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Life in Britain


The British are said to be conservatives. They still use their traditional system of weights and measures, they drive on the left and they still wear traditional school uniforms at some schools.

They do not shake hands and kiss hello so often as we do and are famous for their dry humour. They like spending their leisure time at home with the family pets in their houses. Everybody knows the English saying "My home is my castle" which demonstrates their right to privacy. They are proud of their isles, they call the strait between Britain and France the English Channel and the rest of Europe the Continent.

On the other hand they are much advanced in science and technology. Many sports and games originated or were perfected in Britain.

The British are very polite and have good manners. They have good table manners. They enjoy their breakfasts and most of all the traditional tea around 4 or 5 o'clock. Their mania for tea at any time of the day is world famous. You can often see them picnicking on the grass.


An average Englishman likes to live in his own house.

Houses are made of red bricks or concrete, stone and wood, somewhere you can still find half-timbered houses with thatched roofs. The houses are either semidetached or detached.


New Year s Day - January the 1st - titles and decoration are conferred by the Queen.

February the 14th, St. Valentine's Day - a lovers' feast. Young people send Valentine cards, usually anonymously, and exchange gifts. The day was named for an early Christian martyr.

St. David s Day - the patron saint of Wales, March the 1st.

St. Patrick s Day - the patron saint of Ireland, March the 17th. People often wear shamrocks on that day.

All Fools Day - April 1st, it is named after the custom of playing practical jokes and tricks on people and then you can shout "April Fool!"

Easter is celebrated as in the rest of Europe. Easter eggs, dyed and decorated or made of confectionery, symbolizing new life are given as presents.

May Day is celebrated with dancing around Maypoles.

The political parties of the left hold processions and public meetings.

Mothers Day - 2nd Sunday in May

The mid-summer's day - there is sunrise ceremony at Stonehenge on June 24th. Somewhere the mid-summer fires are lit as in pre-Christian times when this ritual was performed to give strength to the sun and drive out the devil.

In June the Queen s official birthday is celebrated. It is a great ceremony with a parade of the Queen s guards and soldiers and ceremony of Trooping the Colour at the Horse Guards Parade in


Halloween - in Britain is celebrated only in the North of England and in Scotland, but si generally celebrated in the USA and Canada. Children dress up in Halloween costumes of ghosts, witches, wizzards etc. They go to the neighbours houses and they say to the people "Trick or treat". The people treat the children with sweets, fruit or money. the most common trick is soaping the windows. People make a lantern from a scraped pumpkin in which eyes, nose and mouth are cut and then a candle is lit inside.

Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th - there was the unsuccessful plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 - it's called the Gunpowder Plot - the conspirations were executed. It is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks and the burning of guys.

St. Andrew s Day - the patron saint of Scotland, November 30

Christmas - is family holiday in Britain. Before Christmas department stores are decorated. Unlike the Continentals the English have no traditional celebration on Christmas Eve. Before English children go to bed they hang up Christmas stockings and they believe that Father Christmas fills them presents and toys. There is also costume of leaving out mince pies for Father Christmas. In the rooms holly and ivy is hung as a decoration. A sprig of mistletoe is hug in a central position or over the door. The Christmas Day is on the 25th December. It is the most festive day of Christmas in Britain and USA. Children open their presents at breakfast time. A midday Christmas dinner is a great occasion. It consists of roast turkey with chestnut stuffing and roast potatoes and Christmas pudding. The pudding is made of lots of dried fruit, eggs, suet and very little flour. There is also the custom of stirring onto the pudding, when it is being prepared, a coin, a thimble and a ring to bring wealth, work and a wedding to those who find it. On Christmas Day the Queen addresses the nation and the Commonwealth on radio and television.

The 26th December is called the Boxing Day. In the past apprentices and tradesmen collected money in boxes on that day. During Christmas time people sing carols and songs e.g. "Auld Land Syne" - this song is sung in Scotland and people sing it at midnight.

Life in the USA


Americans are far from having the reputation of being conservative. Their famous saying "Time is money" shows that they value progress, success and prosperity. They are not so reserved as many British people are.


St. Patrick s Day is celebrated on the 17th March. Originally it was an Irish holiday. St. Patrick is the patron of the Irish people. On this day everywhere is green color. The symbol of this holiday is the shamrock.

Easter - many homes organize "Easter egg hunt" - also the president.

Memorial Day the 4th Monday in May. The American honour the dead of all wars.

Independence Day - 4th July, the birthday of the USA. Typical for this day is the atmosphere and enjoyment, there are family beach party and the fireworks at night.

Columbus Day the 2nd monday in October. This day commemorates Columbus' landing in the New World.

Veteran's Day - November 11th.

Thanksgiving Day - every 4th Thursday in November. It is a family holiday.

Christmas - Santa Clause lives at North Pole where he makes toys during a year.

Valentine's Day, Halloween - the same in Britain.


The majority works in some service profession - business, schools, hospitals etc.

Life in the Czech Republic


In the Czech Republic a State holiday usually means that we have a day off. There are some holidays which have their origin in Christianity - Easter, Christmas

On Easter we celebrate the first weekend after the first full moon in spring. There are many folks customs connected with this holiday. The most typical is painting Easter eggs. During Easter Monday boys trash girls with a twig which can be decorated with some ribbons and they get from girls painted eggs.

May Day - it is a holiday of working people. It has a long tradition in our country.

On the 8th May we celebrate the liberation of our country by American and Soviet Armies.

On the 1st of June we celebrate the National Children s Day.

5th July is the date of the Arrival of Cyril and Method. They were Slavonic missionaries who brought Christianity and the alphabet to Great Moravia.

On 6th of July, 1415, Master John Huss was burned to death. Since 1990 we have a day off on the day of the anniversary of this event.

The most important national holiday in our country is the 28th of October when we celebrate the anniversary of the Birth of Czechoslovakia.

Christmas is the most popular family holiday. People buy Christmas trees, some people prefer artificial Christmas tree which can be used several times. On the Christmas Eve we have the traditional Christmas dinner. We have fish soup and fried carp with potato salad. Children expect the bell signal from "Infant Jesus" to be allowed to unpack the presents hidden under the Christmas tree. Many people buy mistletoe - it is the symbol of happiness.

On the 31st of December people celebrate the coming of the New Year.

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