Customs and traditions of Great Britain
Every nation and every country has its own traditions and customs.
Traditions make a nation special. Some of them are old-fashioned and
many people remember them, others are part of people’s life. Some
British customs and traditions are known all over the world: bowler
hats, tea and talking about the wether.
Englishmen have many traditional holidays, such as Christmas, St.
Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and others.
Britain is full of customs and traditions. A lot of them have very long
histories. Some are funny and some are strange. But they are all
interesting. There is the long menu of traditional British food. There
are many royal occasions. There are songs, saying and superstitions.
They are all part of the British way of life.
We can classify English traditions into several groups: traditions
concerning the Englishmen’s private life (child’s birth, wedding,
marriage, wedding anniversary), which are connected with families
incomes; state traditions; national holidays, religious holidays, public
festival, traditional ceremonies.
Here are some of them.
It is certain that Christmas is celebrated all over the world. Perhaps
no other holiday has developed a set of customs and symbols. This is the
day when many people are travelling home to be with their famillies on
Christmas Day, 25th December. The Christmas story comes from bible. An
angel appeared to shepherds and told them that a Savior had been born to
Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. Three Wise Men from the East
followed a wondrous star which led them to the baby Jesus to whome they
paid homage and presented gifts of gold, frankicense and myrrh. To
people all over the world, Christmas is a season of giving and receiving
presents. In Scandinavian and other European countries, Father
Christmas, or Saint Nicholas, comes into house at night and leaves gifts
for the children. Saint Nicholas is represented as a fidly man with a
red cloak and long white beard. He visited house and left giftes,
dringing people happiness in the coldest months of the year. Another
character, the Norse God Odin, rode on a magical flying horse across the
ages to make the present day Santa Claus.
For most British families, this is the most important festival of the
year, it combines the Christian celebration or the birth of Christ with
the traditional festivities of winter. On the Sunday before Christmas
many churches hold a carol service where special hymns are sung.
Sometimes carol-singers can be heard on the streets as they collect
money for charity. Most families decorate their houses with
brightly-coloured paper or holly, and they usually have a Christmas tree
in the corner or the front foom, glittering with coloured lights and
decorations. The Christmas tree was popularized by Prince Albert,
husband of Queen Victoria, who introduced one to the Royal Household in
1840. Since 1947, the country of Norway has presented Britain annually
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