Otázka: Great Britain
Burns’s night – 25 January
– The British commemorate the birth of the Scottish national poem Robert Burns. It’s special day for Scotland. It’s celebrating by eating haggies( = sheep’s heart, liver, lungs minced with onion, oatmeals and put into sheep stomach) and drinking whisky.
St. Valentine’s day – 14 February
– This day is day of lovers. Lovers give valentine’s cards to each other. Many couples and people who are fallen in love spent this day together. An ancient Roman priest helped lovers secretly and he married them.
St. Patrick’s day – 17 March
– St. Patrick is a patron of Ireland. Irrish celebrate this holiday all over the world (green river Chicago). In Ireland is celebrated by dancing, listening music and drinking a dark beer and eating some green meal (green ice-cream). St. Patrick brought a Christianity to Ireland. His symbol is a shamrock and green colour people wear a green and shemrocks.
Trooping the colour – June
– It’s celebrates the Queen’s official birthday. In many places are military parades.
Guy Fawke’s day = Bonfire night – 5 November
– It commemorates the Gun Powder Plot of 1605. Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the House of Parliament. He wanted to kill the king James I. because he was Protestant king and Guy wanted a Catholic king. He wasn’t successful. Conspirators were arrested, hung, quartered and thrown into a bonfire. Then the king survived and people started to set fire bonfires around the London.
– This day people set fire to bonfire in the gardens and parks. They make fireworks. Family and friends come together and watch fireworks.
– Some children make a model (effigy) called “a guy” with old clothes and newspaper. They go with him to people and ask them for a penny for the guy. Then they throw him into a fire.
– People celebrate the fact that the king wasn’t killed.
Christmas – December
– It’s time for families. They should spent time together. People give Christmas cards to each other. And then they decorate Christmas tree, coloured lights, hang out mistletoe and holly.
– Most people participate feasting, singing and helping the needy.
Christmas Eve = 24 December
– Children write a wish list to Father Christmas ( = British Santa Claus). Then they throw these letter into a fire and believe that burnt letter goes through a chimney and their wishes will be funfilled.
Christmas Day = 25 December
– At night came Father Christmas and bring presents to children. They get up early and open (unwrapped) their presents.
– This day they have a traditional meal. The Christmas dinner is served about 2 p. m. They have roast turkey, roast potatoes, vegetables (Brussel sprouts, turnip, cauliflower, broccoli) with gravy or mint or cranberry sauce, Christmas Pudding (extremely heavy sweet dish made of dried fruits, they pour brandy over it) and Christmas Cake (heavy fruit cake with hard white icing on the top). They drink mulled wine too. Then they watch the Queen’s Christmas Speech she speaks directly to “her” people on TV.
Boxing Day = 26 December
– Long ago, English gentry gave small gifts known as Christmas boxes to their servants on the day after Christmas.
– Many British make contributions to churches and charities on this day.
– Parents usually take their children to a pantomime. It plays in hundreds of theatres. The actors get in on play children. Very popular is Cinderella. Actors have very eccentric costumes and they communicate with audience. Often women play men and men play women. Plays are very noisy.
New year’s Eve = 31 December
– It marks the end of the Christmas holiday period. Many people go to the church, others attend parties. Street celebrations in large in large cities are televised.
– In the Scotland it’s called Hogmanay. It’s celebrated more intensely than Christmas.
– This eve friends usually get together and celebrate New Year. In the London many people go on Trafalgar Square. There is Christmas tree which I annual gift from the people of Norway.
New year’s Day = 1 January
– It’s often time for receiving guests at home. Titles and decorations are also awarded by the King or Queen on this day.
Halloween = 31 October
– It’s an autumn festival. It is called from All Hallows’ Eve or the day before All Saints Day. The night people believed to be the time when evil spirits and witches would come out and everyone should stay in with the door locked (probably eat special food to protect him). Halloween originate in Celthic culture (pagan), but it come from Christian celebrating All – Hallows – Eve. Celts believe at this time the spirits of the dead could come back and walk among the living. If you have Jack – o’ – lantern in front of your house, no evil spirit can harm you.
– Nowadays people have parties and children and young people dress up as ghosts, witches, monsters, creatures, skeletons (black cats, brooms, fire). Typical colours are black and orange. Traditionally they cut into pumpkin horrible face a put into pumpkin candle (= JACK’O’LANTERN). Especially children in the USA go from house to house, knocking on doors a playing Trick – or – treat. The owner of the house must give them some little present (sweets, chocolate, candy)
– Halloween’s typical foods are apples, pumpkins, baked potatoes and treacle toffee. It’s special time for telling ghosts stories. Traditional game is “apple bobbing” you have to pick up apples out of the bowl of water with your teeth.
– Easter is probably a religious festival which commemorates the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s one of a major festivals for Christian. Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holiday in UK and schools are closed for 2 weeks.It’s celebrated all over the world, so it also has many folk traditions and pagan origins.
– Typical symbols are Easter eggs of chocolate, bunnies. In some countries women give eggs to men. Men have watered or whipped them with a plaited willow stick to make them fertile.
– In Great Britain eggs are usually made of chocolate and given as presents on Easter Sunday when people wish each other a happy Easter.
– Another traditional food is eaten in Britain on Good Friday. These are hot cross buns, which are sweet bread rolls. It’s made of dried fruit and spices and a cross on top and it’s served hot. It is eaten on Good Friday. Other popular food is roast chicken or turkey or lamb with mint sauce or ham for lunch on Easter Sunday and sometimes Simnel cake, a fruit cake covered in marzipan.
– On Easter Sunday parents tell their children that the Easter rabbit brings eggs and hides them in the garden. The kids have to run with baskets and look for them. Who finds the most eggs is a winner (= it’s called EGG HUNT).
Shrove Tuesday = 47 days before Easter
– In Czech Republic is very popular. In the UK it’s known as a Pancake Day. It’s contest in pancake tossing. How many pancakes can you throw into the air and catch within a certain time?
All Fool’s Day = 1 April
– It’s famous day for playing tricks on people.
Mother’s Day = 2 Sunday in May
– People express their love for their mothers. They give them flowers, chocolate and send cards.
Liberation Day = 8 May
– It reminds the end of German occupation during 2. World war in 1945.
Cyril and Methodius = 5 July
– Cyril and Methodius were Slavonic Apostles. They brought Christianity To Great Moravia.
Jan Hus Day = 6 July
– Jan Hus lived during church reforms in Czech countries. He was one of the biggest reformers. It didn’t enjoy church dignitaries and they let him burnt for his beliefs.
St. Wenceslas’s Day = 28 September
– St. Wenceslas lived in Middle Age. He was Christian and he governed. His brother envied him and he let him kill. Czech people loved him and then Wenceslas became saint and patron of the Czech Republic.
– We celebrate the establishment of the common state of Czechs and Slovaks, Czechoslovakia, in 1918.
– We commemorate the student demonstration against the Nazi regime in 1939 and a students protested march 1989 that led to the fall of communism (=Velvet Revolution).
Thanksgiving Day = 4 Thursday in November
– It celebrates the first harvest of Pilgrims who came to Plymouth in 1620. They sailed from England to America, 100 people on a ship called Mayflower. They looked for a religious freedom and they wanted to start new life. It was different because they didn’t know anything about new land. Then they met a Native Americans who helped them. They gave them a lot of advices (how to grow food, corn, build better houses, how to treat their illnesses). After a year they wanted to say thanks them. So they invited them for have a dinner (1621).
– It’s very important festival for families who usually come together for a long weekend (2 days off).
– The most common meal is roast turkey, usually with chestnut stuffing, squash, corn, vegetables, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie for desert.
– The Thanksgiving weekend is also a time for sport, parades and shopping. In TV are American football matches, as well as college football around the country. In NY department store Macy’s organizes a famous fancy- dress parade. The Friday of Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally a busy shopping day because people start to buy presents for Christmas.
– Many volunteers work in soup kitchens which distributed free food to the poor and homeless.
– Religious people also say prayers and thank God for all his blessing and the food.
Halloween = 31 October
Independence day = 4 July
– The birth of the country is celebrated on July 4 when the Declaration of Independence was signed by 13 colonies and the USA was born.
– During the day people take part in parades, go for picnics and barbecues, display flags, at night thousands of people gather to see fireworks. They enjoy parties and watch baseball matches.
Columbus’s Day = 2 Monday in October
– It’s a bank holiday. Very popular are educational programs about Columbus and discovery of America.
Veteran’s Day = 11 November
– It honours everyone who has done military service in war time. People organize parades, fly flags, visit cemeteries, go to the religious services.
Memorial Day = last Monday in May
– We remember all those who died. Churches offer religious helps (services) and people usually visit cemeteries.
Presidents’ Day = 3 Monday in February
– It’s a bank holiday. It celebrates all American presidents.
Martin Luther King’s day = 3 January
– It’s holiday for banks banks and government institutions are closed and children watch educational programs (about racism, civil rights, M.L. life and ideas).
Flag Day = 14 June
– It’s birthday of the USA flag. People show respect for their national symbol by flying it.
Father’s Day = 3 Sunday in June
Labor Day = 2 Monday in October
– It’s official end of summer and beginning the school. People go picnicking and have barbecues.