Festivals in UK and USA

United Kingdom

-British-conservative
( still traditional system of weights and measures, drive on the left, uniforms, democracy, monarchy-part of government )
-proud of isles-give them security
( English channel separates them from the “Continent”)
-fond of pets, children, mania for tea

New Year’s Day- 1st January
-people take shower in the fountains of Trafalgar Square
-titles and decorations are conferred by the sovereign
-New Year’s resolutions
-celebrating
-superstitions (eating lens or pork brings money and welfare, braking the glass means bad luck in the following years)

St. Valentine’s Day- 14th February
-also called Lover’s day, Sweat-heart’s day
-commemorates the Roman priest who gave aid and comfort to persecuted Christians before he was put to death
-Valentines cards are sent by young people anonymously (or gifts, flowers-especially tulips) which might be serious or funny
viz Friendship

St. David’s Day-1st March
-patron saint of Wales, archbishop of Wales
-called Dewi saint
-during 6th century
-he was from royal lineage: father (Sant)-prince, mother (Non)-daughter of a chieftain and probably related to the king Arthur
-he was born in Non’s Chapel near today’s city of Saint Dewi
-he was educated on a monastery, his teacher was a blind monk Paulinus
-he helped to spread Christianity:
made missionary travels throughout Wales, established several churches, founded monastery brotherhood- very strict, daily schedule- only to work and pray, get up early in the morning, maintain monastery, cultivate the land, bee-keeping (important) but they also helped to feed and clothe the poor ones
-he is said to have drunk nothing else but water during his whole life,
springs of water, reading Bible and saying a sermon in the water…
-lived for more than a 100 years
-“Do the little things…”
Viz papiry

St. Patrick’s Day:17th March
-the patron saint of Ireland
-during 4/5. century
-born in Wales
-almost didn’t have a chance to become a bishop, as he didn’t have necessary scholarship
-until he was 16 years old, he’s been a pagan
-he was sold to slavery by marauders, who attacked his village => turned to God
-later he escaped, moved to Gaul, where he studied on a monastery under st. Germain
-he always wished to return to Ireland and there to convert the pagans to Christianity
-instead of him Paladius was appointed as a bishop, but he later moved to Scotland and therefore he was able to take his place
-many times he got into conflict with druids =>arrested but escaped each time
-travelled throughout Ireland
-he established monasteries, schools, churches
-icon of the day is shamrock: Father, Son and the holy spirit = Trinity
*raised people from death and drove all snakes from Ireland
viz papiry

All Fools Day:1st April
-custom of playing jokes and tricks on people, than shout out April Fool

Easter: April
-feast of the Christian church
-pre-christian tradition- intention to celebrate the spring equinox
-Good Friday- Jesus crucifixion
Easter Sunday- resurrection of Jesus
-Easter eggs are being dyed and decorated, confectionery is given to children as a symbol of new life
-celebrated on Sunday

St. George’s Day: 23rd of April
-patron saint of Scotland
-4th century
-considered to be the man of great distinction
-put to death by Roman Emperor
-probably from Cppadocia, was raised in Palestine
-rank of the tribune of the roman army
-protested against the persecution of Christians => tortured, then beheaded, (refused to sacrifice to pagan gods), he convinced emperor’s wife by his activity, she turned to Christianity =>beheaded too
-cult of exceptional bravery, defender of the poor, symbol of Christ. faith
-St. G. and his white horse-> typical Christian soldier
-stories- resemblance to tales of king Arthur, dragon…

Lybia- people sacrificed sheep to dragon, but soon they’ve run out of them =>
human sacrifices, but the beast still terrorized them. They decided to sacrifice the princes to buy off the dragon.
St. George killed the dragon and sat the princess free.
Dragon- represents the Satan, Princess- the Christian church

May Day: 1st May
-political parties of the left hold processions and public meetings

Mother’s Day: 2nd Sunday in May
-honours all mothers

Halloween: 31st October
-Holy evening
-more important in USA
-connected with witches and ghosts
-people go to parties, they dress up in strange costumes
-Jack O’Lantern-made from pumpkin, cut face in the vegetable, put candles inside
-playing various games
-recent years- children wear white sheets, knock on the door and ask: trick or treat
(if you give something, you’re nice and it means treat, so children go away, but if you don’t give anything, they play tricks on you)
-Celts celebrated it as the last day of the year and the beginning of the winter
-Christians celebrated it as the Eve of All Saints Day

Guy Fawkes Day: 5th November
-King James was unpopular with the Roman Catholics
-they decided to blow the parliament on the day James was about to open it
-they stored the gun powder, which was to be exploded by the Guy Fawkes
-but someone spoke about it before it happened and Guy was arrested and hanged for the rebellion
-today burning of the dummy (dummy = Guy), in the evening firework show
-children on the streets ask: “penny for the Guy”, they collect money for the fireworks

Remembrance Day: 11th November
-ceremony in the White hall in London
-2 minutes of silence for those killed in the 2 world wars

St. Andrews day: 39th November
-the patron saint of Scotland
-Jesus ‘s original disciple
-follower of John the baptist ->of Jesus
-made converts to the Christian religion
-refused to worship the emperor as a god X Roman authorities => he was crucified in Greece
-buried there
-1. version: Emperor-he wanted to move the bones to Constantinopol, but the monk St. Regulus had a dream with an angel, who ordered him to take the bones to the end of the Earth =Scotland
a chapel was built to house the bones, today it is a cathedral
-2. version: Acca the bishop bought them and brought to Scotland
-today the bones disappeared

-on that day: music, dancing, drinking, eating…
-thistle emblem of Scotland
At night Vikings X Scottish (sleeping): Viking stepped on a thistle yelled with pain => woke up the Scottish so they were able to fight

Christmas: 24th December

-derived from the words Christ’s Mass- the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ
-Christian celebration, but also a combination of pagan and Christian festivities
-Christmas trees were symbols of the eternal life in pre-Christian times in Northern Europe as they were evergreens, trees that remain throughout the year
-Mistletoe- Christmas decoration, symbol of love and reconciliation
licenses you to kiss whoever you like underneath it (origin of this custom comes from the Norse myth of Balder and Loki:
Balder, the sun god, was immune to all things accept mistletoe. He was consequently killed by an arrow of a mistletoe, made by god of evil Loki. But Balder was brought back to life and mistletoe was told never to harm him again)
-lighting candles at Christmas- pre-Christian roots
Jewish feast Hanukkah – candles were lit
Roman festival Saturnalia – fire, food and light were celebrated
(to keep out or to forget the darkness of deepest winter
-Holly- Christmas decoration, Christian associations
In Norwegian, Swedish and Danish- known as Christ’s thorns, legend- Christ wore crown of holly thorns before his death
holly X holy
-giving presents and gifts – Roman saturnalia, good luck gifts were given: fruit, pastry or gold on New Year’s Day
In Britain presents are given on Christmas Day (25th December),
Feast of St Stephen is known as Boxing Day (26th December)- priests of Middle Ages opened alms boxes to give to the poor , later it was a custom to give to the servants and public workers to be given the boxes
-first Christmas card designed an English artist , William Egley in 1842
he sent it to 100 of his friends
- Christmas food before 16th century- boar’s head, followed by a roast peacock
then sailors from the New World brought turkey (from Mexico)=>traditional British Christmas dinner
minced pies- used to be made from meat, today contain raisins, currants, sugar, candied peel and apples
plum pudding – doesn’t contain plums, used to contain prunes, today currants, raisins, sultanas, eggs ,spices, suet…
some people make the pudding a year before they eat it, it tastes *better*
they also put coins inside
-Christmas Eve (24th December )- not so important, only preparations
-story about Santa, hanging stockings on beds, larger gifts are to be found under the tree, leaving minced pies for Santa
- Christmas trees are decorated by coloured ornaments , the room with holly and ivy a spring of mistletoe over the door

USA

-not conservative: time’s money, not so reserved
not many national holidays- each state has a right to decide its own holidays
-most of the holidays – Federal public holidays
-many ethnic groups => their own customs and traditions
-differ especially about holidays connected with religious feasts-
Easter, Christmas

USA and Britain celebrate also christening, birthday and namesday

Martin Luther King’s Day: 3rd Monday in January
-black leader and civil rights campaigner. He demanded racial equality. As and advocate of nonviolence he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1964. He was assassinated.

Easter- April
-not a national holiday
- dyed eggs, sweets
-parents hide eggs, children look for them
-Easter Egg roll- in front of White house on Easter Monday

Memorial Day: 4th Monday in May
-honours all Americans killed in past wars and all the dead
-flowers and flags are placed on graves
-beginning of the summer season

Independence Day: 4th July
-each state its own ceremony, parade
-concerts and fireworks in the evening
-commemorates Declaration of Independence 1776 and establishing USA

Columbus Day: 12th October
-anniversary of discovery of the USA by Ch. Columbus 1492

Halloween: 31th October

Thanksgiving: 4th Thursday in November
-1621 1st celebration – pilgrim settlers of Plymouth Colony on their first harvest
- story about Mayflower, puritans, no food, help of Indians => Thanks to them, invitation, corn, turkey, deer…
-family together dinner- roasted turkey

Christmas: 24th December
-not a national holiday (British, Christianity)
-invite friends…

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  20. duben 2008
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