Holidays and traditions in english-speaking countries

    Дисциплина: Культурология
    Тип работы: Реферат
    Тема: Holidays and traditions in english-speaking countries

    Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.

    I. Britain round the calendar.


    There are only six public holidays a year in Great Britain, that is days on which people need not go in to work. They

    are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Spring Bank Holiday and Late Summer Bank Holiday. In Scotland, the New Year’s Day is also a public holiday. Most of these

    holidays are of religious origin, though it would be right to say that 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 make merry. All the public holidays, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day observed on December 25

    th and 26

    th respectively, are movable, that is they do not fall on the same day each year. Good Friday and Easter Monday depend on Easter Sunday which falls on the first Sunday

    after a full moon on or after March 21

    st. the Spring Bank Holiday falls on the last Monday of May or on the first Monday of June, while the Late Summer Bank Holiday comes on the last Monday in August or on the

    first Monday in September, depending on which of the Mondays is nearer to June 1

    st and September 1

    st respectively.

    Besides public holidays, there are other festivals, anniversaries and simply days, for example Pancake Day and Bonfire Night, on which certain traditions are observed, but

    unless they fall on a Sunday, they are ordinary working days.


    In England

    the New Year is not as widely or as enthusiastically observed as Christmas. Some people ignore it completely and go to bed at the same time as usual on New Year’s Eve. Many

    others, however, do celebration it in one way or another, the type of celebration varying very much according to the local custom, family traditions and personal taste.

    The most common type of celebration is a New Year party, either a family party or one arranged by a group of young

    people. This usually begins at about eight o’clock and goes on until the early hours of the morning. There is a lot of drinking, mainly beer, wine, gin and whisky; sometimes the hosts

    make a big bowl of punch which consists of wine, spirits, fruit juice and water in varying proportions. There is usually a buffer of cold meat, pies, sandwiches, savouries, cakes and

    biscuits. At midnight the wireless is turned on, so that everyone can hear the chimes of Big Ben, and on the hour a toast is drunk to the New Year. Then the party goes on.

    Another popular way of celebrating the New Year is to go to a New Year’s dance. Most hotels and dance halls hold a

    special dance on New Year’s Eve. The hall is decorated, there are several different bands and the atmosphere is very gay.

    The most famous celebration is in London round the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus where crowds gather and sing and

    welcome the New Year. In

    Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.

    Trafalgar Square there is also a big crowd and someone usually falls into the fountain.

    Those who have no desire or no opportunity to celebrate the New Year themselves can sit and watch other people celebrating on television. It is an indication of the relative

    unimportance of the New Year in England that the television producers seem unable to find any traditional English festivities for their programmers and usually show Scottish


    January 1

    st, New Year’s Day, is not a public holiday, unfortunately for those who like to celebrate most of the night. Some people send New Year cards and give presents but this is

    not a widespread custom. This is the traditional time for making “New Year resolutions”, for example, to give up smoking, or to get up earlier. However, these are generally more

    talked about than put into practice.

    i.e. a list of those who are to be

    given honours of various types – knighthoods, etc.

    In Canada

    New Year’s Day has a long tradition of celebration. New Year’s Eve in French Canada was (and st...

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