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Holidays in Great Britain
Holidays in Great Britain There are many holidays in Great Britain. They are Christmas day, Boxing Day, New Year's day, Easter, May Day, Spring bank holiday and Summer bank holiday. Public holidays in Great Britain are called bank holidays because the banks as well as most of the offices and shops are closed. The most popular holiday is Xmas.
Christmas In Great Britain the hustle and bustle of the season begins well before Christmas and there is barely anytime for a break until the Twelfth night. There is preparation going on of foods, the sending of Christmas cards, the decorating of houses and churches, and the readying of gifts keep everyone busy even the youngest family members. On Christmas Eve youngsters hang up their stockings on the ends of the beds or by the chimney so that when Father Christmas comes he can leave them something. On Christmas morning the family traditionally opens their presents and prepares for a big feast which typically is served just after midday.
New Year In Britain New Year in Britain is celebrated on January 1, the first day of the first month as per the Gregorian Calendar. This day was officially declared as New Year’s Day in 1752. The First-Foot A very old custom of “first footing” is still followed in Britain. “First foot” is the first person to cross the threshold of a home on New Year’s Day and a bringer of good fortune for the coming year. Preferably the male visitor would be a young, handsome, dark-haired, healthy male. A blonde, a red-haired or a woman are not allowed to enter the house first as they are supposed to bring bad luck. This is because a dark-haired man in ancient times would have been regarded as a fellow Scotsman, and therefore to be deemed safe, whereas a fair haired or red headed man could have been a Viking and therefore potentially a dangerous enemy.
Halloween In Great Britain everyone wants to welcome the friendly spirits so special soul-cakes for them. When children in costumes called upon their neighbors' homes on Hallowe'en they would be given soul-cakes too! In some parts of Britain Hallowe'en in the past was known as Mischief Night. It was a night for mischief making. People would take the doors off their hinges on this night. The doors were also often thrown into ponds, or taken a long way away. In England it is said that elves road on the backs of the villagers' cats. The cats had fun but the villagers did not and would lock their cats up so that the elves could not catch them. Children were told not to sit in the circles of yellow and white flowers were fairies have danced as they may be stolen by the fairies. It was also bad to sit under the hawthorn tree because the fairies loved to dance on them and if they saw them their tempers would be prickled. In England the black cat was considered to be good luck were as a white cat was considered to be bad luck. In England children make "punkies " out of large beets. They cut out a design of their choice into the beet. Then they carry them through the streets and sing the Punkie Night Song. They knock on doors and ask for money. In some parts of England turnip Lanterns are place on gateposts to protect homes from the spirits.