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Holidays in Britain

Christmas Day is the most popular bank holiday. It is celebrated on December 25. On this day many people go to churches, open their Christmas presents, and eat a Christmas dinner of roast turkey and Christmas pudding. Many people watch the Queen’s Christmas broadcast on TV. This day is a traditional family reunion day and a special day for children. Christmas has three marvelous aspects- giving and receiving presents, making beautiful decorations and preparing the most wonderful food. The central decoration for Christmas must be the tree. Prince Albert introduced the custom to England in the nineteenth century.

New Year’s Dayis on January 1. It is not marked with any custom in Great Britain. Traditional New Year parties and dances are held on the New Year’s Eve. People see the old year out and the New Year in

May Day Holidayis on the first Sunday after the first of May. It is a celebration of the coming of spring. On May day different outdoor events are held. Usually May Queen, the most beautiful girl of the celebration, is selected

St Valentine’s Dayis celebrated on February 14. On that day people send Valentine card and presents to their husbands, wives, boy-friends and girl-friends. You can also sent a card to a person you don’t know. But traditionally you must never write your name on it.

November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day.All over the country people build wood fires, or bonfires, in their gardens. On the top of each bonfire is a guy, this is a figure of Guy Fawkes. On November 5, 1605, 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.”

On the night of Hallowe’en, October 31, children or adults visit houses and ask the people if they want ‘trick’ or ‘treat’. If the people in the house give the children a ‘treat’ (usually money or sweets) , then the children will not play a trick on them. Another Hallowe’en custom is to scrape out a pumpkin, cutting eyes, nose and mouth in its side and lighting a candle inside, this is made to scare their friends


What questions can you ask a British teenager about his/ her birthday celebration?

- When is your birthday? - Did you have a birthday party last year? - Did you enjoy your party?

- What presents did you get? - Whom did you invite to your birthday party?

- You usually celebrate your birthday at home, don’t you? - Have you ever had a surprise birthday party?


Do you think it’s easy to organize a good party? What mistakes do people sometimes make?

I think that to organize a good birthday party is not easy. First of all you should make or buy invitation card and send them to you guests long before the party. You can’t but agree that the party should be well planned. Choosing a perfect location for the party is another challenging task. It should be reasonable in size. If you are planning an outdoor party weather forecasting becomes a vital factor. If you are going to have a party at home you should decorate the room. The dining-room chairs should be set in such a way that your guests can gossip while eating. The food should be healthy and tasty. The program of the party should include dancing, playing games, and singing. Actually you have to do everything possible to make your friends feel comfortable and have fun.

What good manners will you recommend a British tourist to follow in Belarus?

You should always remember that Belarusian people are famous for their hospitality. When they are welcoming guests they present them with bread and salt. If they invite you to a party you should dress smartly and be ready to taste all the food they have cooked. It will be nice if you bring some flowers or a souvenir because they will certainly give you some gifts. You should show respect to your host and be sensitive to people around you. Our people never put feet on seats or tables like some Americans do. It is considered polite to stand up if an elderly person is standing nearby. Older people usually introduce themselves using their first name and patronymic. Shaking hands is a common form of greeting. Men shake hand with men but women do neither with men nor with women. Whistling inside a building or keeping empty bottles on the table is considered bad luck. You should remember that Belarusian people are friendly and hospitable they always do their best to make their guests feel comfortable.

What questions can you ask a British teenager about good manners in their country.

Unwritten Rules of Great Britain


Good and bad manners make up the social rules of a country. They are not always easy to learn because they are often not written down in books.. Visitors to Britain are often surprised by the strange behavior of the inhabitants. One of the worst mistakes is to get on a bus without waiting your turn in the queue. The other people in the queue will probably complain loudly! Queuing is a national habit and it is considered polite or good manners to wait for your turn. In some countries it is considered bad manners to eat in the street, whereas in Britain it is common to see people having a snack whilst walking down the road, especially at lunchtime. In recent years smoking has received a lot of bad publicity, and fewer British people now smoke. Many companies have banned smoking from their offices and canteens. Smoking is now banned on the London Underground, in cinemas and theaters and most buses. It's becoming less and less acceptable to smoke in a public place. It is considered rude or bad manners to smoke in someone's house without permission. Social rules are an important part of our culture as they passed down through history. The British have an expression for following these "unwritten rules": "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".


What questions can you ask a British teenager about good manners in their country

- What kind of people are the English? - What do they usually say when they greet friends?

- Do they usually take a gift when they visit somebody’s home? – Do they always stand in queues when boarding a bus?

- When do they say “excuse me”? -Is it considered rude when they don’t say “thank you”?

- Do they greet people with a kiss?

What national souvenirs will you recommend a British tourist to buy?

There are a lot of things that can be found only in Belarus and nowhere else in the world. Belarus has long been famous for its linen fabrics, symbolic rushniks (embroidered towels), unique products made of straw, clay and wood. It’s famous for its valenki and hats made of sheepskin.

In Belarus flax has been cultivated since ancient times. You can buy clothes, bedclothes, tablecloths, bath towels, bags made of flax. You can also buy souvenirs resembling the famous Slutsk belts. Perhaps nowhere in the world you can find such a variety of things made of straw: dolls in Belarusian costumes, hats and sandals, figures of animals and birds. “Straw spider” is an amulet which protects the house and ensures the well-being of the family. Hundreds of years ago Belarusians used osier to make house walls and fences. Nowadays you can buy souvenirs made of osier. They are bread bins, trays, plates, lapty and even furniture. It’s a well-known fact that Belarus is a land of forests. Wood has been widely used for construction and art purposes. Wooden souvenirs include figures of people and animals, carved furniture and what not. So you see that our country can offer a lot of unusual things. It is surely worth visiting.

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