Getting to know main British holidays
Read the texts (1-7) and complete the texts with the appropriate name of a holiday(A-F).
St Valentine is the patron saint of lovers, and on 14th February young men and women declare their feelings for each other sending cards. Some people go to great lengths to disguise their handwriting in order to maintain their anonymity. Many people hope for cards (valentines) on ______________ and failure to receive any can cause great disappointment.
_______________ falls three weeks before Easter Sunday. On this day mother is awarded for all her work looking after the house and family. Her husband and children usually buy her a card and a small gift, and traditionally bring her breakfast in bed. Sometimes she will also be taken out for lunch.
Normally called _______________ is a day when you can light-heartedly make fools of your family, friends and colleagues by playing tricks on them. People send messages intended to mislead, offer fake food, create realistic-looking blood stains and so on. The joke must be received or believed by midday.
At _____________, the British celebrate the idea of new birth by giving each other chocolate ___________ eggs. Tradition says that these eggs are delivered by the __________Bunny (rabbit) and children like to hunt for small eggs concealed around the house. Fish is traditionally eaten on Good Friday and __________ Cake is an iced fruit cake with a marzipan ring on the top.
The name _____________ means “holy evening”. According to folklore, on this night – 31 October – witches and evil spirits roam the country. These days, people dress up as witches and ghosts and have parties. They cut horrible faces in pumpkins and put a candle inside, which shines through the eyes. Children also play “trick-or-treat” on their neighbours, going from door to door and playing a harmless but slightly unpleasant trick on anyone who refuses to give them a sweet or other gift.
In 1605 a group of Catholic conspirators, led by ___________, attempted to blow up the Protestant Parliament of King James I. On 5 November the so-called “Gunpowder Plot” was discovered. Fawkes and his associates were caught and later burnt at the stake. On this day children make a “guy” – a dummy of ___________ – and burn it on a bonfire, and let off fireworks.
Most people in Britain see ____________ as the major festival of the year – an occasion for parties, giving and receiving gifts, eating and drinking, and generally having fun. On __________ Eve, children hang stockings over the fireplace. They are told that Father ___________ or Santa Clause, arrives at night from the North Pole, climbs down the chimney and fills each stocking with presents. The children open their presents on ___________ morning. Lunch is the most important point of ____________ Day. The tradition lunch consists of roast turkey with vegetables, followed by ____________ pudding, which is made with dried fruit and brandy.
Guy Fawkes Day
St. Valentine`s Day
April Fools` Day
Answer the following questions.
When is St. Valentine`s Day celebrated? Why do people try to change their handwriting?
Does Mother`s Day on a specific date? How are Mums treated on this say?
What do people do to fool their friends on the 1st April? What`s the essential condition for April Fools` Day tricks?
What are the main symbols of Easter in Britain?
When is Halloween? What believes about Halloween exist? In what way do people celebrate this holiday?
Who was Guy Fawkes? What traditions do children follow on this day?
What`s the major celebration in Great Britain? What are traditional Christmas activities? Watch the media presentation and discuss the questions given in the end. Choose the topic for the report and prepare the talk on the following topic. Ask 5 questions to check your groupmates.