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» » Ознакомительные тексты для изучения материалов по теме «Наиболее значимые праздники США и Великобритании» (The most significant holidays Of The United States Of america and great britain)

Ознакомительные тексты


Ознакомительные тексты для изучения материалов по теме «Наиболее значимые праздники США и Великобритании» (The most significant holidays Of The United States Of america and great britain)

В этой подборке текстов вашему вниманию представляется информация о наиболее значимых праздниках Соединенных Штатов Америки и Великобритании.

Как и во всех предыдущих публикациях этого цикла обращаем внимание на то, что вам рекомендуется прочитать данные тексты несколько раз: первый раз — чтобы выделить и выучить незнакомые слова, второй — чтобы ответить на вопросы, которые вам нужно задать себе самостоятельно, третий раз — пересказать.

Thanksgiving Day

There is one day a year when ail Americans stay home with their famines arid eat a big dinner. This is Thanksgiving Day. The pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in the fall of 1621. The pilgrims sailed to America from Plymouth, England, in September, 1620. They came to America for religious freedom. They were among the first European sewers in America. The name of their ship was the «Mayflower». They landed at Plymouth Rock, in what is now the state of Massachusetts In December, 1620.

«At first, the passengers enjoyed good weather at sea. But soon, strong winds and fierce storms developed. Our ship, the „Mayflower,“ began to shake and teak. Finally, one of the main beams broke. Some of the passengers and sailors were afraid the ship coulu riots cross the ocean. They wanted to return to England But others felt confident. „If we do not use all the sails, and if we repair the main beam, we will not sink“, they promised. So everyone but his trust in God, and they all decided to continue. After a long struggle with the sea, the „Mayflower“ came to land. What a joy the pilgrims had when they realized where they werel».

There were people living in America before the pilgrims arrived. These people were the Native American Indians. The Indians began settling in America about 25,000 years ago. They hunted, fished, and farmed to survive. There were many groups, or tribes, and each had its own custorus and beliefs.

The pilgrims’ first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow many crops. Without fresh food, half of the pilgrims died. The followinq spring the Indians taught the pilgrims how to hunt, fish, plant, and survive in America. The crops did well, arid in the fall of 1621 the pilgrims had a great grain. They were thankful end decided to celebrate with a Thanksgiving feast. They prepared a dinner of turkey, corn, beans, and pumpkins. They invited their Indian friends to share this feast. The Indans brought food to the feast, too (they even brought popcorn!). Americans still celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the fall. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Turkey is still the main dish and pumpkin pie in the most popular dessert.

New words:
among — среди
settlers — поселенцы
to land — высаживаться
passenger — пассажир
fierce — сильный, свирепый
storm — шторм
to develop- развивать(ся)
to shake — трясти(сь)
to teak — течь
beam — балка
sailor — матрос
to cross — пересекать
to return — возвращаться
confident — уверенный
sais — паруса
to repair — ремонтировать
to sink (sunk) — тонуть (опускать)
struggle — борьба
to realize — понимать
to settle — поселиться
to hunt — охотиться
to fish — ловить рыбу
to farm — обрабатывать землю
to survive — чтобы выжить
tribe — племя
custom — обычай
crops — урожай
fresh — свежий
following — следующий
harvest — урожай
feast — пир, праздник
pumpkin — тыква
dish — блюдо

1. Where do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day today?
2. In which season did the pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving Day?
3. What did them?
4. Who taught the pilgrims how to survive in America?
5. Why did the pilgrims come to America?
6. Why do you think the pilgrims called America the New World?
7. Why did the pilgrims invite the Indians to their Feast?

St. Valentine’s Day, February 14

St. Valentine’s Rayls not a legal or a national holiday. Banks and offices do not close, but it is a happy little festival especially for children and young people. It is widely celebrated among persons of all ages by the exchange of «valentines». A «valentine» may mean a special greeting card or a little present. It may also mean the person who receives the gift.

The greeting cards are often colored, red, have red trimmings and pictures of hearts. Some valentines are very fancy, they are trimmed with paper lace and little bows of paper ribbon. They have verses of love poetry printed on them.

The day is a time to send little gifts to those you love. Arrows and candy are favorite presents which sweethearts send to each other. Valentine candy is packed in red heart-shaped boxes and sold for this one day.

It is a favorite day for parties, especially by young people. The hosts trim the hall with red and white paper and hearts.

Refreshments are often colored red, like red candy and punch. Sandwiches and cakes are often cut in the shape of hearts. Sometimes a King and Queen of Hearts are chosen for the evening of the dance.
Gay favors and decorations of red paper hearts and chubby cupids, fortune-telling games, and appropriate refreshments of frosted heart cakes and crimson candies all pay fitting honor to the memory of St. Valentine, patron of sweethearts and lovers.


Easter conies on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 (Easter follows Lent) with its Ash Wednesday. Just before Easter, the schools and colleges usually close. The students have a week or ten days of spring vacation.

Easter is a churchy holiday, and many churches have an outdoor sunrise service.
Easter marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. At Easter it is customary for people to buy new clothes to wear on Easter Sunday.

There is a popular belief that wearing three new things on Easter wll bring good luck throughout the year. Easter is a kind of New Year’s Day in tradition. After church services, many people like to take walks down the streets and avenues wearing their new Easter hats and suits/This colorful procession of people dressed in bright new spring dothes is called the «Easter Parade». The Easter Parade, famous of Fifth Avenue in New York City, is a well-known exhibit of this tradition.

The after-church stroll is, no longer an impromptu fashion display. Commercialism in the past few years overreached itself by sending professional, models into the throng and even posed them on church steps. Another custom generally observed at Eastcrtimc is decoration of eggs and preparing basfccts of eggs and candy eggs for the children. Spring and Easter are synonymous. Eggs are the symbol of new life. So also are flowers. The coloring of eggs represents the blooming of flowers. Dyeing eggs at Easter is a token of joy and gaiety. Eggs blessed at Easter aje supposed toward off illness.

In many sections of the country, eggs are hidden in the yards and the children have an egg-hunt trying to find them. Usually little candles and perhaps a large chocolate egg are hidden along with real eggs. Little children believe the Easter bunny comes and leaves the eggs for them. That is why Easter candy is made in the form of eggs, little chickens and rabbits.

In Washington, the President opens the grounds to the White Home so that children may roll eggs on the White House lawn. Rolling eggs or finding hidden eggs at Easter time is supposed to bring good luck (besides affording pleasure). An old English custom that is encouraged is to roll hard-boiled eggs down a hill on this festive occasion. The last egg to break brought good luck to the one who rolled it. The White House lawn has been the scene of this traditional custom of egg rolling. Children believe that eggs at Easter time arc laid by rabbits (an old Teutonic superstition).

Fourth of July or Independence Day

It is the day on whicn the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence Is celebrated in the USA. It is a national public holiday. The Fourth of July (the «Glorius Fourth») is usually celebrated with fireworks and speeches praizing «Americanism, democracy, free enterprise», etc.
An American humorist wrote: «That which distinguishes this day from all others is that then both orators and artillerymen shoot blank cartridges».

Halloween, October 31

Haltoween is the day or evening before Alhallow’s or All Saints’ Day. Many Halloween stories and games are hundreds of years old. Halloween customs date back to a time when people believed in devils, witches and ghosts.

They thought that these evil spirits could do all kinds of damage to property. Some people tried to ward off witches by paining magic signc on their barns. Others tried to scare them away by nailing a piece of iron, such as a horseshoe, over the door.

Now most people do not believe m evil spirits. They know that evil spirits do not break steps, spill garbage or pull down fences. If property is damaged, they blame lively, naughty boys and girls. Halloween is still a bad night for the police.

American children celebrate Beggar’s Night as Irish children did in tile 17th centuiy. They dress up in Halloween costumes and go out on the streets to beg. They often wear masks over their faces. They carry baskets and bags. They go from house to house. They jump on the porch. When the people come to the door, the children say, «Trick or treat! Trick or treat», meaning «Give us a treat or we will play a trick on you».

Almost all the people treat the children. They give them candy, popcorn, cookies and apples. The children eat some of their food. But they cannot cat it all. They cany it home in their baskets.

The most common trick is soaping house and car windows. The children Iraw pictures or write on the windows with soap.

A favorite Halloween custom is to make ajack-o’-lantem. The children srrape out a pumpkin and cut the outlines of eyes, nose and mouth in its side. They light a candle inside the pumpkin to scare their friends. This custom refers to a man named Jack who still wanders around the earth lighting his way with a pumpkin lantern.

At Halloween parties the guests wear every kind of costume. Many of them wear masks. The hosts decorate the rooms with paper moons, witches, bats, ghosts and black cats. They set jack-o’-lantems in the windows.
The guests often tell fortunes. A young girl sometimes pares an apple so carefully that the peeling comes off In a long strip. She throws the peeling on the floor and hopes it will form the initials of the young man she wilt many.

Many games played at Halloween parties date back to the harvest festivals of very ancient times. The guests often bob for apples floating ia tubs of water. Sometimes the guests try to eat apples which hang hy a string from the ceiling. Of course they must not use their hands to catch or hold the apples.

Sometimes, the guests try to frighten one another by telling ghost stories around an open fire. But no one is really frightened. The stories only add to the fun.

Christmas Day

December 25 (Xmas): It is usually a one-day official holiday, but is preceded and followed by festive parties, and marked by special church services, gift-giving and feasting (to get money for Christmas people join Christmas clubs — See also Christmas seal«). Most churches have Christmas Eve services. The services usually begin just before midnight on Christmas Eve and end early Christmas morning.

Christmas is a family holiday. Stores, post offices, banks and business houses close for the day. Schools and colleges close between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The people stay at honl6 and spend the time with their families. Everybody tries to come home for Christmas.

There are some superstitions associated with Christmas. To see a familiar face in the blaze of a Yule log ’ at Christmas is the sign of an early marriage with the person seen. To become engaged on Christmas is a sure sign of good luck in marriage. To be born on Christmas day is the prediction of a care-free life.

People send cards or Christmas greetings to family and friends away from home. Some families send or get dozri’ns of Christmas cards through the mail. They, wish their friends «a merry Christmas» and «a happy Now Year».

Christmas cards are properly sent to anyone with whom one is at all acquainted. Many people keep a list of cards sent and received from year to year. If you do find, after the holidays, that you have forgotten someone, get in touch with them by telephone or note. Don’t send New Year’s cards to compensate for not having sent a Christmas card. When the day before the vacation begins, schools have-Christmas parties and programs. The children sing carols (see «A Christmas Carol»). They recite Christmas poems (see ’The Night Before Christmas«). They trim their Christmas tree with strings of colored lights. They use strings of popcorn and tinsel. They put glass ornaments on the tree. They throw little pieces of white paper over the tree. They put white paper or a white sheet around the foot of the tree to took like snow.

At Christmas parties people often use mistletoe to decorate the rooms. Kissing a girl under the mistletoe insures good fortune. If a girl stands under the mistletoe this is an invitation to being kissed by any man. If she refuses it is bad luck; if she is kissed seven times in one day she will marry within a year.

Every house tries to have a Christmas tree which is decorated with tinsel, colored bulbs and tights. Sometimes they hang Christmas cookies on it. They also hang little candy canes for the children on il. Since it is customary for relatives and close friends to give presents at Christmas time, the presents are placed under tree.

Christmas as a modem carnival centers on a major superstition. Santa Claus comes from the North Pole (where he lives the year round) in his sleigh, dressed in red cap and jacket, entering the house through the chimney. He is a merry and fat individual full of chuckles. He has at his disposal gifts of whatever kind that could be wished for — nothing is neither too fabulous nor too trivial for him to provide. Children fliust be good and promise exemplary conduct to share in his generosity — but no child is ever passed by whatever the circumstances, if Santa has his will. Parents have access to him, smuggling the information he wants, to give all youngsters a rousing time. His eight reindeers which draw his overladen sleigh pass over the landscape unseen and yet their harness belts can be heard in the stillness of the night of Christmas Eve anywhere. He prefers children to hang up their stockings-much, much too small receptacles-near thf chimney.

Little children believe that when they are asleep, Santa Claus comes to visit them. Wher he conies to thr roof of the children’s house, Santa gets out of his sied and conies down the chimney with a big bag of toys. If the children have been good, Santa fills their stockings with candy, fruits and toys. He also puts some toys under the tree.

On Christmas morning, the children look In thwir stockings. They open their Christmas packages and see their gifts.

Usually the whole family has a big Christmas dinner in the afternoon or evening.
Sometimes American families trim trees outside their houses. They put electric lights in a tree growing near the door. At night, they turn on the lights. Many towns have very large Christmas trees set hp outdoors in the parks. The air is filled with the sound of Christmas songs («White Christmas») among them), the stores are decorated in red and green, the traditional Christmas colors. Dozens of Santa Clauses welcome the customers.

Christmas gifts are as different as the American society itself. Rich American women order mink jackets and lace dresses for their poodles and other pets. Poor people get a free «turkey dinner» and a cup of watery cofe. While affluent Americans arc spending something like 3,000 million dollars on Christmas celebrations, shopkeepers usually report losses amounting to $10 million from shoplifting.

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