Подготовка к ЗНО. Английский язык.
Конспект 33. Holidays, memorable dates and events
There are fewer public holidays in Great Britain than in other European countries. The most favourite holiday is Christmas. Every year the people of Norway give the city of London a present. It's a big Christmas tree and it stands in the Trafalgar Square.Before Christmas, groups of singers go from house to house. They collect money for charities and sing carols, traditional Christmas songs. The fun starts the night before, on the 24th of December. Traditionally this is the day when people decorate their trees. Children hang stockings at their beds, hoping that Father Christmas will come down the chimney during the night and fill them with toys and sweets. Christmas is known to be a family holiday. All the members of the family usually meet for the big Christmas dinner of turkey and Christmas pudding. And everyone gives and receives presents.
The 26th of December, Boxing Day, is an extra holiday after Christmas. It’s the time to visit friends and relatives.
In England the New Year is not so widely celebrated as Christmas. Some people ignore it completely and go to bed at the same time as usual on New Year's Eve. Others celebrate it arranging either a family party or visiting the one's arranged by a group of young people. The type of celebration is varied very much according to local customs, family traditions and personal tastes.
Easter is also a time when certain old traditions are observed. It is the time of giving presents, and the Easter egg is the most popular emblem of this holiday. Nowadays Easter eggs are usually made of chocolate in Great Britain.Tradition says that the Easter Bunny (rabbit) delivers these eggs. Easter cake is an iced fruitcake with a marzipan ring on the top.
Besides public holidays, there are some special festivals in Great Britain. One of them takes place on the 5th of November. On that day, in 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. He didn't succeed. The King's men found the bomb, took Guy Fawkes to the Tower and cut off his head.Since that day the British celebrate the 5th of November. They burn a dummy, made of straw and old clothes, in a bonfire and let off fireworks. This dummy is called a "guy" (like Guy Fawkes).
The United States of America
There are a lot of holidays in the USA. Many of them are associated with the history of the nation. The main holidays of the USA are New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Less popular are Martin Luther King’s Day, Columbus Day and Labor Day.
The New Year's Eve is a time for merriment. Most Americans spend this night with friends, at home or in restaurants.
At Easter there is a tradition for people to buy new clothes. After church services many people take walks along the streets of their towns, wearing their new Easter hats and suits. This is usually called the "Easter Parade".
Memorial Day comes on May 30. It is dedicated to the memory of those who died for America in different wars. The national flags are put on the graves of soldiers on this day.
The 4th of July, an Independence Day, is the biggest national holiday of the USA. On this day in 1776 a document, known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted. During this holiday American cities have parades, people shoot off fire-works in parks and fields.
Halloween is a festival that takes place on October, 31. In the United States children wear costumes and masks and go trick-or-treating. Many of them carve jack-o'-lantens out of pumpkins. Fortunetelling and storytelling about ghosts and witches are popular activities.
Thanksgiving Day comes on the fourth Thursday of November. When the first settlers landed in America, their first year was very hard and 50 of 100 people died. But the Indians taught people how to plant corn and wild vegetables and in autumn they got a large harvest. Thanksgiving Day was their holiday, the day of giving thanks to God. It is a family holiday and Americans try to gather all family at home on this day.
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