Реферат: English traditions



Oneof the most peculiar features of life in England which immediately strikes anyvisitor to this country is the cherishing and preserving of many traditions,sometimes very archaic as they may seem. In England traditions play a veryimportant part in the life of the people. Englishmen are proud of theirtraditions and have kept them up for hundreds of years. For instance, on Sundaystheatres and shops are closed, people do not get letters and newspapers. Veryfew trams and buses run in the streets of London on Sundays. Uniforms are notparticularly characteristic of this fact. However, when one sees the warders atthe Tower of London with their funny flat hats, their trousers bound at theknee, and the royal monogram on their breast, one feels carried back to the ageof Queen Elisabeth I.

Andshould you chance to see the Lord Mayor of London riding through the streets ofthe city with the black robe and gold chain, his medieval carriage, and allsheriffs, councillors and other members of the suit, you have a picture ofliving history.

Touristsvisiting London are usually eager to see Buckingham Palace, the officialLondon residence of the Queen and the King. The house was bought by George IIIfrom the Duke of Buckingham, from whom it takes the name.

QueenVictoria was the first to make the Palace the official residence of theSovereign. The colourful ceremony of the Changing of the Quard before thePalace is of great interest for a newcomer. The Quardsmen in their red coatsand bearskin caps march behind the Drum Mayor and the Band. Whenever the IrishQuards are responsible for the quard duties at Buckingham Palace an Irishwolfhound appears on regimental ceremonial parades and marches at the head ofthe band.

Anumber of other ceremonies are of a similarly formal character, such as theKing’s or Queen’s receptions and the State Opening of Parliament.

Thereare other customs of a similar peculiar character, such as the searching of thecellars underneath the Houses of Parliament by half a dozen “Beefeaters” beforethe opening of Parliament, in memory of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot in1605.

Englishpeople tend to be rather conservative. The conservative attitude consists of anacceptance of things which are familiar. All the same, several symbols ofconservatism are being abandoned. The metric system came into general use in1975. The twenty-four-hour clock was at last adopted for railway timetables inthe 1960s-though not for most other timetables, such as radio programs. Thedecimal money was introduced, but the pound sterling as the basic unit waskept, one-hundredth part of it being a new penny. Temperatures have beenmeasured in Centigrade as well as Fahrengrade for a number of years, tend touse Fahrengrade for general purpose.

Theveteran car run. There is a new tradition in England now. Every year a largenumber of veteran cars drive from London to Brighton. Veteran cars are thosewhich are made before 1904. The run takes place on the first Sunday inNovember. In November, 1896, a law was published. It said that a man with a redflag must walk in front of every car when it moved in the streets. In thosedays people were afraid of the cars.

Therun begins at 8 o’clock in the morning from Hyde Park. Some cars look veryfunny. The drivers are dressed in the clothes of those times. The oldest carsmove in front. The run is not a competition but a demonstration. Some carsreach Brighton, which is about a hundred kilometers from London, only late inthe evening, others don’t get there, they have to stop on the way.

TheStone of Destiny. In Westminster Abbey in London there is a largestone which has an interesting history. Many hundreds of years ago it was aseat on which the kings of Scotland sat when they were crowned. When Scotlandbecame part of Britain, the English king brought this stone to London. A largechair was made and the Stone of Destiny was put into the seat of the chair.Since that time the English kings sit on that chair when they are crowned.

TheTheatre Royal. The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane of the oldest theatres inLondon. It was opened in 1663. The king was present at the performance, that iswhy it was called the Theatre Royal. Today most people call it Drury Lane bythe name of the street in which it stands. The theatre has many traditions. Oneof them is the Badely cake, which began in the 18 century.

RobertBadely was a pastry-cook who became an actor and joined the Theatre Royal. Hewas a good actor, and the plays in which he acted were always a great successwith the people of London. When R. Badely was very old, he left some money tothe theatre. Robert Badely asked to buy cake and offer a piece of it to eachactor and actress of the theatre on Twelfth Night every year. Twelfth Night isthe 6th of January, the 12th Night after Christmas.

So,after the evening performance on Twelfth Night, the actors and actresses conedown into the hall in their stage clothes and eat the Badely cake.

Racesin England. In England there is a day for pancakes. It is usually inMarch. At homes families have pancakes for dinner. At school children andteachers have pancakes for school dinner. You know that pancakes are very goodfor eat, but do you know that in England people race with pancakes, fight forthem?

Insome villages and towns in England there is a pancake race every year.Mothers of families run these races. First they must make the pancake and thenrun 4 hundred meters with the pancake on the frying-pan in their hands. Whenthey are running this race they must throw the pancake up 3 times and catch iton the frying-pan. They must not drop it. The fathers and the children watchthe mothers and call out to them: “Run, mum, run quickly!” At some universitiesand colleges students run pancake races too. They run with their pancakes onthe frying-pans and throw them up. If the university or college is near the seathere are swimming pancake races. The students take their frying-pans with thepancakes into the cold water and swim with them. They hold the frying-pan inone hand. They must also throw the pancake up and catch it on the pan.

AtWestminster School in London the boys have pancakes for dinner one day inMarch. But before dinner is the pancake fight. The school cook makes avery large pancake. Then he comes out of the kitten into the hall with thefrying-pan and throws the pancake high up. The boys (one from each form) try tocatch the pancake. They fight for it. The winner of the fight is the boy whogets the biggest piece of pancake.

InEngland there is also an egg-and-spoon race. People who run this race, menand women, boys and girls, must carry an egg in a spoon. They must not let itfall down. If the egg falls and breaks, they must pick it up with the spoon,not with their fingers. Usually there are not many winners in the egg-and-spoonrace.

Inthe three-legged-race boys and girls run in pairs, with the right leg ofone boy or girl tied to the left leg of the other. They do not run veryquickly, because they do not want to fall. The people who watch theegg-and-spoon race and the three-legged-race always laugh very much.

holidayfestival queen

Holidaysin Great Britain


Thereare fewer public holidays in Great Britain than in other European countries.They are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, EasterMonday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday and Summer Bank Holiday.

PublicHolidays in Britain are called bank holidays, because the banks as well as mostof the offices and shops are closed.

Theygo to the seaside or to one of the big parks. Many families take a basket andput their lunch or tea in it. They will sit on the grass under a tree, havetheir meal in the open air. Good weather is very important. A wet Bank Holidaygives very little pleasure.

Londonersoften visit the Zoo where they can see many interesting animals from different countries.But many of them go with their families to Hampstead Heath. This is a largepiece of open land near London where there is a fair on some of the BankHolidays. There are a lot of interesting things for children and young peopleat these fairs – merry-go-rounds, swings and many little shops which sell paperhats with the words “Kiss Me Quick”, coloured balloons, cakes and sweets. Animportant moment at the fair is the coming of the Pearly Kings and Queens.These are men and women who have sewed pearl buttons all over their dresses andsuits. And their hats also have many pearl buttons over them. Those people whohave the most beautiful costumes are named Pearly King and Queen for one year.

Themost favourite holiday is Christmas. Every year the people of Norwaygive the city of London a present. It is a big Christmas tree and it stands inthe Trafalgar Square.

BeforeChristmas, groups of singers go from house to house. They collect money forcharities and sing carols, traditional Christmas songs. Many churches hold aservice on Sunday before Christmas.

Thefun starts the night before, on the 24th of December.Traditionally this is the day when people decorate their trees. Children hangstockings at their beds, hoping that Father Christmas will come down thechimney during the night and fill them with toys and sweets.

Noone knows for sure who decorated the first Christmas tree. The custom ifbringing an evergreen tree indoors and decorating it at Christmas started inGermany. One legend says that Martin Luther started the practice.Luther was an important Christian leader. According to the story, he noticedthe starlit sky as he walked home one Christmas Eve about the year 1513. Hethought the stars looked as if they were shining on the branches. When hearrived home, Martin Luther placed a small fir tree inside his house. Hedecorated it with lighted candles. Decorating Christmas trees became popular inGermany. Prince Albert of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, the German husband of QueenVictoria, took the tradition to England. Both German and England people broughtit to America. And now nearly every family in Great Britain and the USA has aChristmas tree. The biggest Christmas tree in Britain is put up in TrafalgarSquare in London. The people of Norway still give this tree every year to theBritish people to thank them for helping Norway against Hitler in the SecondWorld War.

Christmasis a family holiday. All the family usually meet for the bigChristmas dinner of turkey and Christmas pudding. And everyone gives andreceive presents. The 26th of December, Boxing Day is an extraholiday after Christmas. It is the time to visit friends and relatives. Thisday postmen and servants receive their presents in the boxes.

NewYear’s Day is less favourite in Britain than Christmas. It is true in the southernand eastern parts of the country. However, even there, the welcoming of the NewYear is growing in popularity, particularly among young people who prefer tospend Christmas with kin, but New Year with friends. New Year’s parties go allnight through. The most famous places of festivities are Piccadily Circus andTrafalgar Square in London where crowds of people greet the New Year with thelinked- arm singing of “Old Lang Syne’, kissing total strangers, blowing whistlesand automobile horns and shooting firecrackers. Someone usually falls into thefountain in Trafalgar Square. Unfortunately for all these midnight celebrators,January 1st is not a public holiday in England.

InWales, the back door releases the Old Year at the first stroke of midnight: itis then locked “who keep the luck in” and at the last stroke the New Year islet in at the front.

Butin Scotland Hogmanay, New Years Eve is the biggest festival of the Year.Nobody, however, can successfully explain where this word comes from. The 1stof January is a national holiday. People do not work on that day, and childrendo not go to school. After midnight people visit their friends. They carrycakes and spices ale to wish their hosts a good year. They have a good dinneron that day. After dinner there are apples, nuts and different sweet things toeat. All the members of the family and friends begin to play games and dance.The first visitor, or the first footer, must bring a special present – apiece of coal – to wish good luck and warmth to the house. This is an oldScottish custom. The first footer may also bring a loaf of white bread and abottle of whisky. On entering he must place the coal on the fire, put the loafon the table and pour a glass for the head of the house, all normally withoutspeaking or being spoken to until he wishes everyone “A happy New Year”. He mayalso carry a silver coin to wish wealth. New Years Eve is the biggest festivalof the Year Before 12 o’clock at night many people in the towns go out into thestreets to dance and to sing Scottish songs.

Whenthe town clocks begin to strike 12, the people come together. They cross theirarms, join hands and sing the famous Scottish song “Auld Lang Syne”. It isabout the old days and friendship between the people. The author of the song isRobert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. The music of the song is alsoScottish.

Besidespublic holidays, there are some special festivals in Great Britain. One of themtakes place on the 5th of November. On that day, in 1605, Guy Fawkestried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. He did notsucceed. The King’s men found the bomb, took Guy Fawkes to the Tower and cutoff his head.

Sincethat day the British celebrate the 5th of November. They burn a dummy,made of straw and old clothes, in a bonfire and let off fireworks. This dummyis called a “guy” (like Guy Fawkes). Bonfire Night. It is a veryinteresting night for English boys and girls. On that evening they makebonfires and have fireworks. Some days before bonfire night they make the guy.

Theymake them of sticks and straw and then put men’s old clothes on him. They putan old hat on his head and old gloves on the sticks that are his hands. Whenthe bonfire is ready, children or their parents put the guy on the bonfire anthen light it.

Mother’sday in Britain. In Britain there is a holiday which people call Mother’sDay. On the old days many girls from working-class families in towns and citiesand from farmers’ families in the country worked in rich houses. They had to doall the housework and their working day was usually very long, they oftenworked on Sundays too.

Oncea year, it was usually one Sunday in March, they could visit their mothers.They went home on that day and brought presents for their mothers and for othermembers of the families. They could stay at home only one day, and then theywent back to their work. People called that day Mothering Day or Mothering

Sunday.Later workers at the factories and girls who worked in houses of rich familiesreceived one free day a week, and Mothering Day became Mother’s Day. It is thelast Sunday in March.

Onthat day sons and daughters visit theirs mothers and bring them flowers andlittle presents. The elder son must bring his mother a good cake. If sons ordaughters cannot be with their mothers on that day, they usually send herpresents. Mother’s Day must be a day of rest for the mother of the family, soher daughters cook dinner on that day and lay the table and the sons help towash the plates and dishes after dinner.

Everycountry has its traditions. They play a very important role in the life of thepeople. One such tradition isEaster. Easter is a festival that occurson the first Sunday after the full moon in spring. Easter marks the end ofwinter and the beginning of spring. People buy new clothes to wear on EasterSunday. There is a popular belief that wearing three new things at Easter willbring good luck in the year. After church services many people like to takewalks down the streets in their new clothes. This colourful procession ofpeople dressed in bright new spring clothes is called the Easter Parade. Theword “Easter” comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn whose spring wascelebrated in April. Before the arrival of Christianity, people believed thatthe sun died in winter and was born again in spring, on the day of the springequinox (день весеннего равноденствия) they wouldsing and dance as the sun rose in the sky. Although it is a Christian festivalthe customs and legends of Easter celebrations are pagan (языческий) in origin.Easter is the religious holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ,the son of God. It is at the end of Lent during which children all over theworld give up sweets and make other sacrifices in preparation for the highestfestival of the church year. What are Easter symbols? They are: the Cross.It has a special meaning to Christians. It represents Christ’s victory overdeath. It is a significant Easter symbol. The next symbol are eggs. Longago some people believed that the earth appeared from a gigantic egg. On EasterSunday families and friends exchange chocolate eggs. This custom dates back toancient times when Egyptians and Persians used to paint eggs in bright coloursto represent the sunlight of spring and give them to friends as a symbol of newlife. The third symbol are Easter Rabbits. It is true that in ancient Egypt therabbit symbolized the moon, new life and birth. All around the world, manychildren believe that the Easter rabbit brings eggs and hides them for childrenon Easter morning. There are many different legends but here is a popular one.

Longago in Germany there lived an old woman who loved children. Each year she gavechildren presents to celebrate spring. But one year she had nothing to givebecause it was a bad year and she had become very poor. All she had were someeggs. So she coloured the eggs and hid them in the grass. When the childrenarrived, she told them to run into the yard to find their presents there. Justas one of the children uncovered the eggs, a large rabbit hopped away. So thechildren thought that the rabbit had left the eggs for them. And ever sincechildren have searched for the eggs left by Easter rabbit on Easter morning.

Itis called the Easter Egg Hunt. Eggs are the important part of EasterSports. The Romans celebrated the Easter season by running races on an ovaltrack and giving eggs as prizes. One of the traditional Easter egg games is theEaster Egg Roll. The rules of the Easter Egg Roll are to see who can roll anegg the greatest distance down a grassy hillside without breaking it.

TheRobin Hood Dance. In a little village in Staffordshire a very olddance is performed in September every year. Six men in Robin Hood costumescarry deer’s horns set in wooden deer’s heads. They walk together with a numberof other characters from the Robin Hood legends: Maid Marian, the girl whomRobin Hood loved and married, a knight on a wooden horse, a boy in thetraditional costume of a jester, another boy with a bow and many musicians. Thedance begins at 9 o’clock in the morning near the house where the costumes, thehorns and all the other things are kept during the winter. The dancers walkthrough the wood and visit many farms where they eat, drink and dance. In theafternoon they get back through the village and dance in the streets. The danceends in the middle of the night in the market-place. Very many people take partin the dance.


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