How to wear a poppy: What side do you wear your poppy on and why do we wear poppies for Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Sunday falls in November every year and poppies are often worn to mark the occasion, but what is the history behind them?

By Sarah McCann, Search and Trends Writer
Monday, 8th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:51 pm

Remembrance Sunday takes place in November every year, with the occasion giving people time to reflect and remember.

The day is marked with wreath-laying ceremonies, with the main service the National Service of Remembrance held at the Cenotaph at Whitehall in London.

Last year events were postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but this year events will be back to normal.

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The Remembrance Sunday event in 2020 was scaled down due to Covid-19 restrictions.

But when does Remembrance Sunday fall this year and why do people wear poppies?

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When is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Sunday happens on the second weekend of November, with it falling on Sunday, November 14, 2021 this year.

The main Remembrance Sunday service is held at London’s Cenotaph in Whitehall each year.

When is Armistice Day?

Armistice Day always occurs on November 11th every year and marks the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War in 1918.

It commemorates the exact time that the truce was called in 1918, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month and is marked with a one minutes silence.

What was the First World War Armistice?

The Armistice was the treaty signed by the Allies and Germany, declaring an end to the First World War.

Negotiations for peace began on October 5, 1918, but after much debate surrounding what terms this would require, they finally came to a decision and the truce was agreed on November 11, at 11am Paris time.

The end of the war was officially marked on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

Why do people wear poppies?

Poppies have a special connection to World War One soldiers, with them being the one flower that grew amidst the bleak Flanders battlefields.

Moina Michael, who was inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields, by Lt Colonel John McCrae, convinced the American Legion Auxiliary to adopt the poppy as their symbol in 1921.

Anna Guérin is cited as bringing the poppy to the UK in the same year, travelling to Liverpool and proposing the idea to the British Legion and the poppy took off.

When do you start wearing a poppy?

You should start wearing your poppy from the last Friday in October until November 11th.

What side do you wear a poppy?

There is no right or wrong way to wear a poppy, but traditionally it has been worn on the left-hand side.

This is to symbolise fallen loved ones, who we keep close to our heart.

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