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The most widely celebrated holiday of the Christian year, Christmas is observed as the
anniversary of the birth of Jesus. Christmas customs are centuries old. Use of such plant as a holly
comes from the ancient belief that such plants blossomed at Christmas. Comparatively recent is the
Christmas tree, first set up in Germany in the 17th century, and the use of candles on trees developed
from the belief that candles appeared by miracle on the trees at Christmas.
Christmas Day is observed on the 25th of December. In Britain this day
was a festival long before the conversion to Christianity.
Though religion in Britain has been loosing ground Christmas is still the
most widely celebrated festival. It is the most colourful and merry holiday.
On Christmas Eve everything is in rush. Offices close at one o'clock but
the shops stay open late. Most cities are decorated with coloured lights and
enormous Christmas trees. In the homes people decorate Christmas trees and
hang a bunch of mistletoe under which the boys kiss the girls. They also
arrange Christmas cards on shelves, tables, mantelpieces. The housewife is
busy cooking a turkey and baking Christmas cakes.
Over the end of the bed people hang stockings. Children believe that
Father Christmas will come down the chimney and fill the stocking with
presents. A carrot for the reindeer is usually left on the mantel piece.
On Christmas Day many people go to church. On returning from church
the family gather round the tree and open the parcels. Everyone gets
Christmas meal is really traditional — stuffed turkey, boiled ham,
mashed potatoes to be followed by plum pudding, mince pies9 tea or coffee
and cakes.
People travel from all parts of the country to be at home for Christmas.
New Year’s Day
This holiday is celebrated in all the states on January, 1. New Year's Day has been
celebrated since Roman Times, when sacrifices were given to Janus, the two-faced Roman
deity who looked back on the past and forward to the future.
New Year
In England New Year is 'not as widely observed as Christmas.
Some people just ignore it, but others celebrate it in one way or
The most common type of celebration is a New Year party (either
a family party or one arranged by a group of young people). This
usually begins at about 8 o'clock p.m. and goes until the early hours of
the morning. There is usually a buffet supper of cold meat, pies,
sandwiches, cakes and a big bowl of punch.
At midnight people listen to the chiming of Big Ben and sing
"Auld Lang Syne" (a song by Robert Burns "The days of long ago").
Another popular way of celebrating New Year is to go to a New
Year's dance. Most hotels and dance halls hold a special dance on New
Year's Eve.
The most famous celebration is round the statue of Eros in
Piccadilly Circus. People sing, dance and welcome the New Year.
Someone usually falls into the fountain. January 1st is a public
holiday. People don't work. They send cards and give presents.
St Valentine's Day
It's celebrated on February, 14. This day is the festival of two
third-century martyrs, both named St Valentine.
St Valentine's Day
St Valentine's Day is celebrated on February, 14. Every St Valentine's Day
thousands of people travel to a small village on Scotland's border with England to get
married. The village is called Gretna Green. Its romantic reputation began in 1754. In
that times in England marriage for the people under the age of 21 without parents’
permission was banned. However, in Scotland this permission was not required.
Gretna Green was the first stop across the border. Many young couples came to
Gretna Green to get married there.
Nowadays, in this place, at least one couple gets married every day of the year.
Weddings for St Valentine's Day have to be booked 3 months in advance. On this day
boys and girls, sweethearts, husbands and wives, friends and neighbours exchange
greetings of affection and love. People send each other greeting cards, chocolates and
flowers. Valentine's cards are very colourful, with a couple of human hearts on them.
In the last century, sweethearts would spend hours fashioning home-made card or a
There is a version of the first Valentine. It was a bishop, a Christie martyr who
before he was put to death by the Romans sent a note o friendship to his jailer's blind
daughter. .
The 8th of March is the day of international solidarity
of women all over the world.
This holiday has a long history. In 1910 the
international conference of women decided to celebrate
International Women's Day every year.
It is a happy and nice holiday. It is a good tradition in
all country to give presents and flowers to women on this
Each family celebrates this spring holiday. In the
morning men go to the shops or markets to buy some
flowers. They try to clean flats and help women to cook a
holiday dinner.
Sons and daughters help their mothers too: they make
a cake, lay the table and wash dishes after holiday dinner.
All the members of the families try to be well dressed
on this day.
St Patrick's Day
St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, has been honored in America since the first
days of the nation. There are many dinners and meetings, and the parade is held on
Fifth Avenue in New York every year on St Patrick's Day.
Easter Sunday
This holiday is observed in all Christian churches. Easter commemorates the Resurrection of
Jesus. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon which occurs on the next day
after March 21 and is celebrated between March 22 and April 25 inclusive.
Easter is a time when certain traditions are observed. It is
celebrated either as the start of spring or a religious festival. In
England presents traditionally take the form of an Easter egg. Easter
eggs are usually made of chocolate. Nowadays, Easter eggs are often
artificial. But they haven't been used before the middle of the last
century and they haven't displaced the true Easter eggs.
Easter eggs always grace breakfast tables on Easter Day.
Sometimes they are hidden about the house for the children to find
them. There are some Easter games like egg-rolling and egg-shackling.
Ever year London greets the spring with Easter Parade in Battersea
Park on Easter Sunday. The parade begins at 3 p.m.
Memorial Day
This day honors American soldiers killed in wars. There are many
parades on Memorial Day. Memorial Day, which comes on the last
Monday in May is also the unofficial beginning of the summer
vacation season. On Memorial Day, many people go to the beach.
Mother's Day
This holiday is celebrated on the second
Sunday in May, as it was proposed by
Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia in 1907.
Father's Day
It is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.
It was first observed on June 19, 1910.
Independence Day
On July 4, 1776, the American colonies declared their independence from
Britain. Many families celebrate the Fourth of July by having picnics and,
at night, watching fireworks.
Labour Day
This day is celebrated on the first Monday in
September in all states and territories. Labour
Day was first celebrated in New York in 1882. In
honors the American worker. Just as Memorial
Day means the beginning of summer. Labour Day
marks the end of summer. For many students, the
school year starts the day after Labour Day.
This holiday on October 31 is not an official one, it is a very special day.
It is traditionally associated in some countries with old customs such as
telling ghost stories, bonfires and so on. This is the way the Celts welcomed
the beginning of winter.
This holiday is observed nationally on the fourth Tuesday in November
by Act of Congress in 1941. Most Americans believe that the holiday dates
back to the day of thanks ordered by Governor Bradford of Plymouth
Colony in New England in 1621, but scholars say that the day of thanks is
celebrated from ancient times.
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