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English habits and ways

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1English habits and ways. By Kotova 8“Christmas Carol”. Most families decorate
Kate. their houses with brightly-coloured paper
2Holidays and Customs. Imagine you are or holly, and they usually have a
in a medium-sized English town. It is Christmas tree in the corner of the front
Saturday morning in April and the market room, glittering with coloured lights and
place is full of noise. You hear the sound decorations. There are a lot of traditions
of music, at least one accordion, a drum, connected with Christmas but perhaps the
tin whistle and fiddle. As you come closer most important one is the giving of
you see an interesting sight. There are presents. Family members wrap up.
some men dressed in white clothes but 9Christmas. their gifts and leave them
decorated in the strangest way with bright at the bottom of the Christmas tree to be
ribbons, flowers and small bells. They found on Christmas morning. Children leave
dance, leaping into the air, stamping a long sock or stocking at the end of
their. feet, and perform the most their beds on Christmas Eve , 24th
complicated pattern of movements. They December, hoping that Father Christmas
perform a morris dance* and what they are will come down the chimney during the
doing is anything up to eight hundred night and bring them small presents, fruit
years old. Now you are at the seaside. It and nuts. They are usually not
is the and of July and the school holidays disappointed! At some time on Christmas
have just begun. There is a strange little Day the family will sit down to a big
red and white stripped tent, and sitting turkey dinner followed by Christmas
in front of it on the sand, a whole crowd pudding. They will probably pull a cracker
of little children laughing and shouting. with another member of the family. It will
They are watching a puppet theatre, make a loud crack and a coloured hat ,
3Holidays and Customs. at the bottom of small toy and joke will fall out! Latter
the list of Common Market countries as far in the afternoon they may watch the Queen
as public holidays are concerned. British on television as she delivers her
“bank holidays” are New Year’s Day*, Good traditional Christmas message to the UK
Friday*, Easter Monday*, May Day*, Spring and the Commonwealth. If they have room
Bank Holiday*, Christmas Day* and Boxing for even more food they may enjoy a piece
day*. Only when the UK joined the E.E.C. of Christmas cake or eat a hot mince pie.
did the New Year’s Day become a public 26th December is also a public holiday,
holiday. The patron saints days* are not Boxing Day, and this is the time to visit
celebrated with a holiday. They are St. friends and relatives or watch football.
David’s Day* (March 1st) in Wales, St. 10Hogmanay and First Footing. At
George’s Day* (April 23rd) in England and midnight on 31st December throughout Great
St. Andrew’s Day* (November 30th) in Britain people celebrate the coming of the
Scotland. Only Ireland, both North and new year, by holding hands in a large
South, Has a holiday on St. Patrick’s Day* circle and singing the song: Should auld
(March 17th). Punch and Judy*. Mr. Punch acquaintance be forgot, And never brought
in his bright red clothes is, as usual, to mind? Should auld acquaintance be
hitting Judy over the head with the stick, forgot, And auld lang syne? For auld lang
while Toby, the dog, patiently watches. syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We’ll
There are just two examples of customs, take a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang
which, despite television and other social syne!.. “For auld lang syne” means “in
changes, are alive and well in England. memory of past times” and the words.
There are many, many more, some of them so 11Hogmanay and First Footing. were
local that they are only known in the written by Scotland’s most famous poet,
villages where they take place. Many Robert Burns. He wrote much of his poetry
villages have maypoles which are decorated in the Scots dialect of English. New
in early summer and around which children Year’s Eve is a more important festival in
dance. In the matter of holidays the Scotland than it is in England, and it
British are less well-off than other even has a special name. It is not clear
Europeans. Most people have only three where the word “Hogmanay” comes from, but
weeks paid holiday per year, and the bank it is connected with the provision of food
holidays put Britain. and drink for all visitors to your home on
4References. Morris dance – моррис 31st December. It was believed that the
(народный театрализованный танец; first person to visit one’s house on New
исполняется во время майских празднеств, Year’s Day could bring good or bad luck.
мужчины в средневековых костюмах с Therefore, people tried to arrange for the
колокольчиками, трещотками и т.п. person of their own choice to be standing
изображают легендарных героев) Punch and outside their houses ready to be let in
Judy – «Панч и Джуди» (традиционное the moment midnight had come. Usually a
уличное кукольное представление типа dark-complexioned man was chosen, and
русского Петрушки; его главные действующие never a woman, for she would bring bad
лица: горбун Панч с крючковатым носом – luck. The first footer was required to
воплощение оптимизма, Джуди, его жена, carry three articles: a piece of coal to
неряшливая и нескладная) New Year’s Day – wish warmth, a piece of bread to wish
Новый год Good Friday – Великая пятница food, and a silver coin to wish wealth. In
Easter Monday – первый понедельник после parts of northern England this pleasing
Пасхи May Day – день первого мая Spring custom is still observed.
Bank Holiday – весенний день отдыха (в мае 12Easter. Although the Christian
или начале июня) Summer Bank Holiday – religion gave the world Easter as we know
летний день отдыха (в августе или it today, the celebration owes its name
сентябре) Christmas Day – Рождество (25 and many of its customs and symbols to a
декабря). pagan festival called Eostre. Eostre, the
5References. Boxing Day – день Anglo-Saxon goddess of springtime and
рождественских подарков (26 декабря) The sunrise, got her name from the word east ,
patron saints days – дни святых, where the sun rises. Every spring northern
считающихся покровителями той или иной European peoples celebrated the festival
части Великобритании St. David’s Day – of Eostre to honour the awakening of new
день св. Давида (национальный день Уэльса, life in nature. Christians related the
1 марта) St. George’s Day – день св. rising of the sun to the resurrection of
Георгия (национальный день Англии, 23 Jesus and their own spiritual rebirth.
апреля) St. Andrew’s Day – день св. Андрея Many modern Easter symbols come from pagan
(национальный праздник Шотландии, 30 times. The egg, for instance, was a
ноября) St. Patrick’s Day - день св. fertility symbol long before the Christian
Патрика (национальный праздник Ирландии, era. The ancient Persians, Greeks and
17 марта). Chinese exchanged eggs at their spring
6Ghosts and Witches. Hallowe’en means festivals. In Christians times the egg
“holy evening”, and takes place on 31st took on a new meaning symbolizing the tomb
October. Although it is a much more from which Christ rose. The ancient custom
important festival in the United States of dyeing eggs at Easter time is still
than Britain, it is celebrated by many very popular. The Easter bunny also
people in the UK. It is particularly originated in pre-Christian fertility
connected witches and ghosts. At parties lore. The rabbit was the most fertile
people dress up in strange costumes and animal our ancestors knew, so they
pretend they are witches. They cut selected it as a symbol of new life.
horrible faces in potatoes and other Today, children enjoy eating candy bunnies
vegetables and put a candle inside, which and listening to stories about the Easter
shines through the eyes. People may play bunny, who supposedly brings Easter eggs
difficult games such as trying to eat an in a fancy basket.
apple from a bucket of water without using 13May Day Celebrations. The beautiful
their hands. In recent years children springtime festival of May Day is observed
dressed in white sheets knock on doors at in every nation, each according to its own
Hallowe’en and ask if you would like a customs and traditions, In most countries
“trick” or a “treat”. If you give them on May 1st a new life begins for both
something nice, a “treat”, they go away. nature and man. May Day is more important
However, if you don’t, they play a “trick” in Northern Europe than in warmer
on you, such as making a lot of noise or countries farther south. People grow tired
spilling flour on your front doorstep! of snow and ice and short winter days to
7Guy Fawkes’ night. In 1605 King James which May Day signifies an end. The people
I was on the throne. As a Protestant, he of Belgium welcome spring with parades and
was very unpopular with Roman Catholics. fairs. Holland celebrates with tulip
Some of them planned to blow up the Houses festivals and in Switzerland people offer
of Parliament on 5th November of that up special May Day prayers. In France
year, when the King was going to open people buy flowers at sidewalk stands.
Parliament. Under the House of Lords they They wear them and give them to their
stored thirty-six barrels of gunpowder, friends for luck.
which were to be exploded by a man called 14May Day Celebrations. As summer comes,
Guy Fawkes. However, one of the plotters Britain likes to celebrate the end of
spoke about these plans and Fawkes was winter. Much of this celebrations is
discovered, arrested and later hanged. connected with dancing, which is performed
Since that day the English traditionally to encourage life and growth and drive
celebrate 5th November by burning a dummy, away harmful spirits. Children may be seen
made of straw and old clothes, on a dancing round the Maypole on village
bonfire, at the same time letting of greens, weaving their brightly-coloured
fireworks. This dummy is called a “guy” scarves into a beautiful pattern. Morris
(like Guy Fawkes) and children can often men dance all day long on May 1st waving
be seen on the pavements before 5th their white handkerchiefs to drive away
November saying, “Penny for the guy”. If the evil spirits and welcome in the new
they collect enough money they can buy ones.
some fireworks. 15Tea. The English know how to make tea
8Christmas. If you try to catch a train and what it does for you. Seven cups of it
on 24th of December you may have wake you up in the morning; nine cups will
difficulty in finding a seat. This is the put you to sleep at night. If you are hot,
day when many people are travelling home tea will cool you off, and if you are
to be with their families on Christmas cold, it will warm you up. If you take it
Day, 25th December. For most British in the middle of the morning, it will
families, this is the most important stimulate you for further work; if you
festival of the year, it combines the drink it in the afternoon, it will relax
Christian celebration of the birth of you for further thought. Then, of course,
Christ with the traditional festivities of you should drink lots of it in off-hours.
winter. On the Sunday before Christmas In England they say jokingly: “The test of
many churches hold a carol service where good tea is simple. If a spoon stands up
special hymns are sung. Sometimes carol in it, then it is strong enough; if the
singers can be heard on the streets as spoon starts to wobble, it is a feeble
they collect money for charity. People are makeshift”.
reminded of Charles Dickens’ story
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