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Korobeinikova Natalia Alexeevna МОУ «Гимназия №21»г.Электросталь Strange British Customs
Great Britain is famous for its sightseeing and traditions. Sometimes we think that we know almost everything about this country. But if we look closer we can find lots of amazing and curious facts. Through its history many strange traditions and festivals appeared. I would like to mention just a few of them.
Parade of the Apple Cart One of the strange events is the Egremont Crab Fair. It started in the 13th century when the Lord of Manor gave crab apples to poor people. The tradition continuous to our days. The fair enters with the Parade of Apple Cart.
It’s a very old event In 1267 King Henry III ordered the Lord of Egremont to hold an annual market for a week in September, after the harvesting time. Through the history the fair was reduced to 1 day. King Henry III Lord of Egremont
Pole climbing Greasy pole climbing is one of the interesting events of the fair. The winner is the strongest person who can reach the top of the pole and get the prize.
Different competitions Other events of the Crab Fair are pipe smoking, cumberland wrestling, street racing, hound dog trail etc
Gurning The rules of the gurning competition are simple: competitors put their heads through a horse collar and create the ugliest, funniest and the most frightening faces. False teeth may be left in or taken out. The people choose the funniest winner. Gurning is a British term, which refers to the pulling of grotesque faces. It has become a competitive activity.
Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill takes its name from the hill where it occurs. The hill is very steep. That’s why many people get injured. The idea of Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill is “20 young men chase a cheese off a cliff…….. To the bottom of the hill. Where doctors take many of them to the hospital…” Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill
Egremont Crab Fair isn’t the only one strange event. Bog snorkelling is one of odd competitions. It makes us change our opinion about Brits as a strict nation. Sometimes they enjoy mad events. Participants dive into a bog, wearing goggles, a pair of flippers and a snorkel. The participants come from all over the world and raise money for chairty. Bog Snorkelling
Many people get worms from the ground and use them as a bait for fishing. But there are also those who do it as a sort of sport. It’s become an annual competition since 1980. The first man who invented the event was Tom Shufflebotham. He charmed 511 worms from the ground in 30 minutes. There are 18 rules. These are a few of them. Each competitor competes in the 3x3 meters area. Music of any kind can be used to charm the worms. No drugs can be used. Water is a drug. Worm Charming
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.
Balloon Fiesta Every August England celebrates the biggest hot air balloon festival in Europe. The festival takes place in Bristol. It is called the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. The festival was founded 25 years ago. It began in 1978 when Don Cameron, owner of the world's largest balloon manufacturer, Cameron Balloons. Balloonists from all over the world come there. But the success of the event depends on the weather.
Nettle-eating There's a nettle-eating contest in Britain every year. The contestants try to eat as many nettles as they can. There are 65 competitors. They try to eat as much nettle as they can. The winner is crowned the King of the Stingers. In a sunny garden in deepest Dorset yesterday 65 people – their faces rigid with pain and disgust – gathered in a quest to be crowned the King of the Stingers. Smart competitors squash the leaves into tight little balls which they try to swallow. The problems begin when the nettles start to back up in the mouth and ... arrrrrgh!
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.' He looks at all the young swans and marks the royal ones.
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.
Highland game In the 11th century, Scottish King Malcolm III organised contests in a Scottish village called Braemar to find the strongest and fastest men in his kingdom. Those who were the strongest became the king's bodyguards and those who were the fastest became his messengers. The Highland Games were very spectacular and many people came to Braemar when the contest was held. Some wanted to take part, others just came as visitors.
It’s great fun to take part in such extraordinary events. We hope once you’ll be able to visit some of them.