UK Holidays and Traditions — Праздники и традиции Великобритании
There are eight public holidays a year in Great Britain when the British have days off work. They are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, the spring bank holiday and late summer bank hol¬iday. The term bank holiday applies also to Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Easter Monday, New Year's Day and May Day and dates back to the 19th century when by the Bank Holiday Act of 1871 these days were constituted bank holidays - days on which banks were to be closed.
Most of these holidays are of religious origin, though for the greater part of the population they have long lost, their religious significance and are simply days on which people relax, eat, drink and have fun.
In Great Britain traditions play a more important role in the life of the people than in any other countries. Englishmen are proud of their traditions and keep them up. Holidays are especially rich in old traditions and are different in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England.
At Easter, the British give each other chocolate eggs, which they open and eat on Easter Sunday. Easter Monday is a holiday and many people go to the country or seaside to rest.
Christmas (celebrated on December 25th) is a great national holiday but it isn't widely celebrated in Scotland (the Scots begin to enjoy themselves on New Year's Eve six days after Christmas). All shops and factories are closed on this day. At Christmas family members wrap their presents and leave them under the Christmas tree or in colourful socks at the end of children's beds.
Boxing Day (December 26th) is the second day of Christmas when people visit their friends and go for long walks. The rich give money and small presents to postmen, servants and the poor. There are several theories about the origins of the name "Boxing Day". Some say that it was the day when people gave a present or Christmas box to those who had worked for them throughout the year. Another theory says that in England many years ago, it was common practice for the servants to carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day's work on the day after Christmas. The employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts.
New Year's Day is not that important in England as, for example, in Scotland. People invite their friends over to sit the Old Year out and the New Year in. When the clock begins to strike midnight, the head of the family goes to the entrance door, opens it and holds it open till the last stroke. Then he shuts the door and goes back to table, and after that greetings and small presents are offered. People usually make resolutions such as to give up smoking, to change their lives, etc.
St. Valentine's Day, celebrated on the 14th of February, is the traditional day for those who are in love. Young people give flowers and greetings cards to their Valentines and spend the day together. This day has been celebrated worldwide.
Halloween, a holiday loved by all children, takes place on October 31. There are a lot of parties, people dress up in costumes of witches, ghosts and other monsters and scare each other. They also cut faces in pumpkins and put a candle inside. Children usually go from one house to another with empty baskets, knock on doors and say: Trick or treat. People should give them something sweet, or they will play a trick on them.
Among historic holidays, Guy Fawkes Night can be mentioned. In 1605, a group of people with their leader, Guy Fawkes, decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Fawkes promised to carry out the plan on the fifth of November, but one of the conspirators got frightened and wrote a warning letter to one of the Lords. Guy Fawkes and his helpers were caught and hanged. Since then British people have celebrated this day by burning a doll made of straw and dressed in old clothes on a bonfire. There are fireworks displays everywhere. Children sing Remember, remember the fifth of November. Some dress in old clothes and beg in the street saying Penny for the guy.
План рассказа топика UK Holidays and Traditions
- Предоставить общую информацию о праздниках Великобритании (eight public holidays: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, the spring bank holiday and late summer bank holiday; bank holidays and their history).
- Рассказать о самых популярных праздниках Великобритании и традициях (important role; proud of; Easter, chocolate eggs, Easter Sunday/Monday, seaside; Christmas: December 25th, shops and factories are closed, wrap presents, Christmas tree, colourful socks; Boxing Day: December 26th, visit friends/go for long walks, the rich give money to the poor, theories; New Year's Day: Scotland, the clock strikes midnight, head of the family, holds the door open, make resolutions; St. Valentine's Day: 14th of February, flowers and greetings cards, Valentines, has been celebrated worldwide; Halloween: October 31, parties, costumes, cut faces in pumpkins, Trick or treat; Guy Fawkes Night: 1605, blow up the Houses of Parliament, the 5th of November, a warning letter, were caught and hanged, burning a doll made of straw, fireworks displays; Remember, remember the fifth of November, Penny for the guy).
Вопросы к топику — Questions:
- Is New Year's Day important in England?
- How many public holidays are there in Britain? What are they?
- What do the British do at Christmas?
- What does the term bank holidays mean and why?
- What role do traditions play in the life of the British?
- What are the traditions at Easter?
- What is Boxing Day and what are the theories about its origin?
- What are the Scottish traditions of seeing the New Year in?
- What celebration takes place on February 14th?
- What is Halloween? How is it celebrated?
- Who was Guy Fawkes? What do people do on Guy Fawkes Night?
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