Public holidays in Great Britain are called „Bank Holidays“. All the banks, offices, schools, shops and factories are closed on these day. There are the following days : Good Friday, and Easter Monday, Whit Monday (seven weeks after Easter), August Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
There are other days of the year which are not public holidays in England but the English people celebrate them in some way.
14th February, St. Valentine`s Day is the lovers feast. Friends and llovers send letters sr greeting cards expressing their love and affection. They usually don`t sign the cards.
17th March, St. Patrick`s Day. St. Patrick is the saint patron of Ireland. In the United States millions of people celebrate whether they are Irish or not. Green is one of the national colours of Ireland and also one of the signs of spring. On that day people wear green clothing or a shamrock (this is a three leaf clover taht is common in Ireland), they also wear badges taht say „Ireland forever“ or „Kiss me I`m Irish“.
Easter is celebrate as in the rest of Europe. It is an ancient symbol of spring and new life. On Easter Monday there are funfairs in many towns. Many homes in America organize Easter egg hunt – children look for dyed hard – boiled eggs hidden around the house.
4th July, Independence Day is the most important public holiday in America, called a birthday of the USA. It celebrates independence of American colonies from the British. It is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
31st October, Halloween, Eve of all Saint`s Day.
5th November, Guy Fawkes Day has its roots in English history, when in 1605 a group of Catholics wanted to kill King James by blowing up the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder. Nowadays it is the night when in almost every and village in England there are bonfires, fireworks and rockets and much noise everywhere. The oldest American holidays is Thanksgiving Day which is the fourth Thursday in November. It was celebrated for the first time in 1621. It remembers the first settlers – Pilgrim Fathers who came in 1620. After the first hard winter they celebrated the first successful harvest. Today it is a family holiday. The whole family gathers together and enjoys a traditional dinner – roast turkey, apple or pumpkin pie. They speak about the things for which they are thankful.
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National holidays and traditions
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