Holidays and traditions in english-speaking countries

: 9/13

It is not only children and members of the family that exchange presents nowadays. Advertising has widened this circle to include not only friends and distant relations, but also people you work with. An average English family sends dozens and dozens of Christmas cards, and gives and receive almost as many often practically useless presents. For people who are well off this entails no hardship, but it is no small burden for families with small budgets. Thus saving up for Christmas often starts months before the festival, and Christmas clubs have become national institution among the working class and lower-middle class. These are generally run by shopkeepers and publicans over period of about eight weeks or longer. Into these the housewives pay each week certain amount of money for their Christmas bird

Holidays and traditions in English speaking countries.

and joint, their Christmas groceries and so on, the husband as rule paying into the club run by the local pub, for the drinks.

As much of this spending is forced upon people and often means that family has to do without things they really need, it inevitably leads to resentment towards the

festival. Needless to say that it isnt the old customs and traditions that are to blame, but those who make huge profits out of the nationwide spending spree which they themselves had boosted beyond any reasonable proportion.

The Christmas Pantomime

pantomime is traditional English entertainment at Christmas. It is meant for children, but adults enjoy just as much. It is very old form of entertainment, and can be traced back to 16th century Italian comedies. Harlequin is character from these old comedies.

There have been lot of changes over the years. Singing and dancing and all kinds of jokes have been added; but the stories which are told are still fairy tales, with hero, heroine, and villian. Because they are fairy tales we do not have to ask who will win in the end! The hero always wins the beautiful princess, the fairy queen it triumphant and the demon king is defeated. In every pantomime there are always three main characters. These are the principal boy, the principal girl, and the dame. The principal boy is the hero and he is always played by girl. The principal girl is the heroine, who always marries the principal boy in the end. The dame is comic figure, usually the mother of the principal boy or girl, and is always played by man.

In addition, you can be sure there will always be good fairy and bad fairy perhaps an ogre or demon king.

Pantomimes are changing all the time. Every year, someone has new idea to make them more exciting or more up-to-date. There are pantomimes on ice, with all the actors skating; pantomimes with well-known pop singer as the principal boy or girl; or pantomimes with famous comedian from the English theatre as the dame. But the old stories remain, side by side with the new ideas.


This is the day when one visits friends, goes for long walk or just sits around recovering from too much food everything to eat is cold. In the country there are usually Boxing Day Meets (fox- hunting). In the big cities and towns tradition on that day demands visit to the pantomime, where once again one is entertained by the story of Cinderella, Puss in Boots or whoever it may be the story being protracted

Holidays and traditions in English speaking countries.

and elaborated into as many spectacular scenes as the producer thinks one can take at sitting.


One of the most important functions of the Citys eighty-four Livery Companies is the election of London's Lord Mayor at the Guildhall at 12 noon on Michaelmas Day (September 29th). The public are admitted to the ceremony. It provides one of the many impressive and colourful spectacles for which London is famed. The reigning Lord r and Sheriffs, carrying posies, walk in procession to the Guildhall and take their places on the dais, which is strewn with sweet-smelling herbs. The Recorder announces that the representatives of the Livery Companies have been called together to select two Aldermen for the office of Lord r of London. From the selected two, the Court of Aldermen will choose one. The r, Aldermen and other senior officials then withdraw, and the Livery select their two nominations. Usually the choice is unanimous, and the Liverymen all hold up their hands and shout All!. The Sergeant-at-Arms takes the mace from the table and, accompanied by the Sheriffs, takes the two names to the Court of Aldermen, who then proceed to select the Mayor Elect. The bells of the City ring out as the r and the Mayor Elect leave the Guildhall the state coach for the Mansion House.

: 1/05/2007