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Celebrate VE Day 2022 in Style

VE Day is celebrated on May 8 every year, but this time round it will be especially poignant, as Covid has prevented us from marking it in any significant way in the past two years.

So, if ever there was a time to pull out all the stops, this is it. Read on for inspiration on how to celebrate VE Day and make VE Day 2022 a very special occasion.

Why is VE Day called VE Day? ‘VE’ stands for Victory in Europe and marks the fact that on May 8, 1945, the allies formally accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces marking the end of WWII in Europe.

VE Day is celebrated in several countries, including France and the USA. But while it is a joyful occasion, it is also one of great sadness when we will most certainly be remembering those we have lost.

With this in mind, you may want to tailor your VE Day celebrations so that they are lots of fun for every generation but also have a meaningful aspect to them too.

How can you celebrate VE Day at home?

A VE Day street party

Is there any better way of bringing everyone together than a good old street party? After more than two years of having to keep our distance from our friends and neighbours, it’s now time to meet up and get to know each other again.

Make your VE Day street party a real day to remember by getting everyone to dress up in 1940’s clothing. From little boys in cloth caps and short trousers to mums in tea dresses with their hair styled in glamorous victory rolls, it’s an opportunity to totally embrace the spirit of the time. Maybe you could also hold a competition for the best 1940’s look, learn how to do a 1940s dance and recruit a crooner to sing songs from the era. Making your party a visual feast gives you the chance to make your own memento of the occasion, such as a lay flat picture book or you could use a selfie frame so that everyone can take away a portrait-style photograph. For a truly nostalgic touch, you could even create a post-event newspaper with pictures and stories from the day.

Unless someone in the neighbourhood is a brilliant caterer, the best way to sort out the food and drink is to get your neighbours to contribute something to the party, ensuring that everyone knows who is bringing what. You don’t want hundreds of sausage rolls and no cakes! What about giving everyone a traditional cream tea? It’s so very British and relatively easy to stage, or as an alternative to a street party why not hold a 1940s tea dance in your village hall?

Celebrating in the home

You could make your celebrations even more memorable by holding a themed buffet featuring 1940s foods and recipes, or by going all out with a fantastic spread to celebrate the end of rationing that followed the end of WWII. How about creating a photo book or picture collage on canvas featuring images of your loved ones who lived through WWII and sending it out to your relatives.

Another idea you might like to consider is a garden party for all your friends and neighbours, featuring 40s music, drinks and dancing.

VE Day decorations

Bunting is the obvious way to decorate your garden, home or street, as it fits in perfectly with the era being celebrated but is so incredibly festive too.

You might also wish to decorate your home or street with flags from the Allied powers, including the UK the USA and France, as well as the people who fought alongside them from the Commonwealth countries.

Interestingly, the original VE Day decorations were flowers used as table decorations, a welcome reminder that the winter of war had gone, and the shoots of spring heralded a new future.

VE Day charity support

As VE Day is also when we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the entire Second World War generation, it seems fitting to do something meaningful. One idea is to use the occasion to support a charity. The Royal British Legion, which plays a huge role in VE Day and supports the armed forces community, is a very fitting recipient. But you may also wish to raise money for something else – a local cause perhaps or a refugee charity. You can do this by holding something as simple as a collection on the day, or by staging an auction or raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses. It’s all about community spirit!

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