Holidays, festivals and traditions – otázka z angličtiny


  Otázka: Holidays, festivals and traditions

  Jazyk: Angličtina

  Přidal(a): Eliška Růžičková






– every year, there are days which are socially or religiously outstanding and significant

– people celebrate them regularly acc. to particular traditions

– those habits along with celebrated days aren’t usually common and the same for the whole world

→ a 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 holidays and festivals, also days connected only with a certain person have their significance – by this I mean various anniversaries, B-days and as for the CZ, name days as well

– I don’t come from a wide family

– we celebrate almost every anniversaries or birthdays together

– we always gather at my uncle’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 CZ

– 8 national holidays connected with our history

– an interesting situation occurs at the beginning of July though we (students) don’t realize it so much in summer holidays

→ 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 cultural 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 October – we commemorate the establishment of the independent republic of Czechoslovakia     in 1918

– in this year, the boarders of new state were set according to the Treaty of Versailles

– result of the World War I and culminating dissatisfaction of both Czech and Slovak nation in the Austro-Hungarian Empire

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 regime and establishment of the Czech Republic 4 years later



– despite the fact they have common history with the UK, they celebrate a few special festivals which they put emphasis on:

  • 4th July: Independence Day

– the most important holiday for American (each state its own ceremony, parade)

– commemorates Declaration of Independence in 1776 and establishing USA

– concerts and fireworks in the evening take place

– politician and celebrities give public speeches about America’s freedom

  • Thanksgiving day (4th Thursday in November)

= day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest

– remembers the first settlers who came to America 1620

– brought by the ship called Mayflower

– the winter was cold, they were starving, half of them died

– in spring – thanks to the help and advice of Indians – planted corn

– in autumn they could harvest for the 1st time

– they celebrated the success with a great feast and a lot of food which called Thanksgiving

– nowadays a national holiday in the USA and Canada

– families gather to give their thanks for their happiness and good being, many of them begin dinner with a prayer

– traditional 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: Guy Fawkes, a leader of the Gunpowder plot (unsuccessful plot of Catholics to assassinate Protestant king James I)

– G. Fawkes was betrayed, tortured and executed

– people lit bonfires around London celebrating the fact that the king had survived

– nowadays> set off fireworks, light bonfires with effigy called The Guy

  • 11th November: Remembrance Day (Poppy Day)

– people remind soldiers who died in WWs

– it has been celebrated since the year 1920

symbol: poppy – according 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:

  • 14th February: St. Valentine’s Day

– 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)

– Valentine didn’t obey and secretly married couples

– this was revealed and he was executed

– now: time to show your feelings to your beloved ones

– people send Valentine cards anonymously + gifts (tulips)

– serious or just a joke

  • Easter

– celebrated after the 1st full moon in spring → usually in April

– thought it’s considered to be strictly Christian festival, it has pre-Christian roots (people celebrate the arrival of spring and awakening of nature)

– the faithful people commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ

Good Friday   = day when Christ was crucified

– people all around the world go to church and some of them fast

– on the other hand: Easter Sunday  = day of the resurrection of Jesus

– children wake up early and look for dyed and decorated eggs or various sweets hidden in the house

symbols: cross, Easter bunny, eggs – symbol for fertility and rebirth

  • 31st of October: Halloween

– 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.

  • 24th December: Christmas

– derived from the words Christ’s Mass = the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ

– combination of Christian + pagan habits, born of Jesus

symbols:   Christmas tree = eternal life (evergreen throughout the year)

mistletoe = love, reconciliation

candles = light (pre-Christian roots)

– people give each other 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, drinking alcohol with friends

– “official” celebration starts at midnight (set off firework, toast with champagne)

1st January (New Year’s Day) – sleep long to recover from the hard partying

– eating lentils will bring money, in the CZ: some people don’t eat poultry = luck would fly away

– people make New Year’s Day resolutions and then try to fulfil them


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