Festivals and traditions

In the course of the year we celebrate most often the birthday and anniversary, but the two most important holidays in the Czech Republic are Christmas and Easter.
Christmas is one of those holidays that most people look forward to. It is celbrated in other countries as well, with each nation keeping its own customs and folk traditions. Christmas is said to be a holiday of calm and peace. Advent begins four weeks before Christmas Eve (24th December), during this period we prepare for the long awaited wihter holidays. Homes are filled with the aroma of freshlybaked Christmas sweeks, some people make a nativity scene as the true symbol of Christmas, ti represnts the birth of Jesus Christ and the pilgrims who bring him gifts, Christmas markes take place and we buy freshly – cut Christmes trees.
December 5th we celebrate St.Nikolas´ Day – St.Nikolas, an angel and a devil come to children, children have to sing a song or say a poem. Good children get fruits and sweets and naughty children get coal and potatoes.
The typical meal for Christmas Eve dinner is fish soup, fried carp, patato salad, sweets and fruits. After dinner we go to the tree and unwrap the presents and we sing Christmas carols. At midnight people go to Midnight Mass at the nearest church. Other customs related to Christmas Eve are the pouring of lead, cutting of apples and sending of walnut shells on the water. The 25th and the 26th December are important holidays as well, when relatives visit each other.
Each year ends on December 31st. That day we celebrate New Year´s Eve, which means the end of the old and the beginning of the new year, it is celebrate very noisy and hilarious. January 1st we call New Year´s Day, most of us make New Year´s resolutions, which unfortunately are often not kept, and we wish one another all the best in the New Year.
Easter is a religious holiday, it celebrates the resurrechon of Jesus Christus. We celebrate Easter on the Sonday and Monday after the first spring full moon. The symbols of Easter are a lamb, yellow chick and coloured eggs. On Monday in the morning boys go around to feast. Girls give them decorated eggs.
English festivals: British celebrate Christmas 25th December. This day is called Christmas Day. They leave presents under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve to be unpacked on Christmas Day in the morning. On Christmas Day the family sit down to a big turkey dinner followed by Christmas pudding.
On 14th February St.Valentine´s Day is celebrated, many people send a card and give presents whom they love.
An Easter time, the British give each other chocolate Easter eggs, on Good Friday they eat hot cross buns.
The second Sunday in May–Mother´s Day, the third Sunday in June Father´s Day.
On 31st October –Halloween takes place – it´s connected with withes and ghosts, people decorate their houses with horrible faces in potatoes or pumpkin, children put on their costumes and go door to door to collect candy.
American festivals: Besides holidays as Christmas, Easter, Halloween and others Americans celebrate the Independence Day and Thanks Day, too. The Independence Day is celebrated on 4th July, this day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by Thirteen American Colonies. The second most important holiday after Christmas is Thanks – giving Day, the day when settlers celebrated their harvest-whole families get together and there is a turkey on every table. It is celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

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