A long time ago the year was marked out with special days which marked the passing year. These were days of celebrations where people would do things, eat things or make things which they would not normally do.
Hundreds of British swimmers get into the festive spirit and dress up in fancy dress for a bracing Christmas swims.
Pan Swim Serpentine
Lake in Hyde Park - 9am
This event dates back to 1864, when the author
of the children’s classic, J M Barrie presented the Peter Pan
Cup. Dozens of men and women swim the 100 yards in temperatures just
above freezing and spectators are welcome on the banks. Only members
of the Serpentine Swimming Club may take part in the race.
Brighton beach swim - 11 am
More than 700 spectators gather on Christmas morning to watch 100 brave souls plunge into the icy surf for up to 15 minutes off the South Coast. Fancy Dress is optional.
The Christmas morning swim has been an annual event for the Brighton Swimming club since 1895.
Tenby Boxing Day Swim started in 1970 and has snowballed into Tenby's main Christmas attraction. With around 600 swimmers with most in fancy dress and thousands of onlookers each year, this fantastic spectacle is not to be missed.
The charity event takes place on the North Beach, and the swim itself is at 11.30am.
Nippy Dipper Boxing Day Dip, Aberdeen
More than 100 swimmers – usually in fancy dress, from Santa suits to mermaid costumes – take to the sea for a Boxing Day dip.
It starts at Beach Esplanade, opposite Beach Leisure Centre, at 10am.
Grantchester barrel rolling, Cambridgeshire
The tradition of Boxing Day barrel rolls dates back to the 60s, but was revived in 2003. Four teams compete from Grantchester, just outside Cambridge
The races start at midday and last around 40 minutes, with prize-giving taking place at the Rupert Brooke pub.
The Keynsham Mummers, Somerset
Every Boxing Day the streets of Keynsham, between Bristol and Bath, you can watch the Keynsham Mummers Play, which has been performed in the town since the beginning of the 19th century.
It's performed at 11.30am at the Keynsham Centre and at noon at the New Inn.
A three-and-a-half-mile fun run with a pint of winter ale for each runner two miles into the race.
The race begins at 11am at the Crown & Cushion pub on Wey Hill.
Beach football, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
The traditional Comedy Football Match on Scarborough Beach dates back to the late 19th century, when the game was first played as a charity fundraiser for the wives and children of fishermen who went down in a serious storm. Today players are in fancy dress and forced dunkings in the sea afterwards. After the final whistle, there's a raft race in the harbour