Holidays and Traditions. Лексика для подготовки к экзамену 9-11 класс

Список слов №3. Национальные / религиозные / языческие праздники.  Public Holidays. Religious Holidays. Pagan Holidays

1.Remember the difference

  • holiday — 1. выходной день 2. праздник
  • festival — праздник
  • holidays – каникулы (мн.ч.)
  • vacation – каникулы (ед.ч.)
  • day off – выходной
  • family holiday – семейный праздник
  • religious holiday – религиозный праздник
  • public holiday = national holiday = state holiday – государственный праздник

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2.Main National and Religious (Pagan) Holidays of  Different Countires

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Hogmanay
  3. St. Valentine’s Day
  4. Pancake Day =Shrovetide
  5. Defender of Motherland Day  (23 февраля — День защитника отечества)
  6. Women’s Day
  7. St. Patrick’s Day
  8. Easter
  9. April Fool’s Day
  10. May Day
  11. Victory Day
  12. Independence Day
  13. Day of Knowledge
  14. Teacher’s Day
  15. Thanksgiving Day
  16. Guy Fawkes Night
  17. Halloween
  18. Christmas
  19. Boxing Day

3. Some information about the British holidays

  • The main holidays in Great Britain are New Year’s Day, Good Friday (Пятница на Страстной неделе), Easter Monday, Labour Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • Public holidays are called Bank Holidays because on these days banks, most of shops and offices are closed.
  • Besides public holidays the British people observe certain traditions on such days as Pancake Day, Guy Fawkes’ Night, St. Valentine’s Day, April Fool’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween which are ordinary working days.
  • Christmas is the main religious holiday in many countries. It is celebrated in Europe on the 25th of December, in Russia on the 7th of January. It is the day when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, though the actual date of his birth is not known.
  • Boxing Day (UK) is the next day after Christmas, when rich people give small presents in boxes to the servants, etc.
  • The New Year is not as widely celebrated as Christmas in Britain. Some people ignore it completely and go to bed at usual time. Others, however, do celebrate it in one way or another. The most common way of celebration is a New Year Party.
  • Hogmanay is the most popular holiday in Scotland, celebrated on the New Year’s Eve.
  • Easter is a very important festival in the Christian calendar. The Christians think that on the day of Easter Jesus Christ rose from dead. The actual date of Easter changes every year. The preparations for Easter really begin 40 days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday. This marks the beginning of a period of fasting, called Lent.
  • There are also local festivals all through the year. In spring village children dance round Maypole (Майское дерево). Maypole is an ancient emblem of the beginning of summer. In ancient times it was a pagan spring festival. A tall pole decorated with flowers, maypole, was erected to which ribbons were attached and held by the dancers.
  • Guy Fawkes Night (UK) is on November, 5. Guy Fawkes Night goes back to the days of King James I who was vary unpopular as a protestant. So some of the Catholics made an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The man who was to explode the building was Guy Fawkes. But he was discovered, arrested and hanged. Since that time people burn a straw dummy of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire on the 5th of November.

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4. Some information about the American holidays

  • National festivals in the USA are New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.
  • New Year’s Day is a national holiday, people make promises, for example, to give up smoking, to change their life. Ii is not so important as in Russia, very small presents are given.
  • New Year Resolution is a promise which many people make before New Year. Usually they  want to improve their behavior and to give up bad habits.
  • Valentine’s Day is on February, 14. It is not a national holiday, but the holiday of love and friendship. It is one of the most loved holidays. There are romantic cards and gifts for those who are in love. The most popular wish:” Be my Valentine!” There are also cards for wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, and even grandparents.
  • St. Patrick’s Day is on March, 17.  It was a religious holiday. Now everybody wears green this day. Former Irish holiday (the Irish believed that St. Patrick freed Ireland from snakes.) Day of fun and parades.
  • April Fool’s Day is on April, 1. No one is sure how April’s Fool day got started. Most countries seem to have a day when people play tricks on each other. Children specially like these days. Some people think that trick days begin in India. People there celebrate a spring holiday called Holi. A favourite trick on Holi is to fill a bamboo pipe with coloured powder and blow the powder at people. Sometimes children fill the pipe with water and squirt each other.
  • Mother’s Day (US), Father’s Day (US) are the days when the Americans thank their parents, give them flowers and presents. In the UK there is only Mother’s Sunday.
  • Good Friday is the Friday before Easter (страстная пятница). On that dat people eat hot cross buns.
  • Easter Sunday, Easter Monday. The symbol of the holiday is Easter Bunny who brings the eggs. The traditional presents coloured eggs and chocolate eggs.
  • Memorial Day (US) is the last day in May. It is a national holiday (since 1917) to remember the soldiers killed in battles.
  • Independence Day (US) is on July,4. This day the USA became independent from the United Kingdom in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was accepted.
  • Labour Day (US) is the day to honor all the workers.
  • Columbus Day (US) is on October, 12, 1492 Columbus discovered America. Now it is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
  • Thanksgiving Day (US) is on the 4th Thursday in November. It is a national holiday, family holiday. The first Europeans on American land wanted to thank God and the Native Americans for their help during their first winter which was cold and hungry. Traditional food is turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. The original celebration was held in 1621 after the first harvest in New England.
  • Halloween is on October, 31. It is not a national holiday. Children make costumes and go from house to house. They say “ Trick or treat ”. People give them tasty things.
  • Christmas is a national and religious holiday which is celebrated on December, 25. Santa Claus visits children and puts their presents into their stockings.
Describe the holiday. Your partner will guess.

5. Remember the holidays that are celebrated throughout the world:
1) New Year’s Day
2) St. Valentine’s Day
3) April Fool’s Day
4) Christmas
5) Easter

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6. Answer the questions:
1) What American holidays do you know?
2) What British holidays do you know?
3) What holidays are celebrated both in Russia and the USA / Great Britain?
4) What is your favourite Russian holiday?
5) What is more important for you: a day off or a celebration?
6) How is Christmas celebrated in Great Britain and in Russia?

You will find possible answers at the end of the post.

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To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate?

7. Read three opinions on that matter:

Phil’s opinion about celebrations: I don’t like any celebrations especially Christmas. It is getting more and more commercialized: some people spend lots of money on gifts, while others make lots of money selling gifts. My parents think that it is an old tradition. But I don’t understand the use of celebrating a holiday only because it is tradition. We can choose more interesting activities for holidays instead of sitting at the table with relations and discussing boring family problems. For me there is nothing like playing sports.

Sindy’s  opinion about celebrations: Celebrating? I’ve never thought about it. For me any holiday is just a day off. I don’t know if it is important for me what Guy Fawkes did or what evil spirits used o do. I don’t plan what to do. A day comes and my activities begin. There’s only one celebration that matters, it’s my birthday.

Helen’s  opinion about celebrations:  Celebrating is my joy. I like this perfect atmosphere. It takes time to make all the arrangements. But my favourite celebration is worth many efforts. The best moment is when the guests arrive. They are the people I love best. I greet them. They come to share the joy of the day. Their gifts make me think of the day again and again.

8. Answer the questions:

  1. What makes Phil dislike Xmas?
  2. What do his parents think about celebrations?
  3. What does he suggest instead of celebrating?
  4. What kind of person is Sindy, in your opinion?
  5. What kind of person is Helen, in your opinion?

9. Express your opinion: to celebrate or not to celebrate?

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Possible answers to the questions:

  1. They are New Year’s Day, Christmas, Independence Day.
  2. It is the New Year’s Day because we celebrate it with lots of tasty food and many presents. Besides, the winter vacation starts right after the holiday.
  3. As for me, I would rather …
  4. In Brtitain children gather in groups and go from house to house singing carols, traditional songs for Christmas.

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