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Public holidays and celebrations - Реферат

Bank Holiday is also an occasion for big sports meetings at places like the White City Stadium, mainly all kinds of athletics. There are also horse rасe meetings all over the country, and most traditional of all, there are large fairs with swings, roundabouts, coconut shies, а Punch and Judy show, hoop-la stalls and every kind of side-show including, in recent years, bingo. These fairs are pitched on open spaces of common land, and the most famous of them is the huge one on Hampstead Heath near London. It is at Hampstead Heath you will see the Pearly Kings, those Cockney costers (street traders), who wear suits or frocks with thousands of tiny pearl buttons stitched all over them, also over their caps and hats, in case of their Queens. They hold horse and cart parades in which prizes are given for the smartest turn out. Horses and carts are gaily decorated. Many Londoners will visit Whipsnade Zoo. There is also much boating activity on the Thames, regattas at Henley and on other rivers, and the English climate being what it is, it invariably rains.

Happy Hampstead

August Bank Holiday would not be а real holiday for tens of thousands of Londoners without the Fair on Hampstead Heath!

Those who know London will know were to find the Heath – that vast stretch of open woodland which sprawls across two hills, bounded by Golders Green and Highgate to the west and east, and by Hampstead itself and Ken Wood to the south and north.

The site of the fair ground is near to Hampstead Heath station. From that station to the ground runs а broad road which is blocked with а solid, almost

Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.

immovable mass of humanity on those days when the fair is open. The walk is not morethan а quarter of а mile, but it takes an average of half-an hour to cover it when the crowd is at its thickest.

But being on that road is comfortable compared with what it is like inside the fair ground itself. Неге there are, hundreds of stalls arranged in broad avenues inside a huge square bounded by the caravans of the show people and the lorries containing the generating plants which provide the stalls with their electricity.

The noise is deafening. Mechanical bands and the cries of the "barkers" (the showmen who stand outside the booths and by the stalls shouting to the crowds to comeand try their luck are equalled by the laughter of the visitors and the din of machinery.

The visitors themselves are looking for fun, and they find it in full measure. There are fortune-tellers and rifle-ranges and "bumping cars", there are bowling alleys and dart boards and coconut shies. There is something for everybody.

And for the lucky ones, or for those with more skill than most, there are prizes — table lamps and clocks and а hundred and one other things of value.

А visit to the fair at Happy Hampstead is something not easily forgotten. It is noisy, it is exhausting — but it is as exhilarating an experience as any in the world.

HENRY WOOD

PROMENADE CONCERTS

"Ladies and gentlemen — the Proms!"

Amongst music-lovers in Britain — and, indeed, in very many other countries — the period between July and September 21 is а time of excitement, of anticipation, of great enthusiasm.

We are in the middle of the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts — the Proms.

London music-lovers are particularly fortunate, for those who are able to obtain tickets can attend the concerts in person. Every night at 7 о'clock (Sunday excepted) а vast audience assembled at the Royal Albert Hall rises for the playing and singing of the National Anthem. А few minutes later, when seats have been resumed, the first work of the evening begins.

But even if seats are not to be obtained, the important parts of the concerts can be heard — and are heard — by а very great number of people, because the ВВС broadcasts certain principal works every night throughout the season. The audience reached by this means is estimated to total several millions in Britain alone, and that total is probably equalled by the number of listeners abroad.

The reason why such а great audience is attracted is that the Proms present every year а large repertoire of classical works under the best conductors and with the best artists. А season provides an anthology of masterpieces.

Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.

The Proms started in 1895 when Sir Henry Wood formed the Queen's Hall Orchestra. The purpose of the venture was to provide classical music to as many people who cared to comeat а price all could afford to pay, those of lesser means being charged comparatively little — one shilling — to enter the Promenade, where standing was the rule.

The coming of the last war ended two Proms' traditions. The first was that in 1939 it was nо longer possible to perform to London audiences — the whole organization was evacuated to Bristol. The second was that the Proms couldn't return to the Queen's Hall after the war was over — the Queen's Hall had become а casualty of the air-raids (in 1941), and was gutted.

HALLOWEEN

Halloween means "holy evening" and takes place on October 31st. Although it is а much moreimportant festival in the USA than in Britain, it is celebrated by many people in the United Kingdom. It is particularly connected with witches and ghosts.

At parties people dress up in strange costumes and pretend they are witches. They cut horrible faces in potatoes and other vegetables and put а candle inside, which shines through their eyes. People play different games such as trying to eat an apple from а bucket of water without using their hands.

In recent years children dressed in white sheets knock on doors at Halloween and ask if you would like а "trick" or "treat". If you give them something nice, а "treat", they go away. However, if you don't, they play а "trick" on you, such as making а lot of noise or spilling flour on your front doorstep.

GUY FAWKES NIGHT (BONFIRE NIGHT) — NOVEMBER 5

Guy Fawkes Night is one of the most popular festivals in Great Britain. It commemorates the discovery of the so-called Gunpowder Plot, and is widely celebrated throughout the country. Below, the reader will find the necessary information concerning the Plot, which, as he will see, may never have existed, and the description of the traditional celebrations.

Gunpowder Plot. Conspiracy to destroy the English Houses of Parliament and King James I when the latter opened Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605. Engineered by а group of Roman Catholics as а protest against anti-Papist measures. In May 1604 the conspirators rented а house adjoining the House of Lords, from which they dug а tunnel to а vault below that house, where they stored 36 barrels of gunpowder. It was planned that when king and parliament were destroyed the Roman Catholics should attempt to seize power. Preparations for the plot had been completed when, on October 26, one of the conspirators wrote to а kinsman, Lord Monteagle, warning

Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.

him to stay away from the House of Lords. On November 4 а search was made of the parliament vaults, and the gunpowder was found, together with Guy Fawkes (1570 — 1606), an English Roman Catholic in the pay of Spain (which was making political capital out of Roman Catholics discontent in England). Fawkes had been commissioned to set off the explosion. Arrested and tortured he revealed the names of the conspirators, some of whom were killed resisting arrest. Fawkes was hanged. Detection of the plot led to increased repression of English Roman Catholics. The Plot is still commemorated by an official ceremonial search of the vaults before the annual opening of Parliament, also by the burningof Fawkes's effigy and the explosion of fireworks every Nov. 5.

Thanksgiving Day

Every year, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Families and friends get together for a big feast. It is a legal holiday in the US. Many people go to church in the morning and at home they have a big dinner with turkey. People gather to give the God thanks for all the good things in their lives.

Thanksgiving is the harvest festival. The celebration was held in 1621 after the first harvest in New England. In the end of 1620 the passengers from the Mayflower landed in America and started settling there. Only half of the people survived the terrible winter. In spring the Indians gave the settlers some seeds of Indian corn and the first harvest was very good. Later, Thanksgiving Days following harvest were celebrated in all the colonies of New England, but not on the same day. In October 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving. In 191, the US Congress Named fourth Thursday of November a Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day is a "day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed". Regular annual observance began in 1879. Since 1957 Thanksgiving Day has been observed on the second Monday in October.

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