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Traditions of English-speaking countries
The subject of my work is to study the customs and traditions of English-speaking countries. And I want to say that life in these countries is full of traditions and customs. Some of them are very beautiful, colorful and picturesque and it seems very reasonable; others - are curious, sometimes funny, sometimes there are only a tourist attraction. Many traditions have appeared a long time ago and have been for centuries, while others - appeared relatively recently. But some of them long outlived itself and become cumbersome and are only due to the well-known British conservatism. There are many traditions associated with historical events, the Parliament, the Court of university life, and traditions and customs that occur in everyday life. Approximately one third of the world's population speak English. For some, it is native, the other - because of historical circumstances, it became the second after the mother. In countries where English was introduced, it is distorted and transformed with the new for him, "living conditions", "adapted" to local customs and traditions, taking various dialectal forms. A similar thing happened with the native English tradition. In different areas they acquired their own interpretation and gradually changed and even to such an extent that the comparison is hardly possible to find similarities in the old English tradition and transformed One of the main traditions of the majority of the world is celebrating its national holiday. In France, Bastille Day, the United States - the Independence Day, in Germany two national holiday - Liberation Day and Republic Day. In our country - the Day of sovereignty. Introduction
Independence Day On July 4 the Americans celebrate their national holiday-independence Day. The United States gained independence as a result of gradual and painful process. By the mid 1700’s it became difficult for thirteen British colonies in the New World to be ruled by a kind 3000 miles across the ocean. The British Empire imposed high taxes upon the colonies. In 1774, the First Continental Congress drew up a list of grievances against the British crown. This document was the first draft of the document that would formally separate colonies from England. In 1755, the Revolutionary War began. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress presented a second draft of the list of grievances. On July 4 the Continental Congress approved the declaration of Independence. But the War of independence lasted until 1783. After the war Independence Day became an official holiday. On July 4, Americans have holiday from work. People have day-long picnic with favorite foods like hot dog, hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans. Lively music is heard everywhere. People play baseball or compete three-legged races or pie-eating or water-melon-eating contests. Some cities have parades with people dressed as the original founding fathers who march to the music of high school bands. In the evening people gather to watch firework displays. Wherever Americans are around the globe they will get together to celebrate Independence Day.
Sport Americans’ interest in sport seems excessive to many foreign visitors. Television networks spend millions of dollars arranging to telecast sport events. Publications about sports sell widely. In the US professional athletes can became national heroes. Sports are associated with educational institutions in a way is unique. High schools have coaches as faculty members, and school teams compete with each other. Nowhere else in the world are sports associated with colleges and universities in the way they are in the States. College sports, especially football, are conducted in an atmosphere of intense excitement and pageantry. Games between teams attract nationwide television audiences The sport that is most popular in most of the world-soccer-is not well known in the US. The most popular sports are football and baseball, games that are not played in large number of countries. Spots play such an important role in American life that the sociology of sport, sport medicine, and sport psychology have become respectable specializations. Many Americans jog every day, or play tennis or bridge two or three times a week. They go on ski trips and hunting expeditions that require weeks of planning and organizing. In Americans’ view, all these activities are worth the discomfort they may cause because they contribute to health and physical fitness. That is probably why Americans are known as a healthy nation. Americans are very fond of sport. The most popular sports in USA are football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. American football derives from the English game of rugby. It started at Harvard University in the1870’s. It is a game for two teams of eleven men on field. The object of the game is to have control of the ball and to score points by carrying it across the goal-line. Baseball is a team game derived from the English game of cricket. It is played with a bat and ball by two teams of nine players each, on a field with four bases. Baseball is the national game in the USA and it is very popular in Canada too. Basketball is a game which nowadays is popular all over the world. It was invented in 1891. During the ‘20s the first US league championship was organized. In the ‘70s the American Championship was divided into two leagues: the ABA (American Basketball Association), which does not exist any longer and which played with a blue, red and white ball and NBA (National Basketball Association). The NBA is a professional league which still plays. There are more activities which Americans take part in such as golf, swimming, tennis, aerobics, wrestling, etc.
Halloween Halloween is a festival that takes place on October 31. In the us children wear costumes and masks and go trick-or-treating. Many of them carve jack-o’-lantens out of pumpkins. Fortunetelling and storytelling about ghosts and witches are popular activities. Halloween developed from new year festivals and festivals of the dead. Christian church established a festival on November 1 called All Saints’ Day so that people could continue to celebrate their festivals. The Mass said on All Saints’ Day was called Allhallowmass. The day before All Saints Day was known all hallows Eve or Halloween. The main Halloween activity for children is trick-or-treating. Children dress in costumes and masks and go from door to door saying “trick or treat”. The neighbors give children such treats as candy, fruit and pennies so that children do not play tricks on them. Jack-o’-lanterns are hallowed-out pumpkins with face carved into one side. Most jack-o-lanterns contain a cantle inside. An Irish legend says that jack-o’-lanterns are named after the man called jack. He could not enter heaven because he was a miser, and he could not enter hell because he had played jokes on devil. As a result, Jack has to walk on the earth with his lantern until Judgment Day. Fortunetelling an important part of Halloween. For example, a coin, a ring, and thimble were baked into a cake. It was believed that the person who found the ring would marry soon. And the person who found the thimble would never get married. Today people practice cardreading or palmistry. People once believed that there were many ghosts and witches on the Earth and that they met on October 31 to worship the devil. Today, people do not believe in ghosts and witches but they like to tell stories about them on Halloween.
Thanksgiving Almost in every culture in the world there is a celebration of thanks for rich harvest. The American Thanksgiving began as a feast of thanksgiving almost four hundred years ago. In 1620, a religious community sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World. They settled in what is now known as the state of Massachusettes. Their first winter in America was difficult. They arrived too late to grow a rich harvest. Moreover, half the colony died from disease. The following spring the Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow corn. Indians showed them also how to grow other crops and how to hunt and fish. In the autumn of 1621 they got a beautiful harvest of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so they planned a feast. Local Indian chief and ninety Indians were present. The colonists learned from Indians how to cook cranberries and dishes of corn and pumpkins. In following years many of the colonists celebrated the harvest with a feast of thanks. After the United States gained independence, Congress recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving for the whole country. Later George Washington suggested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day. Than, after the civil war, Abraham Lincoln suggested the last Thursday in November to be the day of thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day, family members gather at the house of an older relative, even if they far away. All give thanks for everything good they have. Charitable organizations offer traditional meal to homeless. Foods, eaten at the first thanksgiving, have become traditional. The traditional thanksgiving meal consists of roast turkey stuffed with herb-flavored bread, cranberry jelly, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. Other dishes may vary as to region: ham, sweet potatoes, creamed corn.
Christmas Christmas is Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For millions of Christmas throughout the world it is the happiest and the busiest time of the year. No one knows the exact date of Christ’s birth but most Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25. The world Christmas comes from Christes maesse, an early English phrase that means Mass of Christ. People of different countries celebrate Christmas in various ways. People in the United States and Canada decorate their homes with Christmas trees, wreaths and ornaments. City streets are filled with colored lights; the sound of bells and Christmas carols can be heard everywhere. Children write letters to Santa Claus and tell him what presents they would like to get. Many department stores hire people to a Santa Claus costume and listen to children’s requests. People send Christmas cards to relatives and friends. Many companies give presents to their employees. A Christmas tree is one of the main symbols of Christmas in most homes. Relatives and friends may join in trimming the tree with lights, tinsel, and colorful ornaments. Presents are placed under the tree. On Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, families open their presents. Many children believe that Santa Claus arrives on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and brings present. Some children hang up stockings so Santa Claus can fill them with candy, fruits and other small gifts.
Valentine’s Day There are several legends about St. Valentine’s Day. One of the legends says that Valentine was Christian pries who lived in the 3 century A.D. he was put into prison by roman authorities for his teachings and was beheaded on February cured his jailer’s daughter of her blindness. Before the execution he wrote her a letter signed “From Your Valentine”. Another legend says that the same Valentine wrote to children and friends who loved him from the jail. According to another legend, Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived at about the same time. He was thrown into prison because he secretly married couples, contrary to the laws of the Roman Empire. The legend says that he was burnt at the stake. February 14 was also a Roman holiday. On this day young men randomly chose the name of the girl to escort to the festival. The custom of choosing a sweetheart on this day became very popular in the medieval Europe. Later this custom spread to American colonies. Now, St. Valentine’s Day is the day of sweethearts. On this day, people show their friends relatives and loved ones that they care. People send candy of flowers to those whom they love. Most people send “valentines”, greeting cards named after St. Valentine’s letters written from jail. Valentines can be sentimental and romantic, or funny and friendly. Valentines can be anonymous. Valentines can be heard-shaped or can carry hearts on them. People buy valentines or make them themselves.
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Traditions of English-speaking countries
The subject of my work is to study the customs and traditions of English-speaking countries. And I want to say that life in these countries is full of traditions and customs. Some of them are very beautiful, colorful and picturesque and it seems very reasonable; others - are curious, sometimes funny, sometimes there are only a tourist attraction. Many traditions have appeared a long time ago and have been for centuries, while others - appeared relatively recently. But some of them long outlived itself and become cumbersome and are only due to the well-known British conservatism. There are many traditions associated with historical events, the Parliament, the Court of university life, and traditions and customs that occur in everyday life.
Approximately one third of the world's population speak English. For some, it is native, the other - because of historical circumstances, it became the second after the mother. In countries where English was introduced, it is distorted and transformed with the new for him, "living conditions", "adapted" to local customs and traditions, taking various dialectal forms.
A similar thing happened with the native English tradition. In different areas they acquired their own interpretation and gradually changed and even to such an extent that the comparison is hardly possible to find similarities in the old English tradition and transformed
One of the main traditions of the majority of the world is celebrating its national holiday. In France, Bastille Day, the United States - the Independence Day, in Germany two national holiday - Liberation Day and Republic Day. In our country - the Day of sovereignty.
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