Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
American Holidays

Each of the 59 American states established its own holidays. The federal government, through the President and Congress, can legally set holidays only for federal employees and for the District of Columbia. Most states, however, accept the federal legal holidays. Holidays for all federal offices, most state and local government offices, and many (not all) businesses, are:

New Year’s Day (January 1)
Martin Luther King’s birthday (third Monday in January)
Washington’s Birthday, sometimes called «President’s Day» (third Monday in February)
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (first Monday in September)
Columbus Day (second Monday in October)
Veteran’s Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
Christmas Day (December 25)

Most states have holidays which are observed, but are not necessary «legal». The name of the holiday (e.g. Confederate Memorial Day) goes on the calendar (last Monday in April) for a state (Alabama, Mississippi), yet this does not mean that businesses are always closed or children let out of school. President or Congress may proclaim a special day or week in order to bring attention to a certain concern, interest group, or problem.

The many religious holidays such as Good Friday, Hanukkah, or Ramadan are observed, of course, by the religious, but they have no national or official legal status. Rather, each state sets its own laws, and whether or not an employee is given time off also depends on labour agreements.

There are many traditional holidays, observed by a large number оf Americans, which are also neither legal nor official. Among these are St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (not just people with Irish roots celebrate it), Mother’s Day and Halloween Day (the last day of October).

The three holidays which were first observed in the US, but have now spread elsewhere are Labor Day (May 1), Thanksgiving, and Mother’s Day.

Perhaps the two «most American» of the holidays are the Fourth of July - Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The Fourth of July is the day of signing the Declaration of Independence. It is like a big, nationwide birthday party. Some towns and cities have parades with bands and flags. The nation’s birthday is also the nation’s greatest annual summer party.

Thanksgiving is a day for families to come together. Traditional foods are prepared for the feast - turkey or ham, corn dishes, breads and rolls, and a pumpkin pie. At the same time, Thanksgiving is a solemn occasion, a day to remember the many who are less well off, in America and throughout the world.

Topical Vocabulary

- to establish a holiday
установить праздник
the federal government
федеральное правительство
to legally set holidays for federal employees
официально установить праздник для федеральных служащих
to accept the federal legal holidays
принять официальные федеральные праздники
Independence Day
День независимости
Labor Day
День труда
Thanksgiving Day
День Благодарения
- to be observed
to close a business
закрыть предприятие
to proclaim a special day or week
объявить праздником день или неделю
to bring attention to smth.
привлечь внимание к чему-либо
to be observed by the religious
соблюдаться верующими
to have no national or official legal status
не иметь общенационального или законного официального статуса
to be given time off
получить свободное время
to observe a traditional holiday
отмечать традиционные праздники
- to spread elsewhere
зд.: распространиться по всему миру
a nationwide birthday party
день рождения в общенациональных масштабах
a parade with bands and flags
парад с оркестрами и флагами
- a day for families to come together
день, в который семья собирается вместе
a feast
зд.: праздничный обед
a solemn occasion
торжественный день
to be less well off
быть менее обеспеченными

Answer the questions:

  1. How are federal holidays set?
  2. What are the holidays for federal employees and state government offices?
  3. What other kinds of holidays are there in the USA?
  4. How are religious holidays marked?
  5. What are traditional holidays?
  6. How is Independence Day marked?
  7. What kind of holiday is Thanksgiving?

Translate into English:

  1. Федеральное правительство устанавливает официальные праздники для федеральных служащих; штаты принимают эти праздники.
  2. В США празднуются многие неофициальные праздники.
  3. Религиозные праздники не имеют статуса официальных.
  4. К традиционным праздникам относятся День святого Валентина, День святого Патрика, Хэллоуин и т. д.
  5. Некоторые праздники, возникшие (originate) в США, получили распространение и в других странах.
  6. День независимости похож на день рождения нации.
  7. В День Благодарения семьи собираются на праздничный обед.