Otázka: British and american festivals
Bank holidays are public holidays in Britain, originally calles do as banks were closed on these special days.
We can divide British holidays into two groups; holidays connectes with Anglo-Saxon tradition (e.g. Halloween) and religious holidays celebrated in all Christian countries in the worls (Christmas, Easter, etc.).
Trooping the Colour
Is Queen`s official birthday celebrated on 6th June.
It takes place at Whitehall with Horse Guards` Parade. On that day and on New Year`s Day the Queen awards honorous to important people.
The Lord Mayor`s Show (Starostova show)
Takes place on 8th November.
The Mayor drives through the City in a two hundred-year old golden coach.
Remembrance Day (Den válečných vysloužilců)
Is celebrated on 11th November or the nearest Sunday.
At the Cenotaph in London a ceremony is held and there is two-minute silence to remember those who were killed in two world wars.
Easter is celebrated on the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon in spring but actually it starts on Ash Wednesday (Popeleční středa) 40 days before Easter when Christians start their Lent.
The name Easter comes from Old English Eastru meaning goddess of the dawn.
Its is an ancient pagan celebration of spring and new life.
The Christian remember Christ`s crucifixion and resurrection.
Palm Sunday (Květná neděle)- one week before Easter; Christ arrived in Jerusalem
Maundy Thursday (Zelený čtvrtek)- people remember the Last Supper
Good Friday (Velký pátek)- Christ was crucified on that day
Easter Sunday (Velikonoční neděle)- his resurection
Easter Monday and Good Friday are bank holidays.
Children believe that while sleeping the Easter Bunny has hidden eggs in the house and go searching for them. This is called egg hunt. In Britain people eat Hot Cross Buns.
Whitsun (Hod boží svatodušní) is celebrated seven weeks after Easter.
Christmas or Yuletide
Starts on 24th December- on Christmas Eve when families decorate their houses with brightly coloured paper, paper balls and chains (řetěz), springs of holly with red berries (větvičky cesmíny), ivy (břečťan), mistletoe (jmelí) and of course the Christmas tree. They say that people who stand under the mistletoe should kiss. On the mantelpiece there are Christmas cards wishing Merry Christmas and happy New Year. Shops are open until late in evenings so that last minute shopping for presents can be done. Harrod`s is closed when the Queen does her shopping there. In every house there is the nativity scene (jesličky) or the crib (betlém) with Three Wise Man, shepherds, sheep, cows, camels and baby Jesus.
Children hope that at night Santa Claus or Father Christmas will come down the chimney and bring some presents for them. So there is X-mas stockings hanging from their beds and larger presents are under tree. Children get up very early in the morning to open the presents and play with new toys. They also watch TV and sing Christmas carols. The most famous ones are Holly and the Ivy, Silent Night and Good King Wenceslas. The Christmas tree usually keeps standing until the Twelfth Night of 5th January.
The name Christmas comes from the words Christ+mass (mše).
On Christmas Day they have Christmas dinner usually at noon or in the evening. They have roast turkey, potatoes and vegetable followed by Christmas pudding.
Christmas pudding is a special cake made long time in advance and consisting of many in-credible ingredients like beer, suet (lůj), carrots, treacle (melasa), breadcrumbs (strouhanka), etc. The person thet bites into a piece with coin inside shall have good luck.
Boxing Day is the 26th of December– and it is the second Christmas holidays, named after the tradition of giving dustmen, newspaper boys, milkmen, postmen, etc. Small sums of money in boxes.
On New Year`s Eve people go to parties, they stay up till midnight to see the old year out and drink a toast to the New Year; they gather in squares, link arms and sing „Auld Lang Syne“.
The Scottish call Christmas Hogmanay.
Martin Luther King Day
Is celebrated on the third Monday in January to commemorate a black clergyman who tried to fight for civil rights of his people, the blacks, and who was assassinated in 1968.
Is the official birthday of all American presidents since the first one- George Washington.
The ceremonies take place every third Monday in February.
Memorial Day (Památka padlých)
Commemorates the dead in all wars on the fourth Monday in May.
Commemorates victory over the British in the American Civil War and the signing of „Declaration of Independence“ in 1776. It`s a day of picnics, parades and flying the flag, parties, barbecues, concerrs and fireworks. It`s celebrated on 4th July.
Labour Day (Den práce)
It`s celebrated on the first Monday in September.
It is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
Reminds Columbus`s landing in the New World on 12th October in 1492.
Veterans` Day (Den válečných vysloužilců)
It is celebrated on 11th November.
It is in memory of the soldiers who died in WWI.
Thanksgiving Day (Den díkuvzdání)
Is celebrated on the last Thursday of November and it`s the second most important holiday of the year after Christmas. Americand eat roast turkey and pumpkin pie (dýňový nákyp) and wish one another „Happy Turkey Day“. This is the day of gifts, charity and foof for poor people.