Реферат: Christmas in Britain (Рождество в Британии)
Christmas Day, December 25,is probably the most popular holiday inGreat Britan. It is a family holiday. Traditionally all relatives and friendsgive each other presents. So beforeChristmas all the department stores and shops are crowded, everybody ischoosing a present. In general, people get prepared for this holiday verycarefully. They decorate their houses in the traditional way, that is theChristmas trees are set up in houses, in the streets and churches. TheChristmas trees are always decorated with fairy lights, angels and small toys.In addition litlle packets with nuts, candies and special biscuits are hung onthe tree. Presents are put around the tree and artificial ''frost'' isscattered over the branches.
The Germans arebelieved to be the first to use the Christmas tree in their celebrations, andMartin Luther was the first to place a star on the top of the tree. This starrepresent the star that appeared over the stable in which Christ was born.
In GreatBritain the Christmas tree became popular when Queen Victoria used it.
Besides theChristmas tree, holly and mistletoe are used to decorate the house. Branches ofholly are put up behind pictures and mistletoe is hung over doors, so the youngpeople have a chance to kiss the girls under it, plucking each time a red berryfrom the mistletoe. It is said that the girl who was not kissed under it atChristmas would not get married that year.
On the eve ofthe Christmas children hang their stockings so that Santa Claus could putpresents into them: oranges, sweets, nuts and if the child didn't behaveproperly Santa Clause can put there a piece of coal as punishment.
Santa Claus gothis name from a man known as St.Nickolas who lived in Asia in the fourthcentury. He gave his wealth to the poor and often to children. After he diedthe Dutch brought
this legend to colonial America. Soon the Dutch name SinterKluas became Santa Claus.
Carol singing isan essential part of Christmas. No church or school is without its carolservice. Carols may be traditional or by known composers they can expressdifferent feelings. Carols appeared in Christmas history about the fifteenthcentury.
Usually childrencome around in the evening to the front doors and start singing carols and thepeople living in these houses give children candies, nuts, pies and so on, tothank them for carol singing.
A typicalChristmas lunch includes turkey with cranberry sauce and pudding. Every youngwoman in each household helps to stir the Christmas pudding if she wishes to bemarried that year.
Usually a coin or two are hidden inside the pudding andpart of the fun is to see who finds it.
After the lunchthey go to the sitting room to listen to the Christmas speech of the Queen,shown on TV.
So Christmas is a merry family holiday for all the people of GreatBritain.