Holidays. 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 peopleвЂ™s life. At different celebrations people are involved in different activities and each holiday has its own symbol. St. ValentineвЂ™s Day Christmas Easter Halloween Guy FawkesвЂ™ 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 YearвЂ™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 YearвЂ™s Eve to вЂ�see the New Year inвЂ™. Christmas 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 pie. 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 пЃ® 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. ValentineвЂ™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, вЂ�Be my valentiveвЂ™. пЃ® The most remarkable events in Britain are Trooping the Colour, The State Opening of Parliament, Pancake Day, St. DavidвЂ™s Day, St. GeorgeвЂ™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 вЂњofficialвЂќ birthday, too. ThatвЂ™s on the second Saturday in June. And on the QueenвЂ™s official birthday, there is a traditional ceremony called the Trooping of the Colour. ItвЂ™s a big parade with brass bands and hundreds of soldiers at Horse GuardsвЂ™ Parade in London. A вЂњregimentвЂќ of the QueenвЂ™s soldiers, the Guards, march in front of her. At the front of the parade is the regimentвЂ™s flag or вЂњcolourвЂќ. The Guards are trooping the colour. Thousands of Londoners and visitors watch in Horse GuardsвЂ™ Parade. And millions of people at home watch it on television The State Opening of Parliament 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 вЂњthroneвЂќ in the House of Lords. Then she reads the вЂњQueenвЂ™s SpeechвЂќ. At the State Opening of Parliament the Queen wears a crown. She wears other jewels from the Crown jewels, too St. DavidвЂ™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 Wales. St. GeorgeвЂ™s St. GeorgeвЂ™s Day (23st April) St. George is the patron saint of England. It is the church festival of St George, regarded as EnglandвЂ™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 пЃ® 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 wasnвЂ™t an easy journey. Sometimes the weather was stormy, sometimes the ships didnвЂ™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 didnвЂ™t do it. By mistake, he discovered the existence of an вЂ�unknownвЂ™ continent, America Halloween 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 вЂ�dress upвЂ™ 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 вЂњ trick or treatвЂќ.