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St. Patrick’s day One of the legend is devoted to the shamrock, a small clover bearing three leaves on one stem. It is said to have been used by St. Patrick. The shamrock has become the national emblem of Ireland, and it is traditional for the Irish people to decorate themselves with a little shamrock on Ireland’s national holiday, St. Patrick day (March 17).
The legend This legend goes to the times of the Viking raids. “The two boats were going faster and faster near Irish coast. But the boats of Heremon O’Neill was not so fast as the boat of the order chieftain. When the boats were quite near the land. O’Neill quickly cut off his right hand and threw it over to the land. His hand touched the land and he became the king of Ireland. That is how many people in Ireland explain a picture of a hand on the coat of arms of their country.”
The legend In very ancient times the Vikings (Norsemen) once landed some where on the east coast of Scotland, with the intention of plundering and settling in the country. The Scots assembled with their arms and took their stations behind the River Tay. As they arrived late in the day, weary and tired after a long march they pitched their camp and rested, not expecting the enemy before the next day.
Midsummer's day Midsummer's day, June 24th is the longest day of the year. On that day a very old custom at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England is observed. Stonehenge is one of the Europe's biggest stone circles that is 10 or 12 metres high. The earliest part of Stonehenge is approximately 5000 years old. The sun and the stones at Stonehenge let the Druids know when the months and seasons stary.On the morning of June 24th the sun shines on one famous stone – The Heel Stone, this is the most important moment of the year for the Druids. There are Druids in Britain today, too, and every June a lot of them attend Stonegenge.It is a strange, ancient, rare but still living custom.
Burns Night In South West Scotland you can follow the story of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet. He was born in Alloway in 1759. Scots the world over celebrate his birthday every year on the 25th of January. The celebration is called Burn’s Night. It’s held not only in Scotland, but also amongst British people living in other countries. The celebration usually takes the form of a supper called Burn’s Supper, at which traditional Scottish dishes are eaten. Often a Scottish piper plays traditional Scottish songs and wears the national costume which for men is a kilt. Burn’s poems are recited and after the meal is finished there may be some Scottish dancing. The best- known of these dances is the so- called Highland fling. It is usually danced by one man alone.
Auld Lang Syne (Song Lyrics) Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind ? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld Lang Syne! And surely we'll be your pint' stow, And surely I'll be mine, And we’ll take a cup o' kindness yet For auld Lang Syne! We two have run about the braes, And pound the gowns fine, But we've wander's monies a weary fit We two have pail's in the burn Froe morning sun till dine, But seas between us braid have roar's Sin' auld Lang Syne. And there's a hand, my trusty fierce, And gee 's a hand o' thane, And we'll take a right guid-willie weight For auld Lang Syne!
St. David’s Day – the Welsh national holiday St. David is the patron saint of Wales. He was a monk who lived on bread, water, herbs and leeks and died on March I, 583 AD. Nowadays, the leeks is worn on March I (St. David’s Day – the Welsh national holiday) and at international rugby matches ( the daffodil is also a Welsh national emblem because its Welsh name is translated as a type of leek).
New Year There is a funny tradition connected with the New Year : the First Foot. This is the first visitor to enter a house on New Year’s morning. Traditionally, the first visitor of the year must carry food, drink and coal into the house. Coal helps to make a fire in midwinter and there shall never be lack of food and drink during the coming year.
Eisteddfod festival An annual Welsh national bardic festival of music, literature and drama held during the first week of August. It has developed from the gatherings of bards held in the 12th century. It is conducted in Welsh and is open to the public. Its formal title is the Royal National Eisteddfod.
Legend There are places in the Country of Gwynedd connected with the well-known Welsh legends. A legend relates that centuries ago the sea burst the protecting wall and submerged a large part of the town including the church, and it is said that if you listen carefully, you will still hear the faint sound of the bells as they sway to and fro with the movement of the water.
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