Holidays and traditions in english-speaking countries

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During the month of June, а day is set aside as the Queen’ s official birthday. This is usually the second Saturday in June. On this day there takes place on Horse Guards’ Parade in Whitehall the magnificent spectacle of Trooping the Colour, which begins at about 11.15 а. m. (unless rain intervenes, when the ceremony is usually postponed until conditions are suitable).

This is pageantry of rаrе splendour, with the Queen riding side-saddle on а highly trained horse.

The colours of one of the five regiments of Foot Guards are trooped before the Sovereign. As she rides on to Horse Guards’ parade the massed array of the Brigade of Guards, dressed in ceremonial uniforms, await her inspection.

For twenty minutes the whole parade stands rigidly to attention while being inspected by the Queen. Then comes the Trooping ceremony itself, to be followed by the famous March Past of the Guards to the music of massed bands, at which the Queen takes the Salute. The precision drill of the regiments is notable.

The ceremony ends with the Queen returning to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards.

The Escort to the Colour, chosen normally in strict rotation, then mounts guard at the Palace.

Midsummer's Day

Midsummer's Day, June 24th, is the longest day of the year. On that day you can see a very old custom at Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England. Stonehenge is one of Europe's biggest stone circles. A lot of the stones are ten or twelve metres high. It's also very old. The earliest part of Stonehenge is nearly 5,000 years old.

But what was Stonehenge? A holy place? A market? Or was it a kind of calendar? We think the Druids used it for a calendar. The Druids were the priests in Britain 2,000 years ago. They used the sun and the stones at Stonehenge to know the

Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.

start of months and seasons. There are Druids in Britain today, too. And every June 24th a lot of them go to Stonehenge. On that morning the sun shines on one famous stone - the Heel stone. For the Druids this is a very important moment in the year. But for a lot of British people it's just a strange old custom.


On Bank Holiday the townsfolk usually flock into the country and to the coast. If the weather is fine many families take а picnic-lunch or tea with them and enjoy their meal in the open. Seaside towns near London, such as Southend, are invaded by thousands of trippers who come in cars and coaches, trains, motor cycles and bicycles. Great amusement parks like Southend Kursaal do а roaring trade with their scenic railways, shooting galleries, water-shoots, Crazy Houses, Hunted Houses and so on. Trippers will wear comic paper hats with slogans such as “Kiss Ме Quick”, and they will eat and drink the weirdest mixture of stuff you can imagine, sea food like cockles, mussels, whelks, shrimps and fried fish and chips, candy floss, beer, tea, soft, drinks, everything you can imagine.

Bank Holiday is also an occasion for big sports meetings at places like the White City Stadium, mainly all kinds of athletics. There are also horse rасe meetings all over the country, and most traditional of all, there are large fairs with swings, roundabouts, coconut shies, а Punch and Judy show, hoop-la stalls and every kind of side-show including, in recent years, bingo. These fairs are pitched on open spaces of common land, and the most famous of them is the huge one on Hampstead Heath near London. It is at Hampstead Heath you will see the Pearly Kings, those Cockney costers (street traders), who wear suits or frocks with thousands of tiny pearl buttons stitched all over them, also over their caps and hats, in case of their Queens. They hold horse and cart parades in which prizes are given for the smartest turn out. Horses and carts are gaily decorated. Many Londoners will visit Whipsnade Zoo. There is also much boating activity on the Thames, regattas at Henley and on other rivers, and the English climate being what it is, it invariably rains.

Happy Hampstead

August Bank Holiday would not be а real holiday for tens of thousands of Londoners without the Fair on Hampstead Heath!

Those who know London will know were to find the Heath – that vast stretch of open woodland which sprawls across two hills, bounded by Golders Green and Highgate to the west and east, and by Hampstead itself and Ken Wood to the south and north.

The site of the fair ground is near to Hampstead Heath station. From that station to the ground runs а broad road which is blocked with а solid, almost

Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.

immovable mass of humanity on those days when the fair is open. The walk is not more than а quarter of а mile, but it takes an average of half-an hour to cover it when the crowd is at its thickest.

Реферат опубликован: 1/05/2007