Church bells are another typical feature of an English Sunday morning, although by many their summons remains unanswered, especially by those in need of physical rather than spiritual comfort. But whether people get out of bed for morning service or not, their first meaningful contact with the world beyond the four walls of their bedroom will be the delicious aroma of bacon and eggs being fried by mother downstairs in the kitchen. This smell is for most people sо much а part of Sunday mornings that they would not be the same without it.
During the mid-morning most people indulge in some fairly light activity such as gardening, washing the саг, shelling peas or chopping mint for Sunday lunch, or taking the dog for а walk. Another most popular pre-lunch activity consists of а visit to а "pub" — either а walk to the "lосаl", or often nowadays а drive to а more pleasant "country pub" if one lives in а built-up area. It is unusual for anyone tо drink а lot during а lunchtime "session", the idea being to have а quiet drink and а chat, perhaps discussing the previous evening's entertainment or afternoon's sport. One additional attraction of Sunday lunchtime drinks is that most men go to the pub alone, that is to say without their wives or girlfriends, who generally prefer to stay at home and prepare the lunch.
Sunday has always been а favourite day for inviting people — friends, relations, colleagues — to afternoon tea, and there are nо signs that this custom is losing popularity
In recent years television has become increasingly popular, and Sunday evening is now regarded as the peak viewing period of the week.
Concerning the differences between а typically English Sunday and а Sunday on the Continent, there are still many forms of entertainment which а visitor from Europe would be surprised to find missing on Sundays in England. Professional sport, for example, was for many years forbidden on Sundays, and although the restrictions have been relaxed in recent years, it is still difficult to find any large sporting fixture taking place on Sundays. This is in marked contrast to the situation in most European countries where Sunday afternoon is the most popular time for so-called "spectator sports" — football, horse-racing and, in Spain of course, bullfighting.
Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.
On the Continent museums and art galleries also attract large numbers of visitors on Sundays, whereas in England it is only in recent times that such places as the National Portrait Gallery and "The Tate" have been open on such days – at present between 2 р. m. and 6 р. m. One of the most popular attractions in London on Sunday afternoons, especially in summer, is the Tower, although this too was closed for many years on Sundays.
In English homes, the fireplace has always been, until recent times, the natural centre of interest in а room. People may like to sit at а window on а summer day, but for many months of the year they prefer to sit round the fire and watch the dancing flames.
In the Middle Ages the fireplaces in the halls of large castles were very wide. Only wood was burnt, and large logs were carted in from the forests, and supported as they burnt, on metal bars. Such wide fireplaces may still be seen in old inns, and in some of them there are even seats inside the fireplace.
Elizabethan fireplaces often had carved stone or woodwork over the fireplace, reaching to the ceiling. There were sometimes columns on each side of the fireplace.
In the 18th century, space was often provided over the fireplace for а painting or mirror.
When coal fires became common, fireplaces became much smaller. Grates were used to hold the coal. Above the fireplace there was usually а shelf on which there was often а clock, and perhaps framed photographs.
Dancing is popular, and the numerous large and opulent-looking public dance-halls are an important element in the folklore and courtship procedures of all but the upper and middle classes. They manage to survive against the competition of the moremodern, smaller, noisier discotheques. They are strictly places for dancing, with good floors and good bands, but often no tables for people to sit at when they are not actually dancing, only rows of chairs round the walls. They are visited mainly by young unmarried people. Girls tend to go in groups of two or three, friends from the same street or the same or officeсе, relying much on each other's support as they go in; the young men sometimes go in groups too, but often alone. All the girls tend to congregate together between dances, and the young men similarly. At the beginning of each dance а man chooses а girl from the mass, and will ask the same girl to dance with him again if he finds her company agreeable, but the girl may refuse. Most of the dancers go home as they come — but not quite at all. If а couple like one another
Holidays and traditions in English – speaking countries.
the young man may offer an invitation to go to а cinema on some future night, and this invitation may be succeeded by others. After several рrе-arranged meetings а
couple may regard themselves as "going steady" together though for а long time they will meet only in public places, and an invitation home implies great admiration. Young people are thoroughly emancipated, and find it easy enough to meet each other.
III. COSTUMES AND CLOTHES
Many British costumes and uniforms have a long history. One is the uniform of the Beefeaters at the Tower of London. This came first from France. Another is the uniform of the Horse Guards at Horse Guards' Parade, not far from Buckingham Palace. Thousands of visitors take photographs of the Horse Guards, but the Guards never move or smile. In fact some visitors think the Guards aren't real. And that brings us to...Britannia. She wears traditional clothes, too. But she's not a real person. She is symbol of Britain.
Lots of ordinary clothes have a long tradition. The famous bowler hat, for example. A man called Beaulieu made the first one in 1850.
The very cold winters in the Crimea in the war of 1853-56 gave us the names of the cardigan and the balaclava. Lord Cardigan led the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava (1854). A "cardigan" is now a warm woollen short coat with buttons, and a "balaclava" is a woollen hat.
Another British soldier, Wellington, gave his name to a pair of boots. They have a shorter name today - "Wellies" raced on the river Thames and the Oxford boat won. That started a tradition. Now, every Spring, the University Boat Race goes from Putney to Mort lake on the Thames. That's 6.7 kilometres. The Cambridge rowers wear light blue shirts and the Oxford rowers wear dark blue. There are eight men in each boat. There's also a "cox". The cox controls the boat. Traditionally coxes are men, but Susan Brown became the first woman cox in 1981. She was the cox for Oxford and they won.
At the end of the 9th form my classmates and I were given a very interesting task for the examination: to write the reports on different themes. I introduced with all of them very carefully and choose one that I like more then others. The theme of my report is "Holidays and Traditions in English- Speaking Countries". I was eager to work with the material on this theme because it's really interesting and exciting for me to know more about the customs and traditions that came to people's life many hundreds years ago. I'm also interested in their everyday way of life and I can get something for myself. I worked hard and did my best to deal with different kinds of information and literature to make my report differ from the reports of my classmates. I tried to explain everything with simple phrases to make my listeners and readers be satisfied with my work. I wish everybody could get a lot of new information about customs and traditions of many civilized countries and may be hold them in future too. I hope that my report will be interesting for everybody.
I feel proud of myself because I did my best to cope with this work and I hope that I did it quiet well. In my report I tried to show the life of different nations, which live in English – speaking countries. I wrote about their customs, traditions and holidays, about their costumes and clothes. It was very interesting to look for the information for my project.