Almost every nation has a reputation of some kind. The English are
reputed to be cold, reserved, rather haughty people. They are steady,
easy-going and fond of sports. There are certain kinds of behavior, manners and
customs which are peculiar to England.
The English are naturally polite and are never tired of saying «
Thank you » and « I am sorry ». They are generally disciplined, you never hear
loud talk in the street. They don’t rush for seats in buses and trains, but
they take their seats in queues at bus stops. English people do not shake hands
when meeting one another, they do not show their emotions even in tragic
situations. They seem to remain good-tempered and cheerful under difficulties.
The English are a nation of stay-at-homes. There is no place like
home. The Englishman says « My house is my castle » because he doesn’t wish his
doings to be overlooked by his neighbours. It is true that English people
prefer small houses, built for one family. The fire is the focus of the English
Home. Other nations go out to cafes or cocktail bars. The fireplace is the
natural centre of interest in the room. They like to sit round the fire and
watch the dancing flames, exchanging the day’s experience. In many houses you
will still see fireplaces, sometimes with columns on each side and a shelf
above it on which there is often a clock or a mirror or photos.
The love of gardens is deep-rooted in the British people. Most
men’s conversations are about gardens. It may be a discussion of the best
methods of growing cucumbers, a talk about the plot which differs from all the
The British like growing plants in a window-box outside the
kitchen or in the garden near the house. They love flowers very much.
Britain is a nation of animal lovers. They have about five million
dogs, almost as many cats, 3 million parrots and other cage birds, aquarium
fish - and 1 million exotic pets such as reptiles. In Britain they have special
dog shops selling food, clothes and other things for dogs. There are dog
hair-dressing saloons and dog cemetries. In Britain pets can send Christmas
cards to their friends, birthday cards. Owners can buy for their pets jewelled
nylon collars, lambswool coat for a dog, lace-trimmed panties, nightgowns,
pyjamas, and so on. There are special animal hotels at the airports. The
English people believe that they are the only nation on the earth that is
really kind to its animals. How do they spend their week-ends.
Those who live in cities and towns like to go out of town. They
may go to stay in the country. Every Englishman is fond of the countryside in a
nice thatched cottage with roses round the porch and in the garden, the fresh
air and bright sun. No crowds of people, silence and leisure.
Those who stay at home try to do all the jobs they, were too busy
to do during the week. Some go shopping on Saturday mornings, some do the house
- washing, cleaning. Some men do and watch sporting events.
Saturday evening is the best time for parties, dances, going to
the cinema or theatre.
On Sunday after breakfast they may go to work in the garden take a
dog for a walk, play a visit to a pub. Sunday is a day for inviting friends and
relatives to afternoon tea.
There are some traditions concerning food. English cooking is
heavy, substantial and plain. The Englishman likes a good breakfast. To him a
good breakfast means porridge with, fish, bacon and eggs, toast and marmalade,
tea or coffee. It is the same day to day. The English like their toast cold.
Tea is part of the prose of British life, as necessary as potatoes
and bread. Seven cups of it wake you up in the morning, 9 cups will put you to
sleep at night.
The midday meal is called lunch. This meal consists on week- days
of stew, fried fish, chops, liver or sausages, vegetables. Rice and macaroni
are seldom served. Then does an apple tart, or hot milk pudding. Sunday dinner
is a special occasion, it is a joint of beef or lamb with vegetables. Then goes
a large heavy pudding with custard. From 4 to 6 there is a very light meal
called 5 o’clock tea. It is a snack of thin bread and butter and cups of tea
with small cakes. This became a kind ritual. At this time everything stops for
Dinner (usually at 6 p.m.) is much like lunch and is in many
families the last meal of the day. Supper is a snack of bread and cheese and
The English have a popular speciality known as fish and chips.
They are bought at special fish and chips shops.
HOLIDAYS IN GREAT BRITAIN
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 maid in the form of eggs,
little chickens and rabbits. Halloween is the day or evening before all Saent’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 brihg 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. Obher pablic
holiday are Good Friday, May Day, Also there is a Pancake Day, April’s Fool
Day, Mother’s Day.
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