Oak Apple Day is an annual British holiday celebration held on May 29. The Oak Apple Day holiday is a yearly celebration to commemorate the restoration of His Royal Highness, King Charles II, to the throne in the 1660s. The celebration honors the quick wit of King Charles II, who escaped soldiers by seeking refuge in an oak tree. The British Monarch was restored to the throne and brought an end to the Puritan Commonwealth, which had been introduced in 1649. The holiday also commemorates the founding of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, founded by King Charles II.
History of Oak Apple Day
Oak Apple Day is also known as Restoration Day in the United Kingdom. The celebration commemorates the restoration of His Royal Highness, King Charles II, to the throne in 1660 and the end of the Puritan Commonwealth. Following his defeat by the Roundheads, King Charles II fled from soldier attacks and sought refuge in an oak tree on the grounds of Boscobel House located in Staffordshire. He was unable to speak, shift, or do anything to compromise his position.
This historical event took place in September of 1651. By 1660, King Charles II was restored to the throne to the joy of his subjects. Following his re-ascension to the throne, King Charles II founded the Royal Hospital in Chelsea in 1682. This was a place of refuge for soldiers unable to earn a living.
King Charles had many notable acts during his reign and was admired by his subjects. Oak Apple Day was passed into law on May 29, 1660, by the Parliament as an act of perpetual thanksgiving for the restoration of His Majesty King Charles II. The wearing of a sprig of oak on one’s garment during the anniversary of Charles’ crowning showed that a person was loyal to the restored king.
By 1859, however, the public holiday was canceled under the Anniversary Days Observance Act. Regardless, the citizens of Britain still attach some significance to the day.
Oak Apple Day timeline
The grounds of Boscobel House serve as a hiding place for His Royal Majesty, King Charles II.
His Majesty, King Charles II, is restored to his throne.
The Parliament passes May 29 as a national holiday to be celebrated annually to commemorate the king's restoration.
The celebration of Oak Apple Day is abolished under the Anniversary Day Observance Act.
Oak Apple Day FAQs
Are Oak Apples edible?
Oak Apples are not edible for human consumption.
What are the balls that fall from oak trees?
Oak apple galls look like small, round fruit, but they are plant deformities caused by oak apple gall wasps.
What are Oak Apples used for?
Oak apples are used in making oak gall ink.
Oak Apple Day Activities
Visit North Hampton
You can participate in the celebration by visiting North Hampton. You can lay a garland of oak apples at King Charles II’s statue.
Chelsea Pensioners Parade
Visit London to celebrate Oak Apple Day. You can join in the celebration at the Chelsea Pensioners Parade held in honor of King Charles II.
Decorate your home entrance
Do a bit of decorating to celebrate Oak Apple Day. Like the city of Worcester, you can decorate your home entrance with oak apple branches and leaves.
5 Facts Of Oak Apple Day
It is a symbol of England
The Oak Tree is a recognized symbol of England, appearing on coins, ships, and establishments.
The same day as J.F.K.’s birthday
Oak Apple Day coincides with the birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy — the 35th president of the United States.
World’s tallest mountain was climbed
The world's tallest mountain, Mt. Everest was conquered on May 29, 1953.
Punishments in form of pinches
On Oak Apple Day, failure to carry oak leaves or branches resulted in punishments such as pinches.
It goes by four other names
Oak Apple Day is also known as, Royal Oak Day, Oak and Nettle Day, Shick Shack Day, or Yak Bob Day.
Why We Love Oak Apple Day
It has a long history
The Oak Apple Day celebration dates back to the 1660s. The celebration of Oak Apple Day has lasted through the decades.
It commemorates the English Monarchy restoration
The Oak Apple Day celebration commemorates the restoration of the English Monarchy from the roundheads. This is an important historical day for England.
It honors the generous acts of King Charles II
The annual celebration honors the generous acts of King Charles II. He made donations to support towns and founded the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. This is definitely a reason to celebrate!
Oak Apple Day dates