HOLIDAYS IN GREAT BRITAIN
In Great Britain most manual workers (including shop assistants) are entitled (oprávnený) to have paid annual holidays of at least three weeks a year in addition to bank (public) holidays, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, The first Monday in May, The last Monday in May or the first in June, the last Monday in August or first in September, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Professional workers (inteligencia) usually have longer holidays (a month or more). Extended (predĺžená) holidays, dependents on length of service, are also quite common, especially in non-manual sector. State schools usually have six weeks off in summer (from mid-July to the end of August), in addition to holidays during the school year (at Christmas, Easter and Whit sun). Most families spend their annual holiday by the sea, at hotels. Other popular forms of holiday include holiday camps, caravanning and touring in a car or a coach (bus). Very few people have their summerhouses to visit for holidays and weekends. About 15 million people spend their holidays abroad each year.
Guy Fawkes Night
5th November- It's Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night). In 1605 King James I. was on the throne. As a Protestant, he was very unpopular with Roman Catholic. Some of them planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November of that year when the king was going to open Parliament. Under the House of Lords they had stored thirty - six barrels of gunpowder that were to be exploded by a man called Guy Fawkes. However one of the plotters told someone and Fawkes was discovered, arrested and later hanged. Since then, the British traditionally celebrate this day. Children make a dummy, made of straw and old clothes. Then they parade this around streets and ask passers- by for a penny for the guy, this is often twenty, fifty pence or as much as a pound. On the night itself, there are ,,bonfire parties" throughout the country, at which the ,,guy" is burnt. Some people cook sausages on sticks at the fire. Throughout the evening, there are many fireworks set off.
HOLIDAYS IN USA
31st October - It's the day before All Saints' Day. The festival started in pre – Christian times. People believed that at Halloween the souls of the dead revisit the places where they once lived. Children prepare their costumes and pumpkins. Normally the costumes depict witches, fairies, devils, monsters and other scary beings. Pumpkins are hallowed out and a face is cut into the pumpkins skin. Inside a candle is placed the tight of which shines out through the face. Such a pumpkin is called a Jack Lantern. Children go ,,trick or treating" in their costumes. This is when they go from house to house performing a little song or rhyme for sweets.
In September 1620 a group of English people called the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth, England across the Atlantic Ocean, in a ship called The Mayflower, to America. They went away from England because of their religion, and because they wanted land for their families. The pilgrims sailed for sixty six dangerous days – across the Atlantic Ocean, When they arrived, they called their new home New England, but they were not the first people to live there. The Indians were first. Sometimes the Pilgrims fought with the Indians but they also learned a lot from them. The Indians showed them how to grow and cook new kinds of fruit and vegetables. The first winter was difficult. Many of the Pilgrims died because it was very cold and they had little food. In the spring they started to grow food, helped by some friendly Indians, and in the autumn of 1621 they celebrated their first harvest. The pilgrims wanted to give thanks, not only for the harvest, but for their new home, new life and new friends. The date of Thanksgiving Day in the USA has changed three times, but it is now the fourth Thursday in November. Most Americans have dinner with their families. The traditional dinner is turkey and pumpkin pie.
The word Christmas comes from the words cristes maesse, or “Christi’s Mass”. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus for members of the Christian religion. It’s thought that Jesus of Nazareth was born in springtime. December 25th was chosen for the celebration of his birth by a pope, Julius I., in the 4th century – to include a Christian element in the long-established mid-winter festivals. Most of people don’t realize that the church did not even honour any type of festivity for the event (the birth of Jesus) until the 4th century. The Romans celebrated the Festival of Saturnalia in December, honouring Saturn and their winter solstice. The Germanic tribes of Europe also held a celebration of feasting to honour mid-winter. Centuries later, the Puritans in England tried to do away with Christmas altogether but they had little success.
People give presents at Christmas to remind them of the gifts that the shepherds and Wise Men brought when Jesus was born.
The Christmas tree:
For families in North America and other parts of Europe, the Christmas tree is the symbol of the Christmas season. They decorate it with things like coloured lights, popcorn strings and tinsel. Other evergreens have been a part of mid-winter festival long before Christ. They played a symbolic part because they stayed green and alive when other plants appeared dead and bare. They represented everlasting life and hope for the return of spring.
The Christmas star:
The wise man followed a bright star in the sky to the place where Jesus was born.
Still, many people prefer to believe that the strange star did appear, and that it was simply a miracle and throughout the world today, the Christian holiday has usually begun with the appearance of the first star on Christmas Eve. In general, the Christmas star symbolizes high hopes and high ideals – hope for good fortune, hope for reaching above oneself. For all human beings, regardless of religion, stars have special meaning for all share the heavens, no matter what barriers keep them apart on earth.
It is amazing but true that the common, popular view of Santa that we all have today, along with all the crazy things around Santa like the sleight, the reindeer and the chimney, all came largely from two publishing events that occurred in the 1800s. Clement Moore wrote “The night before Christmas” in 1822. In the poem you can find the names from the reindeers, invents the sleight, comes up with the chimney and the bag of toys.... Then, between 1863 and 1886, Harper’s Weekly ran a series of engravings by Thomas Nast. From these images come the concepts of Santa’s workshop, Santa reading letters, Santa checking his list and so on. Coca-Cola also played a role in the Santa image by running a set of paintings by Haddon Sundblom. The red and white suit came, actually, from the original Saint Nicholas. Those colours were the colours of the traditional bishop’s robes.
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