Holidays and traditions in english-speaking countries

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the husband or children take her breakfast in bed and they often help with the meals and the washing up. It is considered to be mothers day off.

St. Patricks Day

It is not a national holiday. Its an Irish religious holiday. St. Patrick is the patron of Ireland. Irish and Irish Americans celebrate the day. On the day they decorate their houses and streets with green shamrocks and wear something green. In large cities long parades march through the streets. Those who arent Irish themselves also wear green neckties and hair ribbons and take part in the celebration.

ESTER

During the Easter Holidays the attention of the progressive people in Great Britain and indeed throughout the world is riveted first and foremost on the Easter Peace Marches, which took place for the first time in 1958 and have since become traditional. The people who participate in these marches come from different sections of society. Alongside workers and students march university professors, doctors, scientists, and engineers. More often than not the columns are joined by progressive people from abroad.

The character of the marches has changed over the years. The high-point was reached in the early sixties; this was followed by a lapse in enthusiasm when attendance fell off during the middle and late sixties. More recent years have seen a rise in the number of people attending the annual Easter March, as global problems have begun to affect the conscience of a broader section of the English population.

Londons Easter Parade

London greets the spring, and its early visitors, with a truly spectacular Easter Parade in Battersea Park on Easter Sunday each year. It is sponsored by the London Tourist Board and is usually planned around a central theme related to the history and attractions of London. The great procession, or parade, begins at 3 p. m., but it is

Holidays and traditions in English speaking countries.

advisable to find a vantage-point well before that hour. The parade consists of a great many interesting and decorated floats, entered by various organizations in and outside the metropolis. Some of the finest bands in the country take part in the parade. At the rear of the parade is usually the very beautiful Jersey float, created from thousands of lovely spring blooms and bearing the Easter Princess and her attendants. It is an afternoon to remember.

APRIL FOOLS DAY

April Fools Day or All Fools Day, named from the custom of playing practical jokes or sending friends on fools errands, on April 1st. Its timing seems related to the vernal equinox, when nature fools mankind with sudden changes from showers to sunshine. It is a season when all people, even the most dignified, are given an excuse to play the fool. In April comes the cuckoo, emblem of simpletons; hence in Scotland the victim is called cuckoo or gowk, as in the verse: On the first day of April, Hunt the gowk another mile. Hunting the gowk was a fruitless errand; so was hunting for hens teeth, for a square circle or for stirrup oil, the last-named proving to be several strokes from a leather strap.

May Day in Great Britain

As May 1st is not a public holiday in Great Britain, May Day celebrations are traditionally held on the Sunday following it, unless, of course, the 1st of May falls on a Sunday. On May Sunday workers march through the streets and hold meetings to voice their own demands and the demands of other progressive forces of the country. The issues involved may include demands for higher wages and better working conditions, protests against rising unemployment, demands for a change in the Governments policy, etc.

May Spring Festival

The 1st of May has also to some extent retained its old significance that of pagan spring festival. In ancient times it used to be celebrated with garlands and flowers, dancing and games on the village green. Maypole was erected a tall pole wreathed with flowers, to which in later times ribbons were attached and held by the dancers. The girls put on their best summer frocks, plaited flowers in their hair and round their waists and eagerly awaited the crowning of the May Queen. The most beautiful girl was crowned with garland of flowers. After this great event was dancing, often Morris dancing, with the dancers dressed in fancy costume, usually

Holidays and traditions in English speaking countries.

representing characters in the Robin Hood legend. May-Day games and sports were followed by refreshments in the open.

This festival was disliked by the Puritans and suppressed during the Commonwealth, 1649 60. After the Restoration it was revived but has gradually almost died out. However, the Queen of May is still chosen in most counties, and in mn villages school Maypoles are erected around which the children dance. The famous ceremony of the meeting of the 1st of May still survives at Oxford, in Magdalen College. At 6 oclock in the morning the college choir gathers in the upper gallery of the college tower to greet the coming of the new day with song.

: 1/05/2007