Special Occasions Vocabulary

Special occasions often come with unique vocabulary that adds to the fun and significance of the events. Knowing these key terms and phrases can help everyone navigate weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more with ease.

This guide aims to equip English learners with the essential words and expressions they need to feel confident in any festive setting. Dive into this useful resource to enhance your language skills and fully enjoy every celebration.

List of Special Occasions

Useful list of holidays and special events in English with picture.

  • Birthday – My birthday is on a Sunday this year.
  • April Fools’Day – April Fools’Day is also one of the year’s shortest holidays.
  • Christmas – Are you going home for Christmas?
  • Father’s Day – I will call my dad on Father’s Day.
  • Easter – They always go to church at Easter.
  • Halloween – I wore a dress to a Halloween party once.
  • International Women’s Day – In International Women’s Day, her husband gave her a bunch of beautiful flowers.
  • Mother’s Day – We sent Mom flowers for Mother’s Day.
  • Labor Day – Wishing you a very restful and joyous Labor Day.
  • New Year’s Eve – We’ll have a party on New Year’s Eve.
  • Thanksgiving – I wish you could be here on Thanksgiving.
  • Summer vacation – During his summer vacation he visited Russia.
  • Valentine’s Day – She received a bouquet of red roses on Valentine’s Day.
  • International Children’s Day – On International Children’s Day, kids are entitled to free entry to all city parks.
  • Wedding – We haven’t decided on a date for the wedding yet.

Holidays and Special Events Vocabulary

Learn these holiday vocabulary words to improve and increase your English vocabulary.

Birthday Vocabulary

  • Balloon
  • Birthday card
  • Birthday hat
  • Birthday cake
  • Bow
  • Biscuit
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream bar
  • Candle
  • Fruit
  • Confetti
  • Gift
  • Streamer
  • Clown
  • Gift tag
  • Horn
  • Popcorn
  • Cupcake
  • Chips (UK)/ French fries (US)
  • Soda
  • Ice cream sundae

Christmas Vocabulary

  • Candy cane
  • Bell
  • Bauble/ Christmas ornament
  • Candle
  • Bow
  • Holly
  • Gift
  • Poinsettia
  • Wreath
  • Garland
  • Light
  • Candy
  • Stockings
  • Gingerbread man
  • Snow globe
  • Christmas tree
  • Christmas pudding
  • Santa’s hat
  • Fireplace
  • Gingerbread House
  • Santa Claus
  • Elf
  • Snowman
  • Sleigh
  • Reindeer
  • Santa’s sack
  • Christmas card
  • Chimney
  • Menorah (Hanukkah)
  • Snowflake

Easter Vocabulary

  • Bible
  • Candy
  • Easter egg
  • Hot-cross bun
  • Chocolate
  • Chick
  • Daffodil
  • Tulip
  • Crucifixion
  • Resurrection
  • Cross
  • Easter bunny
  • Easter basket
  • Lamb
  • Crown of thorns
  • Pattern

Halloween Vocabulary

  • Bat
  • Black cat
  • Devil
  • Mummy
  • Haunted house
  • Cemetery
  • Ghost
  • Jack-o’Lantern
  • Cauldron
  • Candy bag
  • Costume
  • Witch
  • Witch hat
  • Candy
  • Owl
  • Skull
  • Tombstone
  • Witch’s broom
  • Spider web
  • Skeleton
  • Spider

New Year’s Eve Vocabulary

  • Fireworks
  • Countdown
  • Party hat
  • Firecracker
  • Champagne
  • Confetti
  • Mask
  • Hourglass
  • Balloon
  • Party favor
  • Streamer
  • Postcard

Summer Vocabulary

  • Sun
  • Beach ball
  • Sand toy
  • Coconut palm
  • Beach
  • Deck chair
  • Sandcastle
  • Beach towel
  • Beach vendor
  • Bikini
  • Swim trunks
  • Visitor
  • Beach umbrella
  • Coconut
  • Goggles
  • Flip flops
  • Hat
  • Float
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Pool
  • Swimsuit
  • Surfboard
  • Canoe

Wedding and Marriage Vocabulary

  • Church
  • Wedding bell
  • Champagne
  • Bouquet
  • Honeymoon
  • Wedding cake
  • Engagement ring
  • Confetti
  • Invitation
  • Veil
  • Wedding dress
  • Bride
  • Groom
  • Bridesmaid
  • Best man
  • Priest/ Minister
  • Musician
  • Flower girl

Valentine’s Day

  • Lover
  • Cupid
  • Arrow
  • Chocolate
  • Teddy bear
  • Gift
  • Perfume
  • Candy
  • Balloon
  • Card
  • Ring
  • Bouquet

Cultural and Regional Holidays

In this article, we will discuss some of the most fascinating cultural and regional holidays celebrated across the world. These celebrations are full of unique traditions, vibrant colors, and diverse customs. Let’s explore the beauty and significance of these holidays.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is a time for family gatherings to welcome the new year and bid farewell to the old. It occurs between January 21st and February 20th, depending on the lunar calendar. Some holiday vocabulary words to know are:

  • Red envelope: A monetary gift in a red envelope traditionally given to children or unmarried adults
  • Dragon dance: A traditional dance in which performers manipulate a long, colorful dragon figure
  • Lanterns: Bright and decorative paper lanterns representing joy and good fortune during this holiday

Diwali

Diwali

Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a major Hindu festival celebrated in India and other parts of the world. The holiday usually takes place between October and November and lasts for five days. People celebrate by lighting lamps, fireworks, and cleaning their homes for good fortune. Some holiday vocabulary words include:

  • Rangoli: A traditional Indian art form in which patterns are created using colored sand, rice, or flower petals on the ground
  • Lakshmi: The Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity. Diwali is often associated with her blessings
  • Sweets: Traditional Indian sweets that are prepared and shared among friends and family during Diwali

Hanukkah

Hanukkah

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday usually celebrated between November and December. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of the oil lasting eight days. Traditional holiday vocabulary words include:

  • Menorah: A nine-branched candelabrum used during Hanukkah. Eight branches represent the eight days of the holiday, with the middle branch (shamash) used to light the other candles
  • Latkes: Traditional potato pancakes fried in oil, often eaten during Hanukkah
  • Dreidel: A spinning top game played during the holiday, with each side of the top representing a Hebrew letter

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a week-long African-American and Pan-African holiday celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. It promotes family, community, and culture. Some holiday vocabulary words related to Kwanzaa are:

  • Kinara: A seven-branched candle holder symbolizing the African diaspora and the seven principles of Kwanzaa
  • Mkeka: A woven mat on which other Kwanzaa symbols are placed
  • Zawadi: Gifts, often handmade or educational, given to children during Kwanzaa

We hope you enjoyed learning about these diverse cultural and regional holidays. Each holiday offers a unique glimpse into different customs and traditions, deepening our understanding and appreciation for the cultures around us.

National Holidays in the United States

In this article, we will dive into some of the most celebrated national holidays in the United States. We’ll explore their origins, interesting facts, and some holiday vocabulary words related to each of them.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This holiday has its roots in the early days of America, when the Pilgrims and Native Americans shared a feast to give thanks for the harvest. It’s now a day for families to gather, enjoy a meal together and express gratitude for what they have. Here are some vocabulary words associated with this holiday:

  • Turkey: The main dish typically served for the Thanksgiving meal.
  • Stuffing: A side dish made with bread, vegetables, and seasonings, often served inside the turkey.
  • Cranberry sauce: A sweet sauce made from cranberries, served as a side dish.
  • Pumpkin pie: A popular dessert during Thanksgiving, made with a pumpkin filling and a pastry crust.

Independence Day

Independence Day

Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It’s a day to celebrate American freedom and patriotism with fireworks, parades, and patriotic music. Here are some vocabulary words related to this holiday:

  • Fireworks: Explosive devices used for entertainment, creating colorful and noisy displays in the sky.
  • Parade: A public procession celebrating a special day or event, often featuring marching bands, floats, and performers.
  • Barbecue: A method of cooking food, usually meat, on a grill or open fire, often associated with Fourth of July celebrations.
  • Star-Spangled Banner: The national anthem of the United States, often sung during Independence Day events.

Labor Day

Labor Day

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. This holiday honors the contributions of workers and the labor movement in the United States. It’s also seen as the unofficial end of summer. Here are some holiday vocabulary words associated with Labor Day:

  • Workforce: The total number of people who are employed or seeking employment.
  • Union: An organized group of workers who join together to protect their rights and interests.
  • Picnic: An outdoor meal where people bring their food and share it with friends and family, often on Labor Day.
  • Vacation: A period of time away from work or school to relax and enjoy leisure activities.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January. This holiday honors the life and work of the civil rights leader, who is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. Here are some vocabulary words related to this holiday:

  • Civil rights: The rights of individuals to be treated equally and fairly, regardless of their race, gender, or religion.
  • Nonviolent protest: A peaceful method of expressing disagreement or promoting change, often used by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • I Have a Dream: A famous speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, advocating for racial equality.
  • March: A form of protest where participants walk in a group to demonstrate their support for a cause.

Unusual and Fun Holidays

In this article, we’re going to explore some fun and peculiar holidays that you probably never knew existed! These unique events may inspire you to celebrate in new and exciting ways.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy, mateys! Every year on September 19th, we can join in on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This delightful holiday encourages everyone to unleash their inner swashbuckler by speaking like a pirate for the day. Some holiday vocabulary words related to this day include:

  • Pirate lingo: phrases like “Yo ho ho,” “Ahoy, matey,” and “Shiver me timbers!”
  • Buccaneer: another name for a pirate.
  • Jolly Roger: the iconic black and white skull and crossbones flag flown on pirate ships.

Fun fact: International Talk Like a Pirate Day was created in 1995 by two friends, John Baur and Mark Summers, as a fun inside joke, but it quickly went viral once famous humorist Dave Barry covered it in his syndicated column.

National Donut Day

Got a sweet tooth? Then, get ready to celebrate National Donut Day! Held annually on the first Friday in June, this delicious event is a chance for us to satisfy our cravings for those sugary, doughy treats. Here are some related holiday vocabulary words:

  • Glazed: a popular type of donut with a sweet, sticky coating.
  • Sprinkles: small, colorful candies often used as a topping for donuts.
  • Dough: the mixture of flour, water, and other ingredients used to make donuts.

National Donut Day actually has its roots in the Great Depression when a group called the Salvation Army provided doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. Today, many bakeries and doughnut chains offer free or discounted donuts to commemorate the day.

Left Handers Day

To all our left-handed friends out there, this one’s for you! Left Handers Day is celebrated annually on August 13th. This special occasion is dedicated to raising awareness about the unique challenges that left-handed people face in a predominantly right-handed world. Some holiday vocabulary words for Left Handers Day include:

  • Leftie: a slang term for someone who is left-handed.
  • Sinistral: a more formal term for left-handedness.
  • Ambidextrous: someone who can use both their left and right hands with equal skill.

Did you know that only about 10% of the world’s population is left-handed? Famous left-handers include Leonardo da Vinci, Barack Obama, and Julia Roberts.

Now that you know about these unusual and fun holidays, you might want to consider adding them to your calendar. It’s always a good time to discover new traditions and share laughs with friends or family!