Feast and holidays

Feast and holidays

The Great Britain

January 1st – New Year’s Day

– titles and decorations are conferred by the sovereign, people traditionally take a shower in the fountains in Trafalgar Square

February 14th – St. Valentine‘s Day

– a day of lovers, young people send a Valentine‘s card, in which they write some poeme or message, to a person of the opposite sex, usually anynomously. Lovers exchange the small gifts like plush animals.

April 1st – All Fools‘ Day

– we play a practical jokes and tricks on the other people, when we are successful, we shout April Fool!

April – Easter

– a spring feast of the Christian Church, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, this resurrection comes after Jesus‘ crucifixition on Good Friday

– on Easter Sunday, English give dyed and decorated eggs, which symbolize a new life

– on Good Friday bakers sell hot cross buns, which are toasted and eaten with butter

– on Easter Monday people travel to seaside, or go watch some sporting event

Last Monday in May – Spring Bank Holiday

– public holidays, banks and shops are closed, people try to visit excursions and the coast

Saturday after 9 June – The Queen’s Official Birthday

– various ceremonies, e.g. ceremony of Trooping the color (mounting of the guard in the presence of the sovereign) at the Horse Guards Parade in London

October 31st – Haloween

– old Celts celebrated this day as a last day of the year and the beginning of winter, when witches and ghosts were supposed to celebrate their rytes

– after christianisation, it was converted to the Eve of All Saint’s Day, when we honour the memory of the dead

– Hallowen is celebrated in the north of England, Scotland, USA and Canada, to USA it was brought in 1840 by Irish settlers

– children put on Halloween costumes and masks on their faces, they carry bags and go to their friends‘ and neighbours‘ houses, knock at the door and when people come to open the door, children say: Trick or treat, which means: Give us a treat or we will play a trick on you; people give them some sweets or fruit, if they don‘t treat them, they will soap the windows of houses and cars

– a very popular custom is to make a lantern from pumpkin, which is scraped out and has cut eyes, mouth and nose, we put a candle into this pumpkin (Jack-O’-Lantern)

Noveber 5th – Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night

– the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failure to blow up the Houses of Parliament

– celebrated with bonfires, fireworks

December 24th – Christmas

December 25th

– dinner – crackers

– dinner consists of roast turkey with chestnut stuffing and roasted potatoes and Christmas pudding (pudding is made of dried fruit, eggs, suet and a very little of flavour

– customs: to stir a coin, thimble or ring in it, which bring wealth, work and wedding to those who find it

– singing carols, which can be heard on the radio and TV

– mince-pies are being seved (a special Christmas sweet)

– on Christmas Day the monarch addresses the nation and the Commonwealth on radio and TV

December 26th – Boxing Day

– it comes from the earlier times, when people gave postmen, milkmen, newspaper boys small sums of money, which they collected in their Christmas boxes

December 31st – New Year’s Eve

– people stay up till the midnight, they make a toast to the New Year

– some people gather in Trafalgar Square and celebrate the comming of the New Year with dancing and singing

– a traditional Scottish song Auld Lang Syne

The United States

– eleven federal holidays

– ten annual holidays and one quadrennial holiday (Inauguration Day)

3rd Monday in January – Martin Luther King’s Day – federal

– a festival to honour M.L.King, the leader of the civil rights movement in 1960’s (Nobel Prize for peace, assassinated)

april – Easter

– is not a national holiday, most Americans spend Easter Sunday with the family, some people give children dyed eggs and sweets

– hiding eggs (

– a traditional Easter Egg Roll in front of the White House in Washington.

July 4th – Independence Day – federal

– each city has it’s own manner of celebration of this day, which commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independance in 1776, which made USA independant from Britain

4th Thursday in November – Thanksgiving – federal

– national holidays in the USA and Canada

– first celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrim settlers of Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, on their first harvest

– it is a occassion for the family to be together and having a traditional dinner – roast turkey

december – Christmas

– it is not a national holiday, but shops are closed and people have a day of rest on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

– family invites friends to join them at Christmas dinner, on Boxing Day most shops are open

– they decorate trees and also their houses