National Holidays and Traditions in Great Britain and the USA

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Autor: Dievča janka
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 16.09.2008
Jazyk: Angličtina
Rozsah: 650 slov
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Traditions, holidays and feastdays are different at different states. For example the British are very conservative. They still use their traditional system of weights and measures, they drive on the left and they still wear traditional school uniforms at some schools. It’s important to know, that Britain is the oldest democracy in the world and that the monarchy is an inseparable part of their government. The British are renowned for their politeness and good table manners. Unlike the Czechs, they like to converse at table. The English word “gentleman” means an honest man with good manners.

They don’t shake hands and kiss hello as often as we do, but they are famous for their dry or black humour. Englishmen say “My house is my castle” which demonstrates their right to privacy. They are proud of their isles which have given them a feeling of security. They call the strait between Great Britain and France the English Channel and the rest of Europe the Continent. The British have a mania for tee with milk at any time of the day. Their country is notorious for cooly, rainy and foggy weather. People in Britain are allowed to walk on the grass and you can often see them picnicking on it. On the other hand the British are much advanced in science and technology. Many sports and games originated or were perfected in Britain. The Americans are not conservative. They say “Time is money.” Both the British and the Americans observe holidays and feasts. Every wedding, holiday or feastday is a good opportunity for merrymaking, having fun and good time.

The first feastday is New Year’s Day on January 1st.
The next is St. Valentine’s Day on February 14th – it’s lover’s day. On this day young people send Valentine cards to a person of the opposite sex. The cards have funny, loving or serious contents such as “I’ll be your sweetheart, if you’ll be mine, all of my life I’ll be your Valentine. On March 1st is St. Patrick’s Day – the saint patron of Ireland. Everybody knows All Fool’s Day on April 1st. It’s named after playing jokes and tricks on people and then you can shout “April Fool!” The next feast is Easter in April. These days are commemorated the Resurrection of Jesus. In Britain it is celebrated on Easter Sunday.

May Day is on May 1st and it’s day of political parties. The second Sunday in May is Mother’s Day, which honours all mothers. The typical british feast is The Queen’s Official Birthday in June. It’s a great ceremony in London. Halloween or the All Saint’s Day is a special Day on October 31st. The children wear costumes and masks over their faces and the people give them some sweets, fruit or money. Christmas includes Christmas Eve on December 24th, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. In Christmas children believe in Santa Claus, who comes down the chimney and gives some presents under the Christmas tree and into stockings. In the morning of the Christmas Day children unpack their presents. The coming of the new year is celebrated on New Year’s Eve on December 31th. It’s a very long night.

In United States
a lot of festivals are similar as in Britain, for example New Year’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas etc. Some feastdays are very special: Martin Luther King’s Day on 3rd Monday in January, Memorial Days on 4th Sunday in May. It honours Americans killed in all the past wars. The Independence Day is on July 4th. This day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed. Next feastday is Labour Day on 1st Monday in September, it honours all the working people. It‘s celebrated by a day of rest.
The national holiday in the USA and Canada is Thanksgiving on 4th Thursday in November. It‘s celebrated by a traditional dinner whose main course is roast turkey.
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