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Christmas and New Year in Great Britain
Customs and traditions Every country has its own customs and traditions. English people are proud of their traditions and they keep them up. It is difficult to speak about England without speaking about its holidays.
Christmas All English people celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. What kind of holiday is it? It is the yearly celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas This holiday means the beginning of the new year and the new life.
Christmas English people celebrate this festival with evergreen tree – the fir - tree. Children posting Christmas stockings near their beds, and Santa Claus is coming through the pipe to bring them gifts.
Christmas Christmas Day is the greatest holiday in England. It is interesting to visit the shops before this holiday. There are a lot of nice Christmas cards and presents there.
Christmas English people like this holiday very much and prepare for it beforehand. They buy presents for each other, try to send Christmas cards for their relatives and friends.
Christmas It is interesting to visit London during this holiday. There is a Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. One can see many lights, toys and sweets all over this tree.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Everywhere you can see slogans "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!».
In Wales In Wales, the back door releases the Old Year at the first stroke of midnight, it is then locked "to keep the luck in", and at the last stroke the New-Year is let in at the front.
New Year's Day It is commonly believed that New Year's Day is less important in England than Christmas. It is true in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
New Year However, even there, the welcoming of the New Year is growing in popularity, particularly among younger people who prefer to spend Christmas with kin, but New Year with friends. New Year's parties go all night through.
New Year The most famous places of festivities are Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square in London where crowds of people greet the New Year with the linked-arm singing of "Old Lang Syne", kissing total strangers, blowing whistles and automobile horns and shooting firecrackers.
January 1st Unfortunately for all these midnight celebrators, January 1st is not a public holiday in England.
In Scotland In Scotland, New Years celebration is the greatest festival of the year, where it even has a special name, Hogmanay. Nobody, however, can successfully explain where this word comes from.
After midnight After midnight, people visit their friends. They bring cakes to wish the owners good year.
The first visitor The first visitor should bring a special gift - a piece of coal, and to wish good luck to the house and heat. It's an old Scottish tradition.
White bread The first footer may also bring a loaf of white bread. On entering he must place the coal on the fire, put the loaf on the table, all normally without speaking or being spoken to until he wishes everyone "A Happy New Year“.
Silver coin He may also carry a silver coin to wish wealth.
Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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