The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) will take place this Friday (8 May), recognising the moment in 1945 when the Allied Forces formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, after six years of fighting. On VE day in 1945 millions took to the streets to celebrate peace.
While public parties and parades have been cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this doesn’t mean you can’t commemorate the day with a party at home yourself.
There are a plethora of crafty and creative ideas to try to liven up your house in celebration of the day, from festive bunting to wartime recipes.
- Take a piece of A4 paper or card and draw an equilateral triangle to your preferred size, then colour/decorate, perhaps with a Union Jack!
- Cut the triangle out with scissors
- Create two holes in each corner of the triangle’s base
- Take some string or ribbon and feed it through the holes
- Continue making triangles until you have enough to fill your desired length of bunting!
Easy as Woolton pie!
Alternatively, the government has released a useful template to print and put together here alongside colouring posters.
Why not put bunting and homemade posters into your windows to create a display?
Trace your family’s connection
Take the day to discover your family’s role in WWII. Look at service and medal records, casualty information, unit and operational histories, local records and newspapers. See what letters, documents and mementos you already have, to find the units your relatives served with, their ranks and service number.
A lot of documents can be found online. Imperial War Museums has put together the following page to help: https://www.iwm.org.uk/research/tracing-your-family-history
Ancestry, meanwhile, has made all its UK historical records free from 4th to 10th May, to allow you to uncover these personal stories.
Cooking and baking
Why not celebrate the day by embracing some wartime recipes? The 1940s experiment has an extensive list to try, or have a go at the National Trust’s wartime carrot cake, mirroring how sugar was rationed during the Second World War to 8oz (230g) per week. During this time carrots were often used to help sweeten cakes.
You will need:
- 230g self-raising flour
- 85g margarine or cooking fat
- 85g sugar
- 115g finely grated carrot
- 55g sultanas
- Some milk or water
- 1 reconstituted dried egg or 1 fresh egg
Start by preheating the oven to 220˚C / 200˚C (fan) / gas mark 7.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.
Rub in the margarine or cooking fat.
Add sugar, carrot, sultanas and egg.
Mix and then add milk or water until sticky.
Pour mixture into a lined baking tin and cook in the over for 40 – 45 minutes or until golden in colour.
Alternatively attempt Prue Leith’s Muscovado Flapjacks recipe prepared specifically for the occasion:
One of Lincolnshire Today’s favourite resources is English Heritage’s pack for VE Day – here – offering steps to dance the Lindy Hop swing and recipes for drinks such as ginger beer, snacks like cheese and marmite swirls and sweet treats to make.