Otázka: Holidays and festivals
· Every year, there are days which are socially or religiously outstanding and significant
· People celebrate tem regularly acc. to particular traditions
· Those habits along with celebrated days aren’t usually common and the same for the whole world
· It means: day very important for one country can be absolutely ordinary for the others
· Furthermore: one festival which originates from the same basis or event can be celebrated in diverse ways
· Apart from national hol. and fest., also days connected only with a certain person have their significance – by this I mean various anniversaries, B-days and as for the CR, name days as well
· I come from quite a wide family – obvious difficult to meet for every birthday – we celeb. Only very important anniversaries or birthdays of our grandparents, we gather at my grandparent’s flat or we book a restaurant
· One of the advantages of holidays – set aside by law – people don’t have to work and have time with their families
As for the CR, there are 8 national holidays connected with our history
· An interesting sit. Occurs at the beg. Of July though we don’t realize it so much in summer h. – two national holidays in a row (5th and 6th). 5th July reminds us of the arrival of Slavic apostles Cyril and Methodius from 863. Important – influenced cult. Development in our country. 6th July = the day when Jan Hus was executed. He was protesting against the church which was too greedy and corrupted. After a trial when he refused to take back what he said about it, he was burned to death.
28th September: we commemorate the establishment of the CS in 1918. In this year, the boarders of new state were set accord. to the Treaty of Versailles. It was a result of the WW1 and culminating dissatisfaction of both C and S nation in the Austro-Hungary
17th October 1989 – the day when students went to the streets to protest against the communist regime. The demonstrations developed into an event called Velvet Revolution and let into the fall of com. Reg. And establishment of the CR 4 yrs later.
· Despite the fact they have the common history with the UK, the USA celebrate a few special festivals which they put emphasis on.
Independence Day: 4th July
· -the most important holiday for Am. – each state its own ceremony, parade
· -commemorates Declaration of Independence 1776 and establishing USA
· -concerts and fireworks in the evening take place, politician and celebrities give public speeches about Am.’s freedom
Thanksgiving day (4th Thursday in November)
· People com. First settlers from so called Plymouth colony. Puritans – arguments with the Ch. In B – establish a new one – decided to flee to America. 102 of them landed with Mayflower at the coast. Winter – cold, starving, ½ died. In spring – thanks to the help and advice of Indians – planted corn – autumn could harvest for the 1 time. They celebrated the success with a great feast and called Thanksgiving. Nowadays – USA, Canada – national holiday. Families gather to give their thanks for their happiness and good being. Many – begin dinner with a prayer. Trad. Food: turkey + pumpkins, squashes, cranberry sauce. Curiosity: tradition – president of the USA gives pardon to the turkey – saves bird’s life and ensure that it will spend its whole life roaming freely on farmland.
5th November – Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire night)
· 1605: Gunpowder plot, Catholics – assassinate Protestant king James I- caches of explosives beneath the Westm. Palace – GF guarded – betrayed, tortured, executed. King’s safety – fireworks. Nowadays – set off fireworks, light bonfires with effigy called The Guy. Childern – streets – Penny for the Guy.
11th November – Remembrance Day (Poppy Day) – people remind soldiers who died in WWs. It has been celeb. Since the year 1920. Symbol: poppy (acc. To a poem – were growing in Flanders). People tack them on their clothes or tie them to wreaths.
Let’s move to internationally celebrated festivals:
To start chronologically : 1st St. Valentine’s Day- 14th February
· Also called Lover’s day, Sweat-heart’s day
· Commemorates the Roman priest Valentine. In that age – Caesar Claudius forbid the soldiers to marry women (afraid that they wouldn’t go to war). V didn’t obey – secretly married couples. Revealed – executed. Now: time to show your feelings to your beloved ones. People send V. cards anonymously + gifts (tulips). Serious or just a joke.
Easter – celeb. After the 1st full moon in spring. Usually in April. Thought it’s cons. To be strictly Christian festival – pre-ch. Roots – people celebrate the arrival of spring and awakening of nature. The faithful comm. the commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Good Friday – day when Christ was crucified. People all around the w. go to church and some of them fast. On the other hand – Easter Sunday – merry day – resurrection of Jesus – children wake up early and look for dyed and decorated eggs or various sweets hidden in the house. Symbol: cross, Easter bunny and eggs – symbol for fertility and rebirth
Halloween celeb on the 31st of October – important esp. in USA. Conn. to witches and ghosts. People go to parties wearing strange or scary costumes and play games. Sometimes: group children – wear sheets – streets – knock on the door – Trick or treat. When they don’t get anything – play a trick – very noisy or spill flour on the front of the doorsteps. Symbols: Jack O’lantern – hollowed out pumpkin with a candle inside. Christian celebrated it as the Eve of All Saints Day – 1st November – people remember the death ones.
Christmas: 24th December
· derived from the words Christ’s Mass- the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ,
· combination of Christian + pagan habits, Born of Jesus
· Symbols: Ch. Tree = eternal life (evergreen throughout the year), mistletoe = love, reconciliation, candles = light (pre Christian roots)
· giving presents and gifts – Roman saturnalia, good luck gifts were given: fruit, pastry or gold
· In Britain presents are given on 25th December, 26th = Boxing Day (priests of Middle Ages opened alms boxes to give to the poor )
· Spend pre-Christmas time by listening to carols, decorating their houses: nativity scene, trees decorated by coloured ornaments…
· Traditional meal of GB: minced pies (raisins, currants, sugar, candied peel and apples), pudding (currants, raisins, sultanas, eggs ,spices, suet + COINS)
· story about Santa, hanging stockings on beds, larger gifts are to be found under the tree, leaving minced pies for Santa
New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day
· Celebrating starts several hours before the midnight of 31st December
· Parties, they drink alcohol with friends
· “official” celebration – at midnight – set off firework, toast with champagne
1st January – sleep long to recover from the hard partying
· Eating lentils – will bring money, in the CR: some don’t eat poultry – luck would fly away
· On 1st January (on New Year’s Day) many people sleep very long, because they went to sleep late and many of them were drunk. On this day people eat lentils because lentils are symbol of money.
· people make New Year’s Day resolutions.
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