemons arrived in London by boat on the River Thames.

The arrival of the fruit was cause for celebration. They were distributed to residents by porters and attendants of Clement’s Inn. This practice, however, dwindled in the late nineteenth century.

You might now ask: What’s the big deal with oranges and lemons? Remember that the UK’s climate is too cool for growing citrus fruits.

In fact, what we take as a given at the grocery store today was a costly, luxurious item – at least until refrigerators became standard during the middle of the twentieth century.

The fruits were imported and, therefore, a very special (and expensive!) treat. Distributing oranges and lemons symbolizes abundance and blessings.

Despite being bombed during the Blitz in 1941, the Oranges And Lemons Day continued. The celebration came to represent resilience and hope. Oranges, and sometimes lemons, were handed out to London’s children, even during World War II shortages.

After the war’s end, the Church rebuilt St. Clement Danes. By 1959, the celebration moved back indoors, with the recast bells pealing joyfully to announce Oranges And Lemons Day.

How to Celebrate Oranges And Lemons Day

Here are some ways you might take part in the day’s events:

Attend the Oranges And Lemons Day Service

Anyone in London on the day of the celebrations must attend St. Clement Danes Church. It’s a moment to watch history and tradition come alive.

Enjoy Citrus Fruits

Embrace Oranges And Lemons Day by enjoying the fruits for yourself. There are countless ways to enjoy them. Of course, you can enjoy them fresh. Or, you can whip up your own creative dessert. You might also enjoy squeezing the juices to toast the day with a fresh-juice cocktail.

Distribute Fruits to Children

Honor the tradition by handing out oranges and lemons to children in your community. This one kind and simple gesture can bring joy. It can also educate the little ones about this special day.

Sing the Nursery Rhyme

The day is incomplete without the famous nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons. Sing it with family or in community gatherings. If you’re musically inclined, try playing it on an instrument.

Brush up on the History 

Research the history of Oranges And Lemons Day, understanding its origins and the significant satisfaction it brings to the day’s celebration.

Share Information About Oranges And Lemons Day on Social Media

Share what you know about Oranges And Lemons Day on social media. Be sure you use the hashtag #OrangesAndLemonsDay. Your sharing marks your participation and helps spread awareness of this historic day.

Community Engagement

Organize or participate in community events centered around Oranges And Lemons Day. This could include fruit distribution, educational talks, or a local parade.

Invent a Citrus-Inspired New Recipe

Experiment with oranges and lemons in your cooking or baking. Bake and share some zesty lemon tarts with friends or neighbors. Or, try orange-infused savory dishes, perhaps fused with South Asian cuisine. The options for using these fruits for cooking are almost limitless.

Reflect on the Symbolism

Take a moment to appreciate the deeper meaning of the day – resilience, community spirit, and the joy of giving.

Oranges And Lemons Day is not merely a celebration of citrus fruits. Rather, it is steeped in history and speaks to a nation’s resilience.

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