Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Celebrations in the USA

The population of the USA is made up of people of different nationalities. Centuries ago they brought with them their native celebrations. Some holidays which are marked in the United States originated in America. The number of holidays is different in different states - from 8 in the District of Columbia to 20 in Oklahoma. But the most important holidays are celebrated throughout the USA. They are: New Year’s Day (January 1), Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12), Washington’s Birthday (February 22), Independence Day (July 4), Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), Christmas (December 25). Here are a few words about them.

On New Year’s Day people see the old year off and the New Year in. Most people stay up all night, even children. At midnight many people go outside and shout «Happy New Year»! Some people set off fireworks and blow automobile horns which are heard everywhere. Everybody exchanges presents and good wishes. Offices, factories, banks and stores do not work on this day.

Lincoln’s birthday is celebrated every year on February 12. Abraham Lincoln was President during the Civil War (1861-1865) He led the fight to keep the nation together and to free the slaves. His life ended tragically. He was killed at the theatre during the performance soon after the victory of the North. In honour of this great man a beautiful memorial has been built in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s birthday is celebrated every year on February 12.

Washington’s birthday is marked on February 22. George Washington led the American Army to victory in the War for Independence. Later he was elected President of the United States and was in office for 8 years (1789-1797). The national capital of the United States, a state and several towns are named after George Washington.

One of the greatest holidays is Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed. It proclaimed independence of the thirteen British colonies from Great Britain. July 4 has become the greatest holiday since. In the past this day was marked with big parades and fireworks, but now it is celebrated more quietly. Cities and towns are decorated with flags on that day, there are parades in some places, but most people just go on picnics to the countryside.

Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. On this day workers make a public show with marches, meetings, etc. It also marks the beginning of the school year and the end of summer.

Thanksgiving Day is marked on the fourth Thursday of November. On this day the Americans honour the memory of the first settlers. It also marks the end of the harvest season. It is a long-standing tradition to make a festive meal with a fried turkey on this day.

Christmas is a religious holiday which symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ. By this day people decorate fir trees with toys and candies. Children wait for Santa Claus who comes to every house and brings them presents. Before going to bed, children leave their shoes to find in them what they want most of all the next morning. Some people, especially young people, like to celebrate it in restaurants and cafes and pubs, but most people prefer to stay at home with their family on this day.

Topical Vocabulary

- to be made up of smb., smth.
состоять из кого-либо, чего-либо
a native celebration
национальный праздник
to be marked
to originate in
происходить из, возникать в
to be celebrated throughout the USA
праздноваться во всех штатах
- New Year’s Day
Новый год
to see the old year off
провожать старый год
to see the New Year in
встречать новый год
to stay up all night
не спать всю ночь
to set off fireworks
запускать фейерверки
to exchange presents and good wishes
обмениваться подарками и пожеланиями
- Lincoln’s birthday
день рождения Линкольна
the Civil War
Гражданская война
to lead the fight
возглавлять борьбу
to keep the nation together
сохранять единство нации
to free the slaves
освободить рабов
to end tragically
закончиться трагически
the victory of the North
победа северян
in honour of smb.
в честь кого-либо
- Washington’s birthday
день рождения Вашингтона
to lead the army to victory
привести армию к победе
the War for Independence
Война за независимость
to be elected President
быть избранным президентом
to be in office
находиться на посту, служить
to be named after smb.
быть названным в честь кого-либо
- Independence Day
День независимости
the Declaration of Independence
Декларация независимости
to be signed
быть подписанным
to proclaim independence
провозгласить независимость
a colony
to be marked with parades and fireworks
отмечаться парадами и фейерверками
to be decorated with flags
быть украшенным флагами
to go on picnics to the countryside
отправиться на пикник за город
- Labour Day
День труда
to make a public show
проводить акцию
- Thanksgiving Day
День Благодарения
to honour the memory of smb.
увековечить память кого-либо
the first settlers
первые поселенцы
the harvest season
сезон сбора урожая
a long-standing tradition
старая традиция
to make a festive meal
устроить праздничный обед
- Christmas
a religious holiday
религиозный праздник
to symbolize the birth of Jesus Christ
символизировать рождение Иисуса Христа
to decorate fir trees with toys and candies
украшать елку игрушками и сладостями
to prefer to stay at home
предпочитать оставаться дома

Answer the questions:

  1. Why is the number of holidays different in different states?
  2. What kind of holiday is New Year’s Day?
  3. Birthdays of what political figures are national holidays?
  4. What is Independence Day?
  5. What is Thanksgiving Day?
  6. What kind of holiday is Christmas?

Translate into English:

  1. Люди разных национальностей принесли с собой свои национальные праздники.
  2. Общенациональные (national) праздники справляются на всей территории США.
  3. Во время общенациональных праздников все банки, офисы и магазины не работают.
  4. Новый год - это праздник, когда люди провожают старый год и встречают новый; они обмениваются подарками и пожеланиями.
  5. Несколько общенациональных праздников - это дни рождения политических деятелей США.
  6. Вашингтон возглавлял американскую армию в войне за независимость. После победы он был избран президентом США.
  7. Линкольн был президентом США, был у власти во время гражданской войны и возглавлял борьбу за освобождение рабов.
  8. День независимости отмечается в честь подписания (signing) Декларации независимости.
  9. Большинство праздников отмечается парадами и фейерверками, многие устраивают праздничные обеды и отправляются на пикники за город.
  10. В День Благодарения американцы чтят память первых поселенцев.
  11. Рождество символизирует рождение Иисуса Христа.