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Every nation has its own customs and long- lived traditions. They make a
nation special. Some of them are old-fashioned and few people remember
them, others are part of people’s life. At different celebrations people are
involved in different activities and each holiday has its own symbol.
St. Valentine’s Day
Halloween Guy Fawkes’ Night
Some holidays are celebrated in many English-speaking countries. The
most popular holidays are
New Year, Christmas, Easter, St. Valentine Day.
New Year. January 1 st, New Year’s Day is now a public holiday in
England, but it is not marked with any particular custom in Britain, largely
because it comes so soon after Christmas. But in many towns and cities
there is a public gat5hering on New Year’s Eve to �see the New Year in’.
In the USA the Christmas table
looks much like a Thanksgiving
feast of turkey or ham, potatoes
and pie
Traditional Christmas Food.
In Great Britain probably the
most popular tradition which
hangs on regardless of
modern living, is the mince
Easter is the most important Christmas religious festival. It is
traditionally associated with Easter eggs and with coming of spring,
and most churches are specially decorated with flowers for the
services held on Easter Day.
The Easter Egg is an ancient emblem of Easter which symbolizes
the birth of new life. The egg may be that of a hen, with a painted
or decorated shell, or, more popularly, one made of chocolate.
St. Valentine Day
February 14st is the day for lovers! Boys and girls, sweethearts and
lovers, husbands and wives, friends and neighbours, and even the
office staff exchange greetings of affection. Valentine’s Day is a whirl of
hearts, candy and good wishes in the form of bright, lacy, colourful
cards, with loving emblems and amorous doggerel, saying, �Be my
The most remarkable events in Britain
are Trooping the Colour, The State
Opening of Parliament, Pancake Day, St.
David’s Day, St. George’s Day. Trooping
the Colour
The Queen is the only person in Britain with two
birthdays. Her real birthday is on April, 21st, but she has
an “official” birthday, too. That’s on the second Saturday
in June. And on the Queen’s official birthday, there is a
traditional ceremony called the Trooping of the Colour.
It’s a big parade with brass bands and hundreds of
soldiers at Horse Guards’ Parade in London. A
“regiment” of the Queen’s soldiers, the Guards, march in
front of her. At the front of the parade is the regiment’s
flag or “colour”.
The Guards are trooping
the colour. Thousands of
Londoners and visitors
watch in Horse Guards’
Parade. And millions of
people at home watch it
on television
The State Opening of
Parliament, not the royal family, controls modern Britain. But
traditionally the Queen opens Parliament every autumn. She
travels from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament
in a gold carriage- the Irish State Coach. At the Houses of
Parliament the Queen sits on a “throne” in the House of
Lords. Then she reads the “Queen’s Speech”. At the State
Opening of Parliament the Queen wears a crown. She wears
other jewels from the Crown jewels, too
St. David’s Day ( 1st March.)
is the national saint of Wales and
March 1st is the national holiday of
Wales . On this day many
Welshmen wear either a daffodil or
leek, pinned to their jackets, as
both plants are traditionally
regarded as national emblems of
St. George’s
St. George’s Day (23st April) St. George is
the patron saint of England. It is the
church festival of St George, regarded
as England’s national day (although not
an official bank holiday). On this day
some patriotic Englishmen wear a rose
pinned to their jackets
Pancake Day
Pancake Day is the popular name for Shrove
Tuesday, the day before Lent. People
traditionally eat pancakes on Pancake Day
which are made from eggs, flour and milk,
fried on both sides in fat on a pan and eaten
with lemon juice and sugar. In many towns
pancake races are held on Shrove Tuesday in
which women run with pancakes. As she
runs, she tosses the pancake up and over in
the air and catches it again in the pan. The
pancake must be tossed three times.
The most impressive and interesting events in the USA
are Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Columbus Day,
Memorial Day, Halloween. Independence Day
On July 4, 1776 Congress adopted
Declaration of Independence, and the
Fourth of July is always celebrated as
American Independence Day, the great
holiday with bands and parades and
patriotic speeches.
Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November, is a time for family
reunions and large turkey dinners in the United states.
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims, the first
settlers in America, during their second winter in the new world.
The first winter had been horrible, many people had died from
lack of food. But the following year, thanks to the help from
Indians, who showed the Pilgrims how to plant Indian corn,
they had a successful harvest.
To show gratitude, they decided to hold a feast, to give thanks for
the good harvest. The Indians were invited to share in the
festival. The Indians brought wild turkey and deer meat to the
three-day feast. Since then, Thanksgiving Day has been
celebrated in America.
Columbus Day
On Friday 3rd August, 1492, 87 men left the port of
Palos in Spain in three ships. They wanted to find a
new route from Europe to India. Their leader was
Christopher Columbus. It wasn’t an easy journey.
Sometimes the weather was stormy, sometimes the
ships didn’t move for days. Suddenly, on the morning
of 12 th October, the ships arrived at an island.
Columbus named the island San Salvador. Columbus
wanted to find a new route but he didn’t do it. By
mistake, he discovered the existence of an �unknown’
continent, America
Halloween is both a British and an American holiday. In Britain
it is celebrated in Scotland and Wales. In the United States
it is celebrated in many towns villages. It is a holiday for
children and young people.
In the evening of October 31 boys and girls �dress up’ in
different old clothes and wear masks. As the night is usually
quite dark they take with them a lantern made from a
pumpkin. On an empty pumpkin they cut out slits for two
eyes, a nose and a mouth and put a lighted candle inside.
The pumpkin then looks like a jeering face with burning
eyes. The children go from house to house and knock on
the doors, calling “ trick or treat”.
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