Customs and traditions of Great Britain

Страница 2

November, 5 is Guy Fawkes’s Day.

On the 5th of November in almost every town and village in England one can see fire burning, fireworks, cracking and lighting up the sky, small groups of children pulling round in a home made cart, a figure that looks something like a man but consists of an old suit of clothes, stuffed with straw. The children sing:" Remember, remember the 5th of November; Gun powder, treason and plot". And they ask passers-by for "a penny for the Guy" But the children with "the Guy" are not likely to know who or what day they are celebrating. They have done this more or less every 5th of November since 1605. At that time James the First was on the throne. He was hated with many people especially the Roman Catholics against whom many sever laws had been passed. A number of Catholics chief of whom was Robert Catesby determined to kill the King and his ministers by blowing up the house of Parliament with gunpowder. To help them in this they got Guy Fawker, a soldier of fortune, who would do the actual work. The day fixed for attempt was the 5th of November, the day on which the Parliament was to open. But one of the conspirators had several friends in the parliament and he didn't want them to die. So he wrote a letter to Lord Monteagle begging him to make some excuse to be absent from parliament if he valued his life. Lord Monteagle took the letter hurrily to the King. Guards were sent at once to examine the cellars of the house of Parliament. And there they found Guy Fawker about to fire a trail of gunpowder. He was tortured and hanged, Catesby was killed, resisting arrest in his own house. In memory of that day bonfires are still lighted, fireworks shoot across the November sky and figures of Guy Fawker are burnt in the streets.

Christmas.

It is certain that Christmas is celebrated all over the world. Perhaps no other holiday has developed a set of customs and symbols. This is the day when many people are travelling home to be with their famillies on Christmas Day, 25th December. The Christmas story comes from bible. An angel appeared to shepherds and told them that a Savior had been born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. Three Wise Men from the East followed a wondrous star which led them to the baby Jesus to whome they paid homage and presented gifts of gold, frankicense and myrrh. To people all over the world, Christmas is a season of giving and receiving presents. In Scandinavian and other European countries, Father Christmas, or Saint Nicholas, comes into house at night and leaves gifts for the children. Saint Nicholas is represented as a fidly man with a red cloak and long white beard. He visited house and left giftes, dringing people happiness in the coldest months of the year. Another character, the Norse God Odin, rode on a magical flying horse across the ages to make the present day Santa Claus.

For most British families, this is the most important festival of the year, it combines the Christian celebration or the birth of Christ with the traditional festivities of winter. On the Sunday before Christmas many churches hold a carol service where special hymns are sung.Sometimes carol-singers can be heard on the streets as they collect money for charity. Most families decorate their houses with brightly-coloured paper or holly, and they usually have a Christmas tree in the corner or the front foom, glittering with coloured lights and decorations. The Christmas tree was popularized by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who introduced one to the Royal Household in 1840. Since 1947, the country of Norway has presented Britain annually with a large Christmas tree which stands in Trafalgar Square in commemoration of Anglo-Norwegian cooperation during the Second World War.

There are a lot of traditions connected with Christmas but perhaps the most important one is the giving of present. Familly members wrap up their gifts and leave them bottom of the Christmas tree to be found on Christmas morning. Children leave sock or stocking at the end of their beds on Christmas Eve, 24th of December, hoping that Father Christmas will come down the chimney during the night and bring them small presents, fruit and nuts. They are usually not disappointe! At some time on Christmas Day the familly will sit down to a big turkey dinner followed by Christmas pudding. Christmas dinner consists traditionally of a roast turkey, goose or chicken with stuffing and roast potatoes. Mince pies and Christmas pudding flaming with brandy, which might contain coins or lucky charms for children, follow this. (The pudding is usually prepared weeks beforehand and is customarily stirred by each member of the family as a wish is made.) Later in the day, a Christmas cake may be served - a rich baked fruitcake with marzipan, icing and sugar frosting.

Перейти на страницу номер:
 1  2  3  4  5  6 
Скачать реферат Скачать реферат


Реклама

Разделы сайта

Последние рефераты