Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Customs and Traditions in Great Britain

Some English customs and traditions are famous all over the world. Bowler hats, tea and talking about the weather, for example. From Scotland to Cornwall, the United Kingdom is full of customs and traditions. Here are some of them.

St. Valentine’s is the saint of people in love, and St Valentine’s day is February, 14. On that day, people send valentine cards and presents to their husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. You can also send a card to a person you don’t know. But traditionally you must never write your name on it. Some British newspapers have a page for Valentine’s Day messages on February 14th.

April, 1 is April Fool’s Day in Great Britain. This is a very old tradition from the Middle Ages. At that time servants were masters for one day of the year. Now April Fool’s Day is different. It’s a day for jokes and tricks.

May, 1 was an important day in the Middle Ages. In the very early morning young girls went to fields and washed their faces with dew. They believed this made them very beautiful for a year after that. Also on May Day young men of each village tried to win prizes with their bows and arrows, and people danced round the Maypole.

November, 5 is Guy Fawkes’s Day. All over the country people build wood fires, or «bonfires», in their gardens. On top of each bonfire is a guy, this is a figure of Guy Fawkes. On November, 5, 1665, Guy Fawkes tried to kill King James I. He and a group of his friends put a bomb under the Houses of Parliament in London. But the king’s men found the bomb and Guy Fawkes. They took him to the Tower of London, where his head was cut off. Before November 5, children use guys to make money. They stand in the street and shout: «Penny for the guy».

Topical Vocabulary

to be famous all over the world
быть известным во всем мире
a bowler hat
to be full of customs and traditions
быть полным обычаев и традиций
a saint
to send valentine cards to smb.
посылать валентинки кому-либо
a Valentine’s Day message
послание Дня святого Валентина
- April Fool’s Day
День смеха
the Middle Ages
средние века
a servant
a master
a trick
проделка, проказа
- to wash one’s face with dew
умывать лицо росой
to win a prize
выиграть приз
to dance round the Maypole
танцевать вокруг майского шеста
- to build a bonfire
устроить костер
to put a bomb under smth.
заложить бомбу под что-либо
to cut one’s head off
отрубить голову кому-либо
to use a guy to make money
использовать чучело, чтобы заработать денег

Answer the questions:

  1. What proves that the United Kingdom is a country of traditions?
  2. How is St. Valentine’s Day marked?
  3. What is April Fool’s Day?
  4. What are the old traditions of May Day?
  5. Why is the guy put on top of the bonfire on November, 5?

Translate into English:

  1. Соединенное Королевство полно обычаев и традиций, известных во всем мире.
  2. День святого Валентина, святого влюбленных, отмечается 14 февраля.
  3. 1 апреля - день смеха, день шуток и проделок.
  4. 1 мая - праздник прихода (coming) весны.
  5. 5 ноября люди сооружают большие костры и сжигают (bum) чучело Гая Фокса.
  6. Гай Фокс жил в 17 веке и пытался подложить бомбу под парламент.
  7. Заговор (plot) был раскрыт, Гая Фокса посадили в Тауэр и отрубили ему голову.