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British Traditions and Customs




 

British nation is considered to be the most conservative in Europe. It is not a secret that every nation and every country has its own customs and traditions. In Great Britain people attach greater importance to traditions and customs than in other European countries. Englishmen are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. The best examples are their queen, money system, their weights and measures.

There are many customs and some of them are very old. There is, for example, the Marble Championship, where the British Champion is crowned; he wins a silver cup known among folk dancers as Morris Dancing. Morris Dancing is an event where people, worn in beautiful clothes with ribbons and bells, dance with handkerchiefs or big sticks in their hands, while traditional music- sounds.

Another example is the Boat Race, which takes place on the river Thames, often on Easter Sunday. A boat with a team from Oxford University and one with a team from Cambridge University hold a race.

British people think that the Grand National horse race is the most exciting horse race in the world. It takes place near Liverpool every year. Sometimes it happens the same day as the Boat Race takes place, sometimes a week later. Amateur riders as well as professional jockeys can participate. It is a very famous event.

There are many celebrations in May, especially in the countryside.

Halloween is a day on which many children dress up in unusual costumes. In fact, this holiday has a Celtic origin. The day was originally called All Halloween's Eve, because it happens on October 31, the eve of all Saint's Day. The name was later shortened to Halloween. The Celts celebrated the coming of New Year on that day.

Another tradition is the holiday called Bonfire Night.

On November 5, 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament where the king James 1st was to open Parliament on that day. But Guy Fawkes was unable to realize his plan and was caught and later, hanged. The British still remember that Guy Fawkes' Night. It is another name for this holiday. This day one can see children with figures, made of sacks and straw and dressed in old clothes. On November 5th, children put their figures on the bonfire, burn them, and light their fireworks.

In the end of the year, there is the most famous New Year celebration. In London, many people go to Trafalgar Square on New Year's Eve. There is singing and dancing at 12 o'clock on December 31st.

A popular Scottish event is the Edinburgh Festival of music and drama, which takes place every year. A truly Welsh event is the Eisteddfod, a national festival of traditional poetry and music, with a competition for the best new poem in Welsh.



 

Questions:

1. What nation is considered to be the most conservative in Europe?
2. What are the best examples of their conservatism?
3. What are the most popular English traditions?
4. What is the original name of Halloween?
5. What is a popular Scottish event?
6. What is the Eisteddfod?

 

Vocabulary:

to be considered — считаться, рассматриваться как
customs — традиции
to attach — уделять
proud — гордый
to keep (past kept, p.p. kept) up — поддерживать, хранить
to crown — короновать
folk — народный (относящийся к обычаям, традициям простого народа)
to wear (past wore, p.p. worn) — одевать, носить
ribbon — лента, ленточка; тесьма
handkerchief — носовой платок
Boat Race — лодочные гонки
Easter Sunday — Пасхальное Воскресенье
exciting — возбуждающий, волнующий
amateur — любитель; поклонник; любительский
rider — всадник, наездник; жокей
event — событие
countryside — сельская местность
Celtic — кельтский
origin — происхождение; начало
All Halloween's Eve — Канун всех святых (сокр. Хэлловин)
Bonfire Night — Ночь костров
to blow up — взорвать, подорвать
to catch (caught) — схватить, арестовать
to hang (past hung, p.p. hung) — повесить
straw — солома
bonfire — костер
firework — обыкн. мн. фейерверк
truly — действительно, по-настоящему
Eisteddfod — ежегодный фестиваль бардов (в Уэльсе)
competition — соревнование

 





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