Otázka: Holidays and festivals
Christmas – consists of three days: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Christmas is the most important holiday for Christians because it’s a day when Jesus Christ was Born. But it’s the most favourite holiday too.
In the Great Britain
People have no traditional celebration on this day, it’s not a holiday. A lot of people spend this day shopping. They decorate the Christmas tree, hang holy and ivy in the room, and misteltoe is hanged over the door. If you catch a girl under it, you are allowed to kiss her. Before children go to bed, they hung up Christmas stockings at the end of their beds and believe that Father Christmas fills up the stockings with presents. Children unwrap presents in the morning.
In the USA
Christmas it’s not a national holiday. Almost all shops are closed and people have a rest on this day. Americans and British origin follow the same traditions as their ancestors. The person who brings children presents is called Santa Claus. Children hang their stockings on a mantelpiece of the fireplace, and they leave milk and cookies for Santa to eat.
In the Czech Republic
People decorate Christmas tree too. They don’t eat the whole day meal because they want to see a gold pig. To dinner people usually have some fish with potatoe’s salad. After the dinner children can unwrap their presents.
Easter – it’s celebrated on the first Sunday after the first spring full moon. Christians remember the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Easter eggs are given as presents. They symbolize a new life.
In the USA
Easter is not a national holiday. Most Americans spend Easter Sunday with the family.
In the Czech Republic
Boys have stock whips and they go from house to house and hit girls with stock whips. They usually get painted eggs, sweet, chocolates or some money.
St. Valentine’s Day – on February 14th it is a lovers’ day. On this day people send Valentine’s cards, usually anonymously, and exchange gifts. Cards usually have a lots of red hearts and pink flowers on the cover and a romantic message inside.
Halloween – on October 31st it’s a holiday in the GB and in the USA.
In Britain it is celebrated only in the North of England and in Scotland. It is the evening before All Saints’ day. There is a lot of fun on this day. Children like dressing in funny or ghostly costumes.
They go from house to house and knock on their door or ring the bell. When people answer the door they say „Trick or treat“ which means „give us a treat or we will play a trick on you“. The people treat the children with sweets, fruit or money. People often give parties on Halloween. They like decorating their houses and carving the pumpkin bogeys.
New Year’s Eve – people stay up until midnight. It’s a big celebration, till the morning. Many people watch fireworks and drink alcohol.
Great Britain Holidays
St. Patrick’s Day – it’s a holiday in the GB and in the USA. Originally it was an Irish holiday. In the GB people wear green and in restaurants are offerd Irish meals. In the USA people wear green too, they eat Irish meals and dance Irish dances.
The Queen’s Offical Birthday – in June. It’s a holiday in the GB. It is a great ceremony with parade with Queen’s guards and soldiers.
Thanksgiving Day – it is celebrated on 4 th Thursday in November in the USA. It was first celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers, who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on their fist harvest. Now it is an occasion for whole family to be together. It is celebrated by a traditional dinner. The main course is roast turkey.
Veteran’s Day – on November 11th is a day in honour of those Americans who have served and given their lives in WW II. There is a official ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington D.C.
Independence Day – 4th July. It’s a holiday in the USA. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independece in 1776. It is one of the most meaningful holidays in the USA. People are dressed in national colours, houses are decorated by national flags.Some town and cities have parades and fireworks.