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Main » Articles » ISSUE #5

My favourite British holiday

Holidays are a part of the culture of any country. In order to better understand other people it is not just enough to know the language of the country, it is very important to know its history and culture.  

One of the favourite holidays in Great Britain is probably Halloween that is the night before All Saints Day. They say that Halloween is not less than two thousand years. It dates back to Celtic times.

Children like this holiday very much, they dress up in costumes of monsters and walk from home to home, demanding sweets. The symbol of the holiday is a pumpkin.

By the way, the pumpkin is the invention of the Americans. In Ireland and Scotland, people carved scary faces from turnips and potatoes, in England people used beets.

As for me, my favorite holiday is St. Valentine’s Day. The day was named after the Christian martyr Valentine (priest and doctor), who was sentenced by the Roman pagans to death. According to the legend, the priest Valentine secretly married lovers.

In prison Valentine cured the blindness of the jailer’s daughter. Valentine and the girl loved each other and communicated with notes. Before death February 14 270, he sent her last note and signed it "from Valentine."
In 496 Pope Gelasius was annonced on February the 14th St.Valentine's Day and lovers all over the world found their patron saint.

When the Romans came to Britain they brought the tradition of St.Valentine's Day with them. In England this holiday is connected with a secret delivery of gifts. On this day candies, soft toys, ornaments, and, of course, the emblem of this festival is the heart which are sent to one’s beloved.
   A special place on this day is devoted to flowers. The English borrowed this custom of giving flowers on St.Valentine's Day from the French at the beginning of the XVIII century. It reached its peak during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 1901). As we know, there is an entire alphabet of colors which helps to express one’s feelings. The greatest preference is given to the red rose, which, according to a legend, appeared thanks to the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite - she stepped on a bush of white roses and pricked her leg with a thorn, the flowers dyed in red color. Louis XVI gave Marie - Antoinette red roses on this day, many people followed him and it became a tradition.

In addition to any gift on this day, people certainly get "Valentines”. These are greeting cards in the shape of hearts with words of love. The first "Valentine” was printed in 1840.

Now you can see a variety of "Valentines”: from small and simple, made in series, to real works of art. However the signature: «To You, with Love from Valentine» is the same on all the cards and it doesn’t depend on its price.

Category: ISSUE #5 | Added by: Guzeliya (14-Feb-2012) | Author: Anastasiya Busleeva
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