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Discipline: Regional Geography of the UK

Theme British Traditions and Customs. Holidays.

Introductory paragraph 3 p.
Part 1. Theoretical aspect on British traditions, customs and Holidays.

    1. The sense of British customs. 3 p.

    2. British traditions. 6 p.

    3. British traditional holidays. 13 p.

Part 2. The practical aspect on the problem of British traditions, customs and Holidays. 19 p.
Conclusion 23 p.
Literature 26 p.
Introductory paragraph

Every people have his own traditions, customs and holidays. British nation is considered to be the most conservative in Europe. The British people are famous for its old traditions, customs and holidays. In Great Britain people attach greater importance to traditions and customs than in other European countries. Englishmen are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up.

Holidays of the United Kingdom of Great Britain is the holidays of British people connected with widespread national traditions of their carrying out. English traditions known for the whole world. Traditional dividing of London by three parts: the West End, the East end, and the City.

Britain is full of culture and traditions which have been around for hundreds of years. Traditions, customs and holidays are the interlay to communicate with the other people, study their culture and lifestyle, also to attach the main things of the people.

Traditions, customs and holidays are the most peculiar features of British life given the national particularities and character (tea with milk, festival of street entertainment, the whole town turns into a "place for a walk", parade the Lord Mayor and the international festival of street theater).

When people think of Britain they think of people drinking tea, eating fish and chips and wearing bowler hats, but there is more to Britain than just those things. We have British traditions of sport, music, food and many royal occasions. There are also songs, sayings and superstitions.

The combination of the state holidays remained from the previous historical periods and new come to a life finding. A long time ago the year was marked out with special days which marked the passing year. These were days of celebrations where people would do things, eat things or make things which they would not normally doing. Cheese rolling, Nettle Eating, Toe Wrestling, Bog Snorkelling are just a few of the strange, bizarre, wacky, eccentric and even mad festivals still taking place in Britain today.

Britain has a long and varied past – it has been conquered repeatedly, it has conquered others, and it has colonized half the planet. Through its history, many strange traditions and festivals have arisen.

The problem of this work is to study and to give the interpretation of British traditions and customs, and holidays and to give the own attitude to these facts, representing the differences and particularities, the special features and faucets.

The goal of this essay is to touch the historical pages of the British traditions and customs, and holidays. To achieve this goal there are the following tasks:

This theme is actually interested in studying a lot. These are some reasons of it.

Each of us should know and have an image of the traditions, customs and holidays of the other people to understand the own culture and history, to explain the reasons of creating of the own traditions, to understand the succession to the old and new holidays.

The basic of this essay is consisted of the works of the well-known authors, authors’ works and essays, researches and different articles.

This essay is consisted of introduction, 2 parts, conclusion and a list of literature.
Part 1. Theoretical aspect on British traditions, customs and Holidays
1.1. The sense of British customs
There are many customs and some of them are very old. For example, there is the Marble Championship, where the British Champion is crowned. He wins a silver cup known among folk dancers as Morris Dancing.

Morris Dancing is an event where people, worn in beautiful clothes with ribbons and bells, dance with handkerchiefs or big sticks in their hands, while traditional music- sounds.

The Boat Race takes place on the river Thames, often on Easter Sunday. A boat with a team from Oxford University and one with a team from Cambridge University hold a race.

British people think that the Grand National horse race is the most exciting horse race in the world. It takes place near Liverpool every year. Sometimes it happens the same day as the Boat Race takes place, sometimes a week later. Amateur riders as well as professional jockeys can participate. It is a very famous event.

There are many celebrations in May, especially in the countryside.

Sunday’s theatres and shops are closed; people do not get letters and newspapers. Very few trams and buses run in the streets of London on Sundays.1

Uniforms are not particularly characteristic of this fact. However, when one sees the warders at the Tower of London with their funny flat hats, their trousers bound at the knee, and the royal monogram on their breast, one feels carried back to the age of Queen Elisabeth I.

And should you chance to see the Lord Mayor of London riding through the streets of the city with the black robe and gold chain, his medieval carriage, and all sheriffs, councilors and other members of the suit, you have a picture of living history.

Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the Queen and the King. The house was bought by George III from the Duke of Buckingham, from whom it takes the name.

Queen Victoria was the first to make the Palace the official residence of the Sovereign. The colorful ceremony of the Changing of the Guard before the Palace is of great interest for a newcomer.

The Guardsmen in their red coats and bearskin caps march behind the Drum Mayor and the Band. Whenever the Irish Guards are responsible for the quad duties at Buckingham Palace an Irish wolfhound appears on regimental ceremonial parades and marches at the head of the band.

A number of other ceremonies are of a similarly formal character, such as the King's or Queen's receptions and the State Opening of Parliament.

There are other customs of a similar peculiar character, such as the searching of the cellars underneath the Houses of Parliament by half a dozen “Beefeaters” before the opening of Parliament, in memory of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot in 1605.2

Every nation and every country has its own customs and traditions.

So, English people tend to be rather conservative. The conservative attitude consists of an acceptance of things which are familiar. All the same, several symbols of conservatism are being abandoned.

British nation is considered to be the most conservative in Europe. In Great Britain people attach greater importance to traditions and customs than in other European countries. Englishmen are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. The best examples are their queen, money system, their weights and measures.

English people tend to be rather conservative. The conservative attitude consists of an acceptance of things which are familiar. All the same, several symbols of conservatism are being abandoned.
1.2. British traditions
On the 31st of October a Halloween is a day on which many children dress up in unusual costumes. In fact, this holiday has a Celtic origin. The day was originally called All Halloween's Eve, because it happens on October 31, the eve of all Saint's Day. The name was later shortened to Halloween. The Celts celebrated the coming of New Year on that day.

On this day they say ghosts and witches come out on Halloween. People make lanterns out of pumpkins. Some people have Halloween parties and dress as witches and ghosts.

Another tradition is the holiday called Bonfire Night.

On November 5, 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament where the king James 1st was to open Parliament on that day. But Guy Fawkes was unable to realize his plan and was caught and later, hanged.

The British still remember that Guy Fawkes' Night. It is another name for this holiday. This day one can see children with figures, made of sacks and straw and dressed in old clothes. On November 5th, children put their figures on the bonfire, burn them, and light their fireworks.3

Guy Fawkes Night (or “bonfire night”), held on 5 November in the United Kingdom and some parts of the Commonwealth, is a commemoration of the plot, during which an effigy of Fawkes is burned, often accompanied by a fireworks display. The word “guy”, meaning “man” or “person”, is derived from his name.

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries, belonged to a group of Catholic Restorations from England who planned the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Their aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I and the entire Protestant, and even most of the Catholic, aristocracy and nobility were inside. The conspirators saw this as a necessary reaction to the systematic discrimination against English Catholics.

The Gunpowder Plot was led by Robert Catesby, but Fawkes was put in charge of its execution. He was arrested a few hours before the planned explosion, during a search of the cellars underneath Parliament in the early hours of 5 November prompted by the receipt of an anonymous warning letter. Basically it’s a celebration of the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

In the end of the year, there is the most famous New Year celebration. In London, many people go to Trafalgar Square on New Year's Eve. There is singing and dancing at 12 o'clock on December 31st.

A popular Scottish event is the Edinburgh Festival of music and drama, which takes place every year. A truly Welsh event is the Eisteddfod, a national festival of traditional poetry and music, with a competition for the best new poem in Welsh.

If we look at English weights and measures, we can be convinced that the British are very conservative people. They do not use the internationally accepted measurements. They have conserved their old measures. There are nine essential measures. For general use, the smallest weight is one ounce, and then 16 ounce is equal to a pound. Fourteen pounds is one stone.

The English always give people's weight in pounds and stones. Liquids they measure in pints, quarts and gallons. There are two pints in a quart and four quarts or eight pints are in one gallon. For length, they have inches» foot, yards and miles.

If we have always been used to the metric system therefore the English monetary system could be found rather difficult for us. They have a pound sterling, which is divided into twenty shillings, half-crown is cost two shillings and sixpence, shilling is worth twelve pennies and two halfpennies could change one penny.4

The metric system came into general use in 1975. The twenty-four-hour clock was at last adopted for railway timetables in the 1960s-though not for most other timetables, such as radio programs.

The decimal money was introduced, but the pound sterling as the basic unit was kept, one-hundredth part of it being a new penny. Temperatures have been measured in Centigrade as well as Fahrengrade for a number of years, tend to use Fahrengrade for general purpose.

The veteran car run is a new tradition in England now. Every year a large number of veteran cars drive from London to Brighton. Veteran cars are those which are made before 1904. The run takes place on the first Sunday in November. In November, 1896, a law was published. It said that a man with a red flag must walk in front of every car when it moved in the streets. In those days people were afraid of the cars.

The run begins at 8 o'clock in the morning from Hyde Park. Some cars look very funny. The drivers are dressed in the clothes of those times. The oldest cars move in front. The run is not a competition but a demonstration. Some cars reach Brighton, which is about a hundred kilometers from London, only late in the evening, others don't get there; they have to stop on the way.

The Stone of Destiny. In Westminster Abbey in London there is a large stone which has an interesting history. Many hundreds of years ago it was a seat on which the kings of Scotland sat when they were crowned. When Scotland became part of Britain, the English king brought this stone to London. A large chair was made and the Stone of Destiny was put into the seat of the chair. Since that time the English kings sit on that chair when they are crowned.

The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane of the oldest theatres in London. It was opened in 1663. The king was present at the performance that is why it was called the Theatre Royal. Today most people call it Drury Lane by the name of the street in which it stands. The theatre has many traditions. One of them is the Barely cake, which began in the 18 century.

Robert Barely was a pastry-cook who became an actor and joined the Theatre Royal. He was a good actor, and the plays in which he acted were always a great success with the people of London. When R. Barely was very old, he left some money to the theatre. Robert Barely asked to buy cake and offer a piece of it to each actor and actress of the theatre on Twelfth Night every year. Twelfth Night is the 6th of January, the 12th Night after Christmas.

So, after the evening performance on Twelfth Night, the actors and actresses cone down into the hall in their stage clothes and eat the Barely cake.

Races in England. In England there is a day for pancakes. It is usually in March. At homes families have pancakes for dinner. At school children and teachers have pancakes for school dinner.

In some villages and towns in England there is a pancake race every year. Mothers of families run these races. First they must make the pancake and then run 4 hundred meters with the pancake on the frying-pan in their hands. When they are running this race they must throw the pancake up 3 times and catch it on the frying-pan.5

They must not drop it. The fathers and the children watch the mothers and call out to them: “Run, mum, run quickly!” At some universities and colleges students run pancake races too. They run with their pancakes on the frying-pans and throw them up.

If the university or college is near the sea there are swimming pancake races. The students take their frying-pans with the pancakes into the cold water and swim with them. They hold the frying-pan in one hand. They must also throw the pancake up and catch it on the pan.

At Westminster School in London the boys have pancakes for dinner one day in March. But before dinner is the pancake fight. The school cook makes a very large pancake. Then he comes out of the kitten into the hall with the frying-pan and throws the pancake high up. The boys (one from each form) try to catch the pancake. They fight for it. The winner of the fight is the boy who gets the biggest piece of pancake.

In England there is also an egg-and-spoon race. People who run this race, men and women, boys and girls, must carry an egg in a spoon. They must not let it fall down. If the egg falls and breaks, they must pick it up with the spoon, not with their fingers. Usually there are not many winners in the egg-and-spoon race.

In the three-legged-race boys and girls run in pairs, with the right leg of one boy or girl tied to the left leg of the other. They do not run very quickly, because they do not want to fall. The people who watch the egg-and-spoon race and the three-legged-race always laugh very much.

So, one of the most peculiar features of life in England which immediately strikes any visitor to this country is the cherishing and preserving of many traditions, sometimes very archaic as they may seem. In England traditions play a very important part in the life of the people.

British people have 9 strange traditions6. Let s see them, especially.

1. Gurning

The Egremont Crab Fair – one of England’s weirder events – gets its name from crab apples rather than the marine variety. It started back in the 13th century when the Lord of the Manor gave away crab apples to the populace. In fact, to this day, the Parade of the Apple Cart, where apples are thrown into the crowds on the Main Street, is part of the fair.

There are a host of other non-mechanized, traditional events – greasy pole climbing, a pipe smoking contests, a talent show, Cumberland wrestling, and a hounds trail. But let’s face it, the reason Egremont makes the news every year is the gurning competition. Home of the Gurning World Championships.

Gurning, involves a rubber-faced skill that is totally bizarre and unique to this part of England. Contestants put their heads through horse collar or braffin while they create the ugliest, most grotesque faces they can manage. A certain amount of skill is involved but a lot of beer and a certain amount of toothlessness probably has an impact as well.

Celebrities occasionally have a go and the national news usually features the winning gurners. If you are in Cumbria visiting the Lake District, nearby, in September, stop in at the Egremont Crab Fair. You won’t see anything like this anywhere else and you won’t soon forget it.

2. Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill.

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester in the Cotswold’s region of England. It is traditionally by and for the people of Brock worth – the local village, but now people from all over the world take part. The event takes its name from the hill on which it occurs.

The 2010 event has been cancelled due to safety concerns over the number of people visiting the event but it is hoped that it will be held on the late May Bank Holiday in 2011.

Due to the steepness and uneven surface of the hill there are usually a number of injuries, ranging from sprained ankles to broken bones and concussion. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling has been summarized as “twenty young men chase a cheese off a cliff and tumble 200 yards to the bottom, where they are scraped up by paramedics and packed off to hospital”.

3. Maypole Dancing.

Maypole dancing is a form of folk dance from Western Europe, especially England, Sweden, Galicia, Portugal and Germany, with two distinctive traditions. In the most widespread, dancers perform circle dances around a tall pole which is decorated with garlands, painted stripes, flowers, flags and other emblems. In the second most common form, dancers dance in a circle each holding a colored ribbon attached to a much smaller pole; the ribbons are intertwined and plaited either on to the pole itself or into a web around the pole. The dancers may then retrace their steps exactly in order to unravel the ribbons.7

4. Pearly King and Queen.

Pearly Kings and Queens, known as pearlies, are an organized charitable tradition of working class culture in London, England. The practice of wearing clothes decorated with pearl buttons originated in the 19th century. It is first associated with Henry Croft, an orphan street sweeper who collected money for charity. In 1911 an organized pearly society was formed in Finchley, north London.

5. Ascot Ladies Day.

Ascot Racecourse is a famous English racecourse, located in the small town of Ascot, Berkshire, used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting 9 of the UK’s 32 annual Group 1 races, the same number as New market.

The course is closely associated with the British Royal Family, being approximately six miles from Windsor Castle, and owned by the Crown Estate. Ascot today stages twenty-five days of racing over the course of the year, comprising sixteen Flat meetings held in the months of May and October.

The Royal Meeting, held in June, remains a major draw, the highlight being the Ascot Gold Cup. The most prestigious race is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes run over the course in July. What makes this so special is that every year the fashion, specifically the hats get bigger, bolder and damn right weirder as the photo illustrates.

6. Bog Snorkeling.8

Basically participants dive into a bog, wearing goggles, a pair of flippers and a snorkel, they then proceed to race each other along a 120ft trench filled with mud. Held every year the participants come from all over the world and raise lots of money for charity.

7. Straw Bear.Straw Bear (Strawboer) Day is an old English tradition held on the 7th of January. It is known in a small area of Fenland on the borders of Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire, including Ramsey Mereside. This day is believed to be traditional start of agricultural year in England. A man or a boy wears a straw costume covering him from his head to toes. He goes from house to house where he dances. As prize for his dancing people give him money, food or beer.

8. Worm Charming.Worm charming is a way to of attracting earthworms from the ground. Many do it to collect bait for fishing. But there are also those who do it as sort of sport.

The village of Williston, near Nantwich, Cheshire is the place where since 1980 the annual World Championships have been organized. The competition was actually initiated by local man Tom Shufflebotham who on the 5th of July, 1980 charmed 511 worms from the ground in only half an hour.

The competition has 18 rules. Here are just few of them. Each competitor competes in the 3 x 3 meters area. Music of any kind can be used to charm worms out of the ground. No drugs can be used! Water is considered to be a drug (stimulant).9

9. Morris Dancing. A Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers. In a small number of dances for one or two men, steps are performed near and across a pair of clay tobacco pipes laid across each other on the floor.

So, we saw that British people have a lot of different traditions, strange and national, but the main secret is their capacity to conserve them and follow these traditions every year. Every tradition has its own history, details, secrets, magic and successors.
1.3. British traditional holidays

There are a number of holidays, which are celebrated in Great Britain every year.

Great Britain is famous for its old traditions. Some of them existed in ancient times and survived through centuries. Some of them appeared when Christianity came to British Isles. Speaking about religious holidays one can’t but mention Easter, Pancake Day and Mother’s Day. The dates of these holidays aren’t strict, they depend on the date of Easter that varies every year.

Pancake Day is the popular name for the Shrove Tuesday, the day before the first day of Lent. In the middle ages people on that day made merry and ate pancakes. The ingredients of pancakes are all forbidden by Church during Lent that is why they have to be used the day before.

The most common form of celebrating this day in the old times was the all town ball game or tug-of-war, in which everyone was tearing here and there, trying to get the ball or rope into their part of the city. Today the only custom that is observed throughout Britain is pancake eating.

For the English people the best-known name for the fourth in Lent Sunday is Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day. For 3 centuries this day has been a day of small family gatherings when absent sons and daughters return to their homes. Gifts are made to mothers by children of all ages.

Flowers and cakes are still traditional gifts. Violets and primroses are most popular flowers. Sometimes the whole family goes to church and then there is a special dinner at which roast lamb, rice-pudding and home-made wines and served.

In April Easter is one of the most important holidays in Christianity. In England it’s a time for giving and receiving presents, mostly Easter eggs. We can say that the egg is the most popular emblem of Easter, but spring-time flowers are also used to stress the nature’s awakening.10

Nowadays there are a lot of chocolate Easter eggs, having some small gifts inside. But a real hard-boiled egg, decorated and painted in bright colours, still appears on breakfast tables on Ester Day, or it’s hidden in the house or garden for children to finny.

In egg that is boiled really hard will last for years. Egg-rolling is a traditional Easter pastime. You roll the eggs down a clop until they are cracked and broken, after they are eaten up.

At Easter children eat chocolate Easter eggs. Sometimes parents hide them in the house or in the garden and children have to look for them.

Easter is a festival that occurs on the first Sunday after the full moon in spring. Easter marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. People buy new clothes to wear on Easter Sunday. There is a popular belief that wearing three new things at Easter will bring good luck in the year. After church services many people like to take walks down the streets in their new clothes. This colorful procession of people dressed in bright new spring clothes is called the Easter Parade. The word “Easter” comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn whose spring was celebrated in April.

Before the arrival of Christianity, people believed that the sun died in winter and was born again in spring, on the day of the spring equinox (день весеннего равноденствия) they would sing and dance as the sun rose in the sky. Although it is a Christian festival the customs and legends of Easter celebrations are pagan (языческий) in origin. Easter is the religious holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God. It is at the end of Lent during which children all over the world give up sweets and make other sacrifices in preparation for the highest festival of the church year.

The Easter symbols are: the Cross. It has a special meaning to Christians. It represents Christ's victory over death. It is a significant Easter symbol. The next symbol is eggs.

Long ago some people believed that the earth appeared from a gigantic egg. On Easter Sunday families and friends exchange chocolate eggs. This custom dates back to ancient times when Egyptians and Persians used to paint eggs in bright colours to represent the sunlight of spring and give them to friends as a symbol of new life.

The third symbol is Easter Rabbits. It is true that in ancient Egypt the rabbit symbolized the moon, new life and birth. All around the world, many children believe that the Easter rabbit brings eggs and hides them for children on Easter morning. There are many different legends but here is a popular one.

Long ago in Germany there lived an old woman who loved children. Each year she gave children presents to celebrate spring. But one year she had nothing to give because it was a bad year and she had become very poor. All she had were some eggs. So she colored the eggs and hid them in the grass. When the children arrived, she told them to run into the yard to find their presents there. Just as one of the children uncovered the eggs, a large rabbit hopped away. So the children thought that the rabbit had left the eggs for them. And ever since children have searched for the eggs left by Easter rabbit on Easter morning.11

New Year's Day on the first of January. It is not so popular in England as in our country, but it is rather popular in Scotland. On that day people usually visit their friends and there is a lot of dancing and eating. In Scotland people bring a piece of coal for good luck in the New Year.

The next holiday of the year is St. Valentine's Day. It is on the 14th of February. People buy or make Valentine cards and send them to the people they love.

In March there is Mother's Day. All the children, little or adult ones, come to their mothers on that day to express their love and gratitude.

In June there is Father's Day. On Father's Day children give or send their fathers and grandfathers cards and presents.12

Before Christmas, groups of singers go from house to house. They collect money for charities and sing carols, traditional Christmas songs. Many churches hold a service on Sunday before Christmas. The fun starts the night before, on the 24th of December. Traditionally this is the day when people decorate their trees. Children hang stockings at their beds, hoping that Father Christmas will come down the chimney during the night and fill them with toys and sweets.

No one knows for sure who decorated the first Christmas tree. The custom if bringing an evergreen tree indoors and decorating it at Christmas started in Germany. One legend says that Martin Luther started the practice. Luther was an important Christian leader.

According to the story, he noticed the starlit sky as he walked home one Christmas Eve about the year 1513. He thought the stars looked as if they were shining on the branches.

When he arrived home, Martin Luther placed a small fir tree inside his house. He decorated it with lighted candles. Decorating Christmas trees became popular in Germany. Prince Albert of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, the German husband of Queen Victoria, took the tradition to England. Both German and England people brought it to America. And now nearly every family in Great Britain and the USA has a Christmas tree.

The biggest Christmas tree in Britain is put up in Trafalgar Square in London. The people of Norway still give this tree every year to the British people to thank them for helping Norway against Hitler in the Second World War.13

The 25th of December is Christmas Day. It is one of the people's favorite holidays. People put Christmas trees in their houses and decorate them. There are beautiful Christmas decorations in the streets. On Christmas Eve everybody puts the presents under the Christmas tree. People say that at night Father Christmas puts presents into the stockings which children usually hang on their beds. The traditional Christmas meal is roast turkey and Christmas pudding.14

The Robin Hood Dance. In a little village in Staffordshire a very old dance is performed in September every year. Six men in Robin Hood costumes carry deer's horns set in wooden deer's heads. They walk together with a number of other characters from the Robin Hood legends: Maid Marian, the girl whom Robin Hood loved and married, a knight on a wooden horse, a boy in the traditional costume of a jester, another boy with a bow and many musicians.

The dance begins at 9 o'clock in the morning near the house where the costumes, the horns and all the other things are kept during the winter.

The dancers walk through the wood and visit many farms where they eat, drink and dance. In the afternoon they get back through the village and dance in the streets. The dance ends in the middle of the night in the market-place. Very many people take part in the dance.15

There are fewer public holidays in Great Britain than in other European countries. They are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday and Summer Bank Holiday. Public Holidays in Britain are called bank holidays, because the banks as well as most of the offices and shops are closed.

They go to the seaside or to one of the big parks. Many families take a basket and put their lunch or tea in it. They will sit on the grass under a tree, have their meal in the open air. Good weather is very important. A wet Bank Holiday gives very little pleasure.

Londoners often visit the Zoo where they can see many interesting animals from different countries. But many of them go with their families to Hampstead Heath. This is a large piece of open land near London where there is a fair on some of the Bank Holidays.

There are a lot of interesting things for children and young people at these fairs - merry-go-rounds, swings and many little shops which sell paper hats with the words “Kiss Me Quick”, coloured balloons, cakes and sweets. An important moment at the fair is the coming of the Pearly Kings and Queens. These are men and women who have sewed pearl buttons all over their dresses and suits. And their hats also have many pearl buttons over them. Those people who have the most beautiful costumes are named Pearly King and Queen for one year.

Conclusion of Part 1.

There are a number of holidays, which are celebrated in Great Britain every year. One of the most peculiar features of life in England is the cherishing and preserving of many traditions, sometimes very archaic as they may seem. In England traditions play a very important part in the life of the people.

We saw that British people have a lot of different traditions, strange and national, but the main secret is their capacity to conserve them and follow these traditions every year. Every tradition has its own history, details, secrets, magic and successors.

English people tend to be rather conservative. The conservative attitude consists of an acceptance of things which are familiar. All the same, several symbols of conservatism are being abandoned.

British nation is considered to be the most conservative in Europe. In Great Britain people attach greater importance to traditions and customs than in other European countries.

Englishmen are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. The best examples are their queen, money system, their weights and measures.

English people tend to be rather conservative. The conservative attitude consists of an acceptance of things which are familiar. All the same, several symbols of conservatism are being abandoned.

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