All people like to celebrate holidays. There are many holidays in Great Britain. They are: Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Easter Monday, St. Valentine's Day and many others.
Christmas Day.31680153810The most popular holiday is Christmas. Different countries have different Christmas traditions. Today we are speaking about Christmas traditions in Great Britain. What is it Christmas? Christmas is birth of Jesus Christ. A bright star appeared in the sky when Jesus was born. The star showed the way to the place of his birth.
-89535480060Christmas Day is on the 25th of December. It is the greatest holiday in Britain. For most British families, this is the most important holiday of the year. It is a family holiday. British people celebrate this holiday with big dinners. Children have much fun. They play under Christmas trees, find presents in their Christmas stockings, eat Christmas puddings. The peoples don't go to work on that day.
People began to celebrate Christmas many, many years ago. Most families put a Christmas tree in the corner of the room . A Christmas tree is one of the main symbols of Christmas in most homes. People decorate Christmas tree with toys, shining balls and flags. They placed a large shining star at the top of the Christmas tree and many bright shining balls (red, blue, yellow, green, silver) from top to bottom.
Every year there is a very big Christmas Tree in the centre of London in Trafalgar Square. In the evening before Christmas people like to come to Trafalgar Square to look at the tree. On Christmas Eve the streets in London are decorated too.
441515599060People also decorate their homes. It is a very old tradition. Many years ago people began to put holly in their homes during the dark cold winters. Holly is an evergreen plant with sharp-pointed leaves and red berries. They liked to look at holly and think about spring and the sun.
-9017053340Mistletoe is an evergreen plant with small leaves and small white berries. On Christmas Eve there is a bunch of mistletoe in every house. According custom, any two people who meet under a hanging of mistletoe are obliged to kiss.
People like to light candles. If there are children in the family, they often have Christmas crackers. When you pull a cracker it makes a bang and inside there is usually a small toy and a piece of paper with a joke on it.
Before Christmas children make small flags. On these flags they paint British and other flags. They hang Christmas flags on the Christmas tree or decorate the room with them.
15240715645Christmas pudding was first made many, many years ago. Now it is the highlight of Christmas dinner. Children often put coin on the pudding. Traditionally a coin is placed into the pudding. It brings good luck to a person who finds it.
People also eat a turkey for Christmas dinner. A turkey is a traditional Christmas bird. The dinner ends with mince pies. Mince pies are small round pies. Children like these sweet pies very much.
158115766445After the dinner people go to the sitting room to listen to the Christmas speech of the Queen, shown on TV.
12960352078990Santa Claus got his name from a man known as Saint Nicolas, who lived in the fourth century. He was a very kind man and he loved children very much. You know that Father Christmas (Santa Claus) comes into children's homes on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus is wearing a red cоat and trousers with cuff and collar, and black leather belt and boots. He is always merry. People say he comes from the North Pole. He has eight or nine flying deers who pull his sleigh. He brings presents for the children. Santa Claus delivers presents, including toys, candy and other presents to all of the good boys and girls. He puts the presents in their stockings and under the tree. In the evening of the 24th of December children hang their Christmas stockings on their beds or put them under the Christmas tree. Stockings is big and beautifully decorated. According to legend, one kind man had 3 daughters. His wife died. The daughters wanted to get presents on Christmas but their father didn't have money. The kind St. Nicolas heard the girl' s plight and at night he threw 3 gold coins down the chimney where they fell into the stockings the girls had hung by the fireplace to dry.
Boxing Day.26th December is also a public holiday, called Boxing Day. This is the time to visit friends and relatives. Traditionally people put their Christmas presents into boxes. A Christmas box 29489403810is wrapped in bright coloured paper with ribbons. That is why the day on which people give and receive Christmas boxes and Christmas cards is called Boxing Day. Boxing Day comes after Christmas Day. People don't work on that day. Every English family sends and receives many Christmas cards. You can read on the card: "Merry Christmas!"
All the children like this wonderful time because it is the time of much fun. Everyone in Great Britain is waiting and enjoying this holiday very much.
New Year's Day .2545715101600New Year's Day is less popular in Britain than Christmas. New Year's Day on the first of January. The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It is not so popular in England as in our country, but it is rather popular in Scotland. In the south of England, the festival of Christmas, lasting 12 days from December 25th, runs on well into the New Year. The decorations of colored streamers and holly, put up round the walls, and of course the fir-tree, with its candles or lights, are not packed away until January 5th. January 1st, New Year's Day, is not a public holiday.
On New Year's Day people usually visit their friends and there is a lot of dancing and eating. On the evening of December 31st, people gather in one another's homes, in clubs, in restaurants, and hotels, in dance halls and institutes, to "see the New Year in". Some people in Scotland go outside and meet New Year on squares singing songs or dancing.
164465925830 Some people send New Year card and give presents but this is not a widespread custom. This is the traditional time for making "New Year resolutions", for example, to do morning exercises.
There is also a very interesting tradition of the “first guest”. In Scotland people bring a piece of coal for good luck in the New Year. The first man coming to you after New Year Eve may bring you luck, especially if he comes with a piece of bread and coal. Bread symbolized wealth and coal – warmth. Children like this holiday very much. They go from house to house, sing songs and congratulate people. People treat them candies or give them little money.