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CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN GREAT BRITAIN
II. Read and translate the text.
I. Read and learn the following words.
IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IN BELARUS
II. Match the words with their definitions:
The most popular holiday in Great Britain is Christmas. They celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. People in Britain see Christmas as the major festival of the year – an occasion for parties, giving and receiving gifts, eating and drinking, and generally having fun.
There are a lot of traditions connected with Christmas.
In the afternoon the British people can watch the Queen on television as she delivers her traditional Christmas message to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Every year the people of Norway give the city of London a present. It’s the biggest Christmas tree in Great Britain and it stands in Trafalgar Square. Most families decorate their houses with a Christmas tree, buy the gifts for the family and friends, and write Christmas cards. Every English family sends and receives many Christmas cards. Traditionally there is a robin on almost every card (it is a Christmas bird). Sometimes there is a bunch of holly on the Christmas card. You can read on the card: “Merry Christmas!”
On Christmas Eve children hang stockings at the end of their beds or over the fireplace. They are told that Father Christmas or Santa Clause arrives at night from the North Pole on his flying sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, climbs down the chimney and fills each stocking with presents. The children open their presents – put there secretly by their parents – on Christmas morning.
On Christmas Eve people like to light candles. If there are children in the family, they often have Christmas crackers. When you pull a cracker it makes a bang and inside there is usually a Christmas hat, a small toy and a piece of paper with a joke on it.
Lunch is the most important point of Christmas Day. The traditional lunch consists of roast turkey with vegetables, followed by Christmas pudding. All the family stir the pudding and make a wish. When the pudding is hot, they put 5-penny piece in it and sometimes little silver charms – a horseshoe, a button or a ring. A 5-penny piece means you are going to have money the next year, the horseshoe brings good luck; the ring means a wedding. The button means you aren't going to get married.
A pantomime is a traditional performance for children at Christmas. All the children have much fun when they watch fairy tales with princes, beautiful princesses and fairies ("Cinderella", "Puss in Boots").
Centuries ago, it was the custom to put an ivy leaf in water on New Year’s Eve and leave it there until Twelfth Night (the 6th of January). If the leaf remained fresh and green, it foretold a good healthy year; if black spots appeared on it, this meant illness and death in the family. All holly and ivy was taken down on Twelfth Night, as it was feared that it would attract goblins. It is still considered unlucky in Britain to leave Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night.
The Twelfth night is on the eve of the 6th of January. This is the twelfth day after Christmas Day. It is the last day of Yuletide. People eat the Twelfth cake on the Twelfth night. This is a big cake with a coin baked inside. The person who finds the coin in his piece of cake becomes the king of the Twelfth night.
Many people go to church at Christmas to a midnight mass on Christmas Eve or to the morning service on Christmas Day.
The day after Christmas Day is called Boxing Day and this is a public holiday. Traditionally people put their Christmas presents into boxes. A Christmas box is wrapped in bright coloured paper with ribbons.
New Year in England is not so widely observed as Christmas. Some people ignore it completely.
The most common type of celebration is a New Year party, either a family party or one arranged by a group of young people. This usually begins at about eight o'clock and goes on until the early hours of the morning. Sometimes the host makes a big bowl of punch which consists of wine, spirits, fruit juice and water in varying proportions...
There is usually a supper of cold meat, pies, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits.
At midnight the radio is turned on, so that everyone can hear the chimes of Big Ben, and on the hour a toast is drunk to the New Year. Then the party goes on.
Another popular way of celebrating the New Year is to go to a New Year's dance. Most hotels and dance halls hold a special dance on New Year's Eve. The hall is decorated, there are several different bands and the atmosphere is very festive.
The most famous celebration is in London round the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus where crowds gather and sing to welcome the New Year. In Trafalgar Square there is also a big crowd and someone usually falls into the fountain. Those who have no desire or no opportunity to celebrate the New Year themselves can sit and watch other people celebrating on television.
The 1st of January, New Year’s Day, is a public holiday. Some people send New Year cards and give presents, but it is not a widespread custom. This the traditional time for making New Year resolutions, but they are more talked about than put in practice.
IV. Give the English equivalents for these Russian words and word combinations:
праздник; подарок; повод; украшать; рождественская елка; открытка; камин; сани; малиновка; остролист; северный олень; дымоход; хлопушка; «пятипенсовик» (монета в 5 пенсов); серебряные амулеты; подкова; фея; обычай; плющ; рождественские украшения; святки; месса; утренняя служба; пунш; приветствовать; падать в фонтан.
V. Insert the words in the gaps:
1. … is one of the main festivals in the Christian Calendar.
2. I was searching for a … for Mark’s birthday.
3. Children's pictures … the walls of the classroom.
4. … contain a small …, a paper hat, and a joke, and are used at Christmas in Britain.
5. It is believed that some plants can attract ….
6. Some people ignore … completely.
Decorate, present, gift, goblins, Christmas, New Year, crackers.
VI. Put in the right prepositions:
1. They celebrate Christmas … the 25th of December.
2. There are a lot of traditions connected … Christmas.
3. The biggest Christmas tree … Great Britain stands … Trafalgar Square.
4. People decorate their houses … a Christmas tree
5. Children hang stockings … the end … their beds or … the fireplace.
6. Santa Clause arrives … his flying sleigh pulled … flying reindeer, climbs … the chimney and fills each stocking … presents.
7. The traditional lunch consists … roast turkey … vegetables, followed … Christmas pudding.
8. There was a custom to put an ivy leaf … water … New Year’s Eve and leave it there … Twelfth Night
9. The Twelfth night is … the eve … the 6th of January.
10. Many people go … church … Christmas … a midnight mass … Christmas Eve or … the morning service … Christmas Day.
11. A Christmas box is wrapped … bright coloured paper … ribbons.
12. This the traditional time … making New Year resolutions, but they are more talked … than put … practice.
VII. Answer the questions:
1. What is Christmas? When do people celebrate it?
2. Who is Father Christmas? What other names of Santa Clause do you know?
3. What folklore characters are connected with Christmas? In what ways?
4. What traditions are connected with Christmas pudding?
5. What is Boxing Day?
6. How does New Year differ from Christmas? How is it celebrated?
7. Where can you celebrate New Year? What are the most popular places?
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