Festivals and holidays – otázka z angličtiny



Otázka: Festivals and holidays

Jazyk: Angličtina

Přidal(a): Majuni




( still traditional system of weights and measures, drive on the left, uniforms, democracy, monarchy-part of government )
-proud of isles-give them security
( English channel separates them from the “Continent”)
-fond of pets, children, mania for tea


New Year’s Day- 1st January

-people take shower in the fountains of Trafalgar Square
-titles and decorations are conferred by the sovereign
-New Year’s resolutions
-superstitions (eating lens or pork brings money and welfare, braking the glass means bad luck in the following years)


St. Valentine’s Day- 14th February

-also called Lover’s day, Sweat-heart’s day
-commemorates the Roman priest who gave aid and comfort to persecuted Christians before he was put to death
-Valentines cards are sent by young people anonymously (or gifts, flowers-especially tulips) which might be serious or funny


St. Patrick’s Day:17th March

-the patron saint of Ireland
-during 4/5. century
-born in Wales
-almost didn’t have a chance to become a bishop, as he didn’t have necessary scholarship
-until he was 16 years old, he’s been a pagan
-he was sold to slavery by marauders, who attacked his village => turned to God
-later he escaped, moved to Gaul, where he studied on a monastery under st. Germain
-he always wished to return to Ireland and there to convert the pagans to Christianity
-instead of him Paladius was appointed as a bishop, but he later moved to Scotland and therefore he was able to take his place
-many times he got into conflict with druids =>arrested but escaped each time
-travelled throughout Ireland
-he established monasteries, schools, churches
-icon of the day is shamrock: Father, Son and the holy spirit = Trinity
*raised people from death and drove all snakes from Ireland


All Fools Day:1st April

-custom of playing jokes and tricks on people, than shout out April Fool


Easter: April

-feast of the Christian church
-pre-christian tradition- intention to celebrate the spring equinox
-Good Friday- Jesus crucifixion
Easter Sunday- resurrection of Jesus
-Easter eggs are being dyed and decorated, confectionery is given to children as a symbol of new life
-celebrated on Sunday


May Day: 1st May

-political parties of the left hold processions and public meetings


Mother’s Day: 2nd Sunday in May

-honours all mothers


Halloween: 31st October

-Holy evening
-more important in USA
-connected with witches and ghosts
-people go to parties, they dress up in strange costumes
-Jack O’Lantern-made from pumpkin, cut face in the vegetable, put candles inside
-playing various games
-recent years- children wear white sheets, knock on the door and ask: trick or treat
(if you give something, you’re nice and it means treat, so children go away, but if you don’t give anything, they play tricks on you)
-Celts celebrated it as the last day of the year and the beginning of the winter
-Christians celebrated it as the Eve of All Saints Day


Guy Fawkes Day: 5th November

-King James was unpopular with the Roman Catholics
-they decided to blow the parliament on the day James was about to open it
-they stored the gun powder, which was to be exploded by the Guy Fawkes
-but someone spoke about it before it happened and Guy was arrested and hanged for the rebellion
-today burning of the dummy (dummy = Guy), in the evening firework show
-children on the streets ask: “penny for the Guy”, they collect money for the fireworks

Remembrance Day: 11th November

-ceremony in the White hall in London
-2 minutes of silence for those killed in the 2 world wars


Christmas: 24th December

-derived from the words Christ’s Mass- the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ
-Christian celebration, but also a combination of pagan and Christian festivities
-Christmas trees were symbols of the eternal life in pre-Christian times in Northern Europe as they were evergreens, trees that remain throughout the year
-Mistletoe- Christmas decoration, symbol of love and reconciliation
licenses you to kiss whoever you like underneath it (origin of this custom comes from the Norse myth of Balder and Loki:
Balder, the sun god, was immune to all things accept mistletoe. He was consequently killed by an arrow of a mistletoe, made by god of evil Loki. But Balder was brought back to life and mistletoe was told never to harm him again)
-lighting candles at Christmas- pre-Christian roots
Jewish feast Hanukkah – candles were lit
Roman festival Saturnalia – fire, food and light were celebrated
(to keep out or to forget the darkness of deepest winter
-Holly- Christmas decoration, Christian associations
In Norwegian, Swedish and Danish- known as Christ’s thorns, legend- Christ wore crown of holly thorns before his death
holly X holy
-giving presents and gifts – Roman saturnalia, good luck gifts were given: fruit, pastry or gold on New Year’s Day
In Britain presents are given on Christmas Day (25th December),
Feast of St Stephen is known as Boxing Day (26th December) – priests of Middle Ages opened alms boxes to give to the poor , later it was a custom to give to the servants and public workers to be given the boxes
-first Christmas card designed an English artist , William Egley in 1842
he sent it to 100 of his friends
– Christmas food before 16th century- boar’s head, followed by a roast peacock
then sailors from the New World brought turkey (from Mexico)=>traditional British Christmas dinner
minced pies- used to be made from meat, today contain raisins, currants, sugar, candied peel and apples
plum pudding – doesn’t contain plums, used to contain prunes, today currants, raisins, sultanas, eggs ,spices, suet…
some people make the pudding a year before they eat it, it tastes *better*
they also put coins inside
-Christmas Eve (24th December )- not so important, only preparations
-story about Santa, hanging stockings on beds, larger gifts are to be found under the tree, leaving minced pies for Santa
– Christmas trees are decorated by coloured ornaments , the room with holly and ivy a spring of mistletoe over the door



-not conservative: time’s money, not so reserved
not many national holidays- each state has a right to decide its own holidays
-most of the holidays – Federal public holidays
-many ethnic groups => their own customs and traditions
-differ especially about holidays connected with religious feasts-
Easter, Christmas

USA and Britain celebrate also christening, birthday and namesday
Martin Luther King’s Day: 3rd Monday in January
-black leader and civil rights campaigner. He demanded racial equality. As and advocate of nonviolence he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964. He was assassinated.


Easter- April

-not a national holiday
– dyed eggs, sweets
-parents hide eggs, children look for them
-Easter Egg roll- in front of White house on Easter Monday


Memorial Day: 4th Monday in May

-honours all Americans killed in past wars and all the dead
-flowers and flags are placed on graves
-beginning of the summer season


Independence Day: 4th July

-each state its own ceremony, parade
-concerts and fireworks in the evening
-commemorates Declaration of Independence 1776 and establishing USA


Columbus Day: 12th October

-anniversary of discovery of the USA by Ch. Columbus 1492


Halloween: 31th October

Thanksgiving: 4th Thursday in November

-1621 1st celebration – pilgrim settlers of Plymouth Colony on their first harvest
– story about Mayflower, puritans, no food, help of Indians => Thanks to them, invitation, corn, turkey, deer…
-family together dinner- roasted turkey


Christmas: 24th December

-not a national holiday (British, Christianity)
-invite friends…




There are some days in our country, which are important not just for one person or for one family, but for the whole country.


Р     January 1st, 1993 – it is the date of foundation of the Czech Republic. Generally January 1st is called the New Year’s Day.

Р     May 1st – political parties on the left celebrate a holiday of working people – May Day.

Р     May 8th – the day of the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the Nazis. It marks the end of WWII.

Р     July, 5th – the day of St. Cyril and St. Method who came from Byzantium to teach the people of Great Moravia how to read and write.

Р     July, 6th – Master John Huss – a Catholic preacher of the commons was burned to death at the stake as a heretic in 1415.

Р     September 28th – St. Wenceslas Day. St. Wenceslas is the saint patron of the Czech lands.

Р     October 28th, 1918 – it is the date of foundation of the first independent Czechoslovak Republic.

Р     November 2nd – this day is for our ancestors. The day is dedicated to honouring deceased family members. We go to the cemetery to place flowers and candles on their graves.

Р     November 17th – the beginning of the „velvet revolution“.

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