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Great Britain: a Country of Traditions Just like families have their own traditions so do the countries. It’s common knowledge that the British are lovers of traditions. A whole year, each season in Britain is connected with various colourful traditions, customs and festivals.
May Day. May 1st was an important day in the Middle ages, the celebration of summer’s beginning. For that day people decorated houses and streets with branches of trees and flowers. In the very early morning young girls went to the fields and washed their faces with dew. They believed this made them beautiful for a year after that. Also on May Day the young men of each village tried to win prizes with their bows and arrows. People put a striped maypole decorated with flowers and danced round it. Some English villages still have maypole dancing on May 1st.
The Trooping of the Colour. The Queen is the only person in Britain with two birthdays. Her real birthday is on April 21st, but she has an "official" birthday, too. That's on the second Saturday in June. And on the Queen's official birthday, there is a traditional ceremony called the Trooping of the Colour. It's a big parade with brass bands and hundreds of soldiers at Horse Guards' Parade in London. The Queen's soldiers, the Guards, march in front of her. At the front of the parade is the flag or "colour". The Guards are trooping the colour. Thousands of Londoners and visitors watch Horse Guards' Parade. And millions of people at home watch it on television. Summer holidays
Swan Upping. Here's a very different royal tradition. On the River Thames there are hundreds of swans. A lot of these beautiful white birds belong, traditionally, to the King or Queen. In July the young swans on the Thames are about two months old. Then the Queen's swan keeper goes, in a boat, from London Bridge to Henley (a town on the Thames). He looks at all the young swans and marks the royal ones. The name of this custom is Swan Upping.
Highland Games. In summer Scottish people traditionally meet together for competitions called Highland Games. After Queen Victoria visited the games at Braemar in 1848, the Braemar games became the most famous tradition in Scotland. Today thousands of visitors come to see sports like tossing the caber (when a tall pole is thrown into the air as a test of strength) or throwing the hammer. The games always include Scottish dancing and bagpipe music.
The State Opening of Parliament. Parliament controls modern Britain. But traditionally the Queen opens Parliament every autumn. She travels from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament in a gold carriage — the Irish State Coach. At the Houses of Parliament the Queen sits on a throne in the House of Lords. Then she reads the Queen's Speech. At the State Opening of Parliament the Queen wears a crown and crown jewels. Autumn holidays
Guy Fawkes Day. November 5th is Guy Fawkes Day in Britain. All over the country people build wood fires, or "bonfires", in their gardens. On top of each bonfire is a guy. That is a figure of Guy Fawkes. He was one of a band of conspirators who wanted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I and his ministers. However, the plot failed, Fawkes was caught on the 5th of November 1605. The conspirators were executed and Britain has celebrated Guy Fawkes night since then. Before November 5th, children use their guys to make money. They stand in the street and shout "Penny for the guy". Then they spend the money on fireworks.
Up-Helly-Aa. The Shetlands are islands near Scotland. In the ninth century the Vikings from Norway came to the Shetlands. They came to Britain in ships and took away gold, animals and sometimes people. Now, 1000 years later, people in the Shetlands remember the Vikings with the festival, which they call " Up-Helly -Aa". Every winter people of Zerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands, make a model of a Viking longship with the head of a dragon at the front. Then, on Up-Helly-Aa night in January, the Shetlanders dress in Viking clothes and carry the ship through the town to the sea and burn it there. The festival is a party for the people of the Shetland Islands. Winter holidays
Carol Singing. Originally, carols were songs performed with dancing at Christmas and other festivals. They were often sung outside houses by fantastically-dressed actors called Mummers. Many of today's carols have been written since the 19th century as Christmas hymns celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Используемые материалы: О.В.Афанасьева, И.В. Михеева "ENGLISH VII"; Просвещение, 2013г. https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=trooping%20the%20colour%20 https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=up-helly-aa https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=highland%20games https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=May%20day https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=Snt%20David%27s%20day https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=guy%20fawkes%20day https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=Carol%20singing
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