For us vacations and holidays mean a time when we do not need to go to work or school. We look forward to this time with anticipation. The knowledge that we will do only what we feel like doing is enough to make us happy. For many people vacations and holidays mean the most beautiful time of the year. This is the righ time to fulfit our dreams and ideas. Peolple have different expectations for thir holidays. Some want only to lie by the water and sunbathe. Others practically don´t leave their house, sit by the television, go out to have a meal, read newspapers and again sit down in front of TV. Some people spend their holiday doing sports, hiking or travelling. That way they improve their minds as well as their bodies. Other people go to their cottages where they collect mushrooms, go fishing, pick raspberries, strawberries and herbs. A lot of people like hiking. They walk through the forest, sleep out in the open and enjoy the beauties of nature.
Holiday and vacation time is usually connected with summer. In July and August schoolchildren have their two months´ summer holidays. During that period most of the recreation centres, amusement areas, restaurants, camps and hotels are in operation. In the Slovak Republic we have not just summer holidays. Even during the school year we have a chance to enjoy holidays and vacations. Every year during Christmas we have a Christmas vacation. It lasts approximately one week. It starts before Christmas Day and finishes a few days after New Year´s Eve. It is probably the second most favourite vacation , after the summer vacations. People sing carols by the Christmas tree, walk through the snow - covered city, give presents to each other and enjoy making others hapy. The Christmas holidays are a time of happiness and contentment.
As winter turns into spring, we have spring holidays. The time of the spring holidays varies in individual areas of the Slovak republic. Mostly they are in February or March. During spring holidays a lot of families set out in search of snow. If there is no snow in the city they go to the mountains. Among the most frequently visited Slovak mountains ranges are the Tatras, the Low Tatras, the Big and Small Fatra Mountains, the Slovak Red Mountains. There are a lot of sports centres and areas which offer peple a chance for rest, relaxation and recreation during the winter season. All kinds of ski lifts and funiculars are in operation, as well as the mountain rescue service. We can ski, crosscountry ski, sledge, have a snow fight, snowboard and built snowmen. Recreational centres often offer visitors swimming pools, gymnasiums and saunas. Apart from summer, winter and spring holidays, different national holidays are celebrated. During these days we are off from work or schoool, but mostly we don´t go away. We stay home and relay from work and studies. These national holidays last at most one or two days.
Traditional observances are also celebrated, for example Easter. We often take our vacations and holidays abroad. Travelling to other countries has become a very fashionable affair, especially for young people. The reason for their frequent travelling abroat is to gain new knowledge, enjoy themselves, become familiar with other people´s cultures and habits and see the historical places of interest. We can arrange our trip abroad themselves, or it could be arranged for us by a travel agency. There we choose the country we want to visit. We also choose the length of the trip and the kind of transportation we want to use. A travel agency also arranges for our accomodation. We can stay in a hotel, a boarding- house, a tent or a cottage. We can choose from many different offers. A travel agency will insure our luggage and ourselves against accidents in the country of our choice. To cross a frontier we need a valid passport. In case of accident, it is good to have an international health card. For holidays and vacations people make different plants in advance. I am no exception. Because I am a graduate I will have altogether four months of holidays.
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