Every country and every nation has own traditions and customs. It’s very important to know traditions and customs of other countries. It helps to know more about the history and line of different nations.
English are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up as I know all English people celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. It’s the season of good will. It’s the most beautiful time of the year – the time of love, joy and hopes. Christmas Day is a family holiday. All the people look forward to it, expecting something special. It is the time when all the family gets together round the Christmas tree decorated with toys and sweets. Little children believe that when they are asleep Santa Claus comes with a big bag of toys. They often hang up large stockings for the presents. All families have Christmas dinners. They eat traditional dishes – turkey, duck, pudding. On the New Year’s Day they watch the old year out and the new year in.
There are some traditions on New Year’s Day. One of them is the old First Footing. The first man to come into the house is very important. The Englishmen believe that he brings luck. This man (not a woman) must be healthy, young, pretty-looking. He brings presents – bread, a piece of coal or a coin. Another best-loved holiday is St. Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February – the holiday of love and affection, the day of sending "valentines" and giving presents to those you love "Be My Valentine" – Englishmen with these word ask to become friends or companion Valentines often are decorated with symbols of love – red hearts and roses, ribbons and laces. In England tradition of celebrating Easter is deep-rooted in the history of the nation. Easter is a church holiday. There is a popular belief that wearing 3 new things on Easter will bring good luck.
Traditionally Easter parades of people in bright new spring clothes
are held on this day. Another custom is decorating eggs for children. Eggs are hidden in the yards little children believe that the Easter rabbit comes and leaves eggs for them. Easter candies are made in the form of eggs, little chickens and rabbits. Halloween is the day or evening before all Saint’s Day. Children dress up in Halloween costumes and masks over their faces. They go out into the streets to beg. People give them sweets, cookies and apples. A favourite Halloween custom is to make a jack-o’-lantern (the children scrape our a pumpkin and cut the eyes, nose and mouth). They light a candle inside the pumpkin to scare their friends. A few words about superstitions in Britain. The people believe that if they put shoes on the table, they will have bad luck. The English won’t kill a spider, especially money spiders (small red ones). This is very unlucky Some animals are also lucky (black cats bring good luck, white horses are also lucky. The most unlucky thing is to break a mirror. This brings 7 years of bad luck. The number 13 is the most unlucky number especially Combination Friday, the 13th.
According to the Act of Parliament of 1871 there are 4 bank holidays Easter Monday, whit-Monday, Des 26th – Boxing Day. Other public holiday are Good Friday, May Day, Also there is a Pancake Day, April’s Fool Day, Mother’s Day.