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Colegiul Nationa ―Unirea‖, Focsani

Lucrare scrisa pentru obtinerea atestatului la limba engleza ―British holidays,celebrations and traditions‖

Elev, Boldeanu Elena-Simona

Profesor coordonator, Irina Bicescu

2012

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Table of contens

INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………. 4 JANUARY HOLIDAYS New Year………………………………………………………………................................4 Twelfth Night………………………………………………………………………………. 5 FEBRUARY HOLIDAYS Candlemas Day………………………………………………………………………………6 Valentine‘s Day………………………………………………………………………………8 MARCH HOLIDAYS St. David‘s Day………………………………………………………………………………8 St. Patrick‘s Day……………………………………………………………………………..9 MARCH/APRIL HOLIDAYS Pancake Day………………………………………………………………………………….9 Maundy Thursday……………………………………………………………………………10 Easter…………………………………………………………………………………………11 APRIL HOLIDAYS April Fool‘s Day……………………………………………………………………………..11 MAY HOLIDAYS May…………………………………………………………………………………………..12 JUNE HOLIDAYS Tropping the colours…………………………………………………………………………13 JULY HOLIDAYS Swan Upping……………………………………………………………………………….14

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OCTOBER HOLIDAYS Halloween…………………………………………………………………………………..14 NOVEMBER HOLIDAYS Bonfire Night………………………………………………………………………………15 Remembrance Day…………………………………………………………………………15 St. Andrew‘s Day…………………………………………………………………………..16 DECEMBER HOLIDAYS Advent Day………………………………………………………………………………..16 Christmas Day……………………………………………………………………………17 Boxing Day………………………………………………………………………………..17 BRITISH TRADITIONS History of Afternoon Tea……………………………………………………………….…18 VOCABULARY……………………………………………………………………………………….19 BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………………………………………...20

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INTRODUCTION

This essay tends to be an introductory survey of the historical and social background of British holidays, celebrations and traditions. People of every culture celebrate holidays. Although the word itself ―holiday‖ literally means ―holy day‖ most of the American and British holidays are not related to religion but more commemorative in nature and origin as well. Public holidays (known as ―bank holiday‖ in the United Kingdom and Ireland) are those holidays when the majority of the population who are not employed in essential services (like fire dept, ambulance, police) receive the days as holiday; and those employed in essential services usually receive an extra pay for these days. The United States bank holiday refers to those special cases when the banks should be closed because of executive orders as a remedy for financial crisis. Celebrations are o party or a special event at which you celebrate something. For example: Christmas Day, Easter, Halloween . Most English-speaking countries have similar festivals and holidays which are important. However, there are particular days which the others do not celebrate, such as Independence Day in the United States.

The reason I choose this subject is that I am very found of the British holidays, traditions and celebrations. Since I was little I have loved and I used to imitate them when I played with my dolls. The most frequent performed was the tea ceremony. The cups, the kettle, the milk, the sugar, the lemon slices, the biscuits, everything was at its place in perfect order. When the tea was coming even the teddy bears were thrilled because they knew that something wonderful was about to happen.

JANUARY HOLIDAYS NEW YEAR

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New Year in United Kingdom is celebrated on January 1, the first day of the first month as per the Gregorian Calendar. This day was officially declared as New Year's Day in 1752. It is the time to ring out the old year and bring the new one by merry making. New Year is the much awaited celebration for the people of UK. They love to enjoy each and every minute of the going year. Theme parties, salsa dance and live performances are the some of the rocking events of New Year in UK. Another enthralling part of the New Year festivities are the New Year cruises in England. These are the most unique and memorable part of New Year in England. So, if you are planning to have an exciting New Year blast, England is all set for one. New Year Traditions in Britain A very old custom of 'first footing' is still followed in Britain with sincerity. It is said that the first male visitor to the house on the New Year's day brings good luck. A blonde, a red-haired or a woman is not allowed to enter the house first as they are supposed to bring bad luck. The male visitor usually brings money, bread or coal as these are considered auspicious gifts. At some places, there is a tradition of gifting the holy mistletoe. It is believed to bring prosperity for the recipient. Another tradition which is popularly celebrated is the "burning of the bush". It symbolizes burning of all past events. New Year Celebrations in Britain New Year celebrations in Britain is a colorful affair. New Year is celebrated as the most important festival in United Kingdom. Midnight parties, lavish meals, champagnes, music, dance and fireworks are the important parts of New Year in England. It is the biggest night-out of the year. Apart from parties and meals, another important part of New Year celebrations in UK is the biggest New Year parade. The parade starts at noon walking down the streets via Whitehall, Pall Mall and finishing in Berkley square. Musicians, dancers, acrobats, drums and other entertainers do a splendid job to make the event most distinguished one. Everyone present at the Berkley is openly invited to join the carnival and enjoy the festive occasion.

TWELFTH NIGHT
―Twelfth Night‖ is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking". However, there is currently some confusion as to which night is Twelfth
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Night: some count the night of Epiphany itself (sixth of January) to be Twelfth Night. One source of this confusion is said to be the Medieval custom of starting each new day at sunset, so that Twelfth Night precedes Twelfth Day. In some cases the 25 December is the first day of Christmas, so therefore 5 January is the 12th day. It is erroneous to count the Christmas season as the 12 days after Christmas Day, making 6 January the Twelfth Day, as 6 January is the Epiphany, and church seasons do not overlap. A recent belief in some Englishspeaking countries holds that it is unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night, a belief originally attached to the festival of Candlemas which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (2 February). Origins and history In medieval and Tudor England, the Twelfth Night marked the end of a winter festival that started on All Halows Eve — now more commonly known as Halloween. The Lord of Misrule symbolizes the world turning upside down. On this day the King and all those who were high would become the peasants and vice versa. At the beginning of the Twelfth Night festival, a cake that contained a bean was eaten. The person who found the bean would rule the feast. Midnight signaled the end of his rule and the world would return to normal. Traditions Food and drink are the center of the celebrations in modern times, and all of the most traditional ones go back many centuries. The punch called wassail is consumed especially on Twelfth Night, but throughout Christmas time, especially in the UK. Around the world, special pastries, such as the tortell and king cake are baked on Twelfth Night, and eaten the following day for the Feast of the Epiphany celebrations.

FEBRUARY HOLIDAYS Candlemas Day
Candlemas Day is also named ―The Cristian festival of lights‖ and it is celebrated on 2nd February. This ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox. Candlemas is a traditional Cristian festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. On this day, Cristians remember the presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple. Forty days after the birth of a Jewish boy, it was the custom to take him to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to
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god by his thankful parents. In pre-Christian times, this day was known as the ―Feast of Lights‖ and celebrated the increase strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring. How did the 2nd February come to be called Candlemas? It was the day of the year when all the candles, that were used in the church during the coming year, were brought into church and a blessing was said over them- so it was the Festival Day (or –‗mass‘) of the Candle. Candles were important in those days not only because there was no electric lights. Some people thought they gave protection against plague and illness and famine. For Christians they were (and still are) a reminder of something even more important. Before Jesus came to earth, it was as if everyone was ‗in the dark‘. People often felt lost and lonely. Afraid. As if they were on their own , with no one to help them. As if he is a guiding light to them in the darkness. Christians often talk of Jesus as ―the light of the world‖- and candles are lit during church services to remind Christians of this.

Candlemas is a day which holds many different customs. The Romans has a custom of lighting candles to scare away evil spirits in the winter. One of the most interesting custom took place in Scotland. In the olden days, Candlemas was the day when children brought candles to school so that the classrooms could have light on dull days. As time went on, gas lighting took over from candle light. The children took money to the teacher who was supposed to spend it on sweets and cakes for the children to eat. The boy or the girl taking in the most money were declared Candlemas King and Queen and they ‗ruled‘ for six weeks. They had the power to make one whole afternoon a week a playtime and they could also let anyone they wished of punishment. Other names for Candlemas Day. Candlemas‘s Day also has two other names. One is the ―Presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple‖. The other is the ―Purification of Blessed Virgin Mary‖. Both these names come from special events in the life of baby Jesus.
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Candlemas Day Weather-lore, beliefs and sayings. People believe that Candlemas Day predicted the weather for the rest of the winter. The weather proverbs express the idea that a fine bright sunny Candlemas Day means that there is more winter to come, whereas a cloudy wet stormy Candlemas Day means that the worse of winter is over.

Valentine’s Day

Saint Valentine's Day, often simply Valentine's Day, is observed on February 14 each year. Today Valentine's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them. The original "St. Valentine" was a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saint named Valentinus. Modern romantic connotations were added several centuries later by poets. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. This celebration was deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

MARCH HOLIDAYS St David’s Day
Saint David's day is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on the 1st of March each year. The first day of March was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David. Tradition holds that he died on that day in 589. The date was declared a national day of celebration within Wales in the 18th century. The significance of St. David's Day St. David was born towards the end of the fifth century. He was a scion of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of
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Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro), at the spot where St David's Cathedral stands today. David's fame as a teacher and ascetic spread throughout the Celtic world. His foundation at Glyn Rhosin became an important Christian shrine, and the most important centre in Wales. The date of Dewi Sant's death is recorded as 1 March, but the year is uncertain – possibly 588. For centuries, 1 March has been a national festival. St David was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans. St David's day was celebrated by Welsh diaspora from the late middle ages.Saint David's Day is not a national holiday in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Similarly in the United States of America, it has regularly been celebrated, although it is not an official holiday. It is invariably celebrated by Welsh societies throughout the world with dinners, parties, eisteddfodau (recitals and concerts).

St. Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general. The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire, public parades and processions, and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season. Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. Today, St. Patrick's Day is probably the most widely celebrated saint's day in the world. According to legend, St. Patrick used the 3-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people.

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Pancake Day
Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is observed mainly in English speaking countries, but is also observed in the Philippines and Germany. Shrove Tuesday is linked to Easter, so its date changes on an annual basis. In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Pancakes are eaten as they are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, the consumption of which was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.

Moundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries) is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Spy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. The date is always between 19 March and 22 April inclusive, but these dates fall on different days depending on whether the Gregorian or Julian calendar is used liturgically. Eastern churches generally use the Julian calendar, and so celebrate this feast throughout the 21st century between 1 April and 5 May in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar.

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Easter

Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating Maundy and the Last Supper, as well asGood Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The festival is referred to in English by a variety of different names including Easter Day, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day and Resurrection Sunday. Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The date of Easter therefore varies between 22 March and 25 April. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, in which the celebration of Easter therefore varies between 4 April and 8 May. Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs. Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades, which are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians.

APRIL HOLIDAYS April Fool’s Day
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April Fools' Day is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. In France and Italy, children and adults traditionally tack paper fish on each other's back as a trick and shout "april fish!" in their local language. The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer‘s Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of January 1 as New Year's Day in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, but this theory does not explain earlier references.

MAY HOLIDAY May Day
May Day on May 1 is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations. As Europe became Christianized the pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and All Saint's Day. In the twentieth century, many neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again. Origins The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer. In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary's month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. Fading in
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popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours doorsteps.

JUNE HOLIDAYS Tropping the colours

Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies. It has been a tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier. On battlefields, a regiment's colours, or flags, were used as rallying points. Consequently, regiments would have their Ensigns slowly march with their colours between the soldiers' ranks to enable soldiers to recognise their regiments' colours. Since 1748 Trooping the Colour has also marked the official birthday of the British sovereign. It is held in London annually on a Saturday in June on Horse Guards Parade by St. James's Park, and coincides with the publication of the Birthday Honours List. Among the audience are the Royal Family, invited guests, ticketholders and the general public. The colourful ceremony, also known as "The Queen's Birthday Parade", is broadcast live by the BBC. The Queen travels down The Mall from Buckingham Palace in a royal procession with a sovereign's escort of Household Cavalry (mounted troops or horse guards). After receiving a royal salute, she inspects her troops of the Household Division, both foot guards and horse guards, and the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. Each year, one of the foot-guards regiments is selected to troop its colour through the ranks of guards. Then the entire Household Division assembly conducts a march past the Queen, who receives a salute from the saluting base. Parading with its guns, the King's Troop takes precedence as the mounted troops perform a walk-march and trot-past. The music is provided by the massed bands of the foot guards and the mounted bands of the Household Cavalry, together with a Corps of Drums, and occasionally pipers, totalling approximately 400 musicians. Returning to Buckingham Palace, the Queen watches a further march-past from outside the gates. Following a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop in Green Park, she leads the Royal Family on to the palace balcony for a Royal Air Force flypast.

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Swan upping

Swan Upping is an annual ceremonial and practical activity in Britain in which mute swans on the River Thames are rounded up, caught, marked, and then released. Traditionally, the Monarch of the United Kingdom retains the right to ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, but only exercises ownership on certain stretches of the River Thames and its surrounding tributaries. This dates from the 12th century, during which time swans were a common food source for royalty. Swan upping is a means of establishing a swan census, and today also serves to check the health of swans. Swan upping occurs annually during the third week of July. During the ceremony, the Queen's, the Vintners', and the Dyers' Swan Uppers row up the river in skiffs. Swans caught by the Queen's Swan Uppers under the direction of the Swan Marker remain unmarked, those caught by the Dyers' are ringed on one leg, and those caught by the Vintners are ringed on both legs. Originally, rather than being ringed, the swans would be marked on the bill — a practice commemorated in the pub name The Swan with Two Necks, a corruption of the term "The Swan with Two Nicks".

OCTOBER HOLIDAYS Halloween

Halloween (a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening), also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day. Much like Day of the Dead celebrations, the Christian feast of All Hallows' Eve, according to some scholars, incorporates traditions from pagan harvest festivals and festivals honouring the dead, particularly the Celtic Samhain; other scholars maintain that the feast originated entirely independently of Samhain. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories,
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watching horror films, as well as the religious observances of praying, fasting and attending vigils or church services.

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NOVEMBER HOLIDAYS Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is a yearly event dedicated to bonfires, fireworks and celebrations. Different traditions celebrate Bonfire Night on different days. Some of the better known Bonfire Nights are: 5 November in the Great Britain and some Commonwealth countries (sometimes also called Guy Fawkes Night); 11 July in Northern Ireland, where it is also called Eleventh Night, precursor to The Twelfth; 23 June in the Republic of Ireland, sometimes known as St John's Eve, a bonfire tradition which also survives in parts of Scandinavia; in Australia, the Queen's Birthday. Several other cultures also include night-time celebrations involving bonfires and/or fireworks.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918; hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the

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11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice ("at the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.) The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917. The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields". These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

St. Andrew’s Day

St. Andrew's Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on November 30 in Scotland.Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Da is Scotland's official national day. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St Andrew's Day as an official bank holiday.Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

DECEMBER HOLIDAYS Advent

Advent, anglicized from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming", is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of
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Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi. The Eastern churches equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs both in length and observances and does not begin the church year, which starts instead on September 1.The progression of the season may be marked with an Advent calendar a practice introduced by German Lutherans. At least in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodit calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, the Sunday from November 27 to December 3 inclusive.Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return from Heaven where he now sits at the Right Hand of God.

Christmas Day

Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated generally on December 25 as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia, where it is a public holiday. As of 2012, there is a difference of 13 days between the modern Gregorian calendar and the older Julian calendar. Those who continue to use the Julian calendar or its equivalents thus celebrate December 25 and January 6 on what for the majority of the world is January 7 and January 19. For this reason, Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and the Republic of Moldova celebrate Christmas on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7; all the Greek Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, includingChristmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses.

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Boxing Day

Boxing Day is traditionally a day following Christmas when people in the United Kingdom would box up their presents. Today, Boxing Day is better known as a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other Commonwealth nations. In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland it is recognized as St. Stephen's Day or the Day of the Wren. In the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia and Poland, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day. In Canada, Boxing Day takes place on 26 December and is a federal public holiday. In Ontario, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday where all full-time workers receive time off with pay.

History of Afternoon Tea

Tea consumption increased dramatically during the early nineteenth century and it is around this time that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of "having that sinking feeling" during the late afternoon. At the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o'clock in the evening. The solution for the Duchess was a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.

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Later friends were invited to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey and this summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for "tea and a walking the fields." Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room. Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.

Occasionally you will see hotels serving a ‗high tea'. Traditionally, the upper classes would serve a ‗low' or ‗afternoon' tea around four o'clock, just before the fashionable promenade in Hyde Park. The middle and lower classes would have a more substantial ‗high' tea later in the day, at five or six o'clock, in place of a late dinner. The names derive from the height of the tables on which the meals are served, high tea being served at the dinner table.

VOCABULARY

Affair= a matter or situation which causes strong public feeling, usually of moral disapproval;
Battlefield = a subject on which people strongly disagree;

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Blast = to explode or destroy something or someone with explosives, or to break through or hit something with a similar, very strong force; Census = a count for official purposes, especially one to count the number of people living in a country and to collect information about them; Coal = a hard, black substance which is dug from the earth in pieces, and can be burnt to produce heat or power, or a single piece of this; Cross-party = denoting interaction between two or more political parties: across-party group; Crowing = when a baby crows, it makes sudden cries of happiness; Diaspora = the spreading of people from one original country to other countries; Dove = a white or grey bird, often used as a symbol of peace; Eisteddfodau = (in Wales) an annual festival, with competitions among poets andmusicians; Enthralling = keeping someone's interest and attention completely; Guy Fowkes Night = in Britain, the evening of November 5th when models of men, calledguys, are burned on large fires outside and there are firework displays. This is in memory of the failed attempt by Guy Fawkes to destroy the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605 with explosives; Guising = general external appearance; aspect; Hoax = a plan to deceive someone, such as telling the police there is a bomb somewhere when there is not one, or a trick; Jack-o’-lantern = a light made from a hollow pumpkin with holes cut into the sides like the eyes and mouth of a person's face, inside which there is a candle; Lavish = more than enough, especially if expensive; very generous; Mistletoe = an evergreen (= never losing its leaves) plant with small white fruits and pale yellow flowers which grows on trees, often used as a Christmas decoration; Overlap = to cover something partly by going over its edge; to cover part of the same space; Peasant = a person who owns or rents a small piece of land and grows crops, keeps animals, etc. on it, especially one who has a low income, very little education and a low social position. This is usually used of someone who lived in the past or of someone in a poor country; Prank = a trick that is intended to be funny but not to cause harm or damage; Scion = a young member of a rich and famous family; Trick or treat = when children dress up in frightening or strange clothes on Halloween(= 31st October), especially in America and Canada, and visit people's homes to demand sweets or a small amount of money;
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Triduum = a series of special religious observances over a three-day period,in preparation for a great feast; Wreath = a circular band of flowers.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://en.wikipedia.org http://www.learnenglish.de http://www.projectbritain.com/ http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk http://holidaygirl.hubpages.com http://www.happywink.org http://www.afternoontea.co.uk http://dictionary.cambridge.org http://dictionary.reference.com

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