Holidays and traditions in english-speaking countries

: 8/13

Holidays and traditions in English speaking countries.

him to stay away from the House of Lords. On November 4 search was made of the parliament vaults, and the gunpowder was found, together with Guy Fawkes (1570 1606), an English Roman Catholic in the pay of Spain (which was making political capital out of Roman Catholics discontent in England). Fawkes had been commissioned to set off the explosion. Arrested and tortured he revealed the names of the conspirators, some of whom were killed resisting arrest. Fawkes was hanged. Detection of the plot led to increased repression of English Roman Catholics. The Plot is still commemorated by an official ceremonial search of the vaults before the annual opening of Parliament, also by the burning of Fawkes's effigy and the explosion of fireworks every Nov. 5.

Thanksgiving Day

Every year, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Families and friends get together for a big feast. It is a legal holiday in the US. Many people go to church in the morning and at home they have a big dinner with turkey. People gather to give the God thanks for all the good things in their lives.

Thanksgiving is the harvest festival. The celebration was held in 1621 after the first harvest in New England. In the end of 1620 the passengers from the Mayflower landed in America and started settling there. Only half of the people survived the terrible winter. In spring the Indians gave the settlers some seeds of Indian corn and the first harvest was very good. Later, Thanksgiving Days following harvest were celebrated in all the colonies of New England, but not on the same day. In October 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving. In 191, the US Congress Named fourth Thursday of November a Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day is a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed. Regular annual observance began in 1879. Since 1957 Thanksgiving Day has been observed on the second Monday in October.

St. Andrews Day

In some areas, such as Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Northamptonshire, St Andrew was regarded as the patron saint of lace-makers and his day was thus kept as a holiday, or tendering feast, by many in that trade. Thomas Sternberg, describing customs in mid-19th-century Northampton shire, claims that St Andrews Day Old Style (11 December) was a major festival day in many out of the way villages of the country: the day is one of unbridled license- a kind of carnival; village scholars bar out the master, the lace schools are deserted, and drinking and feasting prevail to a riotous extent. Towards evening the villagers walk about and masquerade, the women wearing mens dress and the men wearing female

Holidays and traditions in English speaking countries.

attire, visiting one anothers cottages and drinking hot Elderberry wine, the chief beverage of the season . In Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, a future of the day was the making and eating of Tandry Wigs. A strange belief reported Wright and Lones dedicate that wherever lilies of the valley grow wild the parish church is usually to St Andrew.


Christmas Day is observed on the 25th of December. In Britain this day was festival long before the conversion to Christianity. The English historian the Venerable Bede relates that the ancient peoples of Angli began the year on the 25th of December, and the very night was called in their tongue modranecht, that is mothers night. Thus it is not surprising that many social customs connected with the celebration of Christmas go back to pagan times, as, for instance, the giving of presents. Indeed, in 1644 the English puritans forbade the keeping of Christmas by Act of Parliament, on the grounds that it was heathen festival. At the Restoration Charles II revived the feast.

Though religion in Britain has been steadily losing ground and Christmas has practically no religious significance for the majority of the population of modern Britain, it is still the most widely celebrated festival in all its parts except Scotland. The reason for this is clear. With its numerous, often rather quaint social customs, it is undoubtedly the most colourful holiday of the year, and, moreover one that has always been, even in the days when most people were practising Christian, time for eating, drinking and making merry.

However, despite the popularity of Christmas, quite number of English people dislike this festival, and even those who seem to celebrate it wholeheartedly, have certain reservations about it. The main reason for this is that Christmas has become the most commercialized festival of the year. The customs and traditions connected with Christmas, for example giving presents and having real spree once year, made it an easy prey to the retailers, who, using modern methods of advertising, force the customer to buy what he neither wants nor, often, can reasonably afford.

: 1/05/2007