English customs and traditions 2

Every nation and every country has its own customs and traditions. In Britain traditions play a more important part in the life of people than in other countries. Englishmen are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. There are a lot of customs you can enjoy. Some of them are very old games or plays. There is e.g. the Marbles Championship, where the British Champion is crowned; he wins a silver cup known among folk dancers is Morris Dancing, where people in beautiful clothes with ribbons and bells on them dance to traditional music with handkerchiefs or big sticks. Of a completely different style is the Boat Race on the river Thames, often on Eastern Sunday. A boat with a team from Oxford university and one with a team from Cambridge University hold a race. Hours before the race people arrive and sit along the river. The British think that the Grand National is the most exciting horse race in the world. It is at the Aintree Race Course, near Liverpool, every year. Sometimes it takes place on the same day as the Boat Race, sometimes a week later. Amateur riders as well as professional jockeys can take part. It is famous because the jumps are very high and the course is very long. If you don`t like boat racing you won`t have to stay at home on Easter Sunday. You can go Egg-rolling…: go to Avenham Park, with a hard boiled egg — it will look nicer if you have painted it. Take it to the top of the hill in Avenham Park — as you won`t be alone there that day just follow the other people — and roll it down. That`s it!!! If your egg doesn`t break the 1st time you can do it again and… Oh, Avenham Park is near the ton of Preston, in Lancashire. May 1st isn`t a public holiday in Britain, but the 1st Monday after it is. There are many May Day Celebrations, especially in the country. People erect a maypole then, a tall pole with ribbons hanging from the top. Young children dance round it, holding the ribbons. Teenage girls sometimes enter for the May Queen competition. Halloween is a day on which many children dress up in unusual costumes. The day was originally called All Halloween`s Eve, because it fell on October 31, the eve of all Saint`s Day. The name was later shortened to Halloween. «Remember, remember the 5th of November» are the words of an old English song. Why? Because in 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes had planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill king James 1st on that day (the king was to open Parliament then). But Guy Fawkes was caught and hanged. And still the British remember Guy Fawkes` Night or Bonfire Night. From early October you can see children with figures (called `guys`) made of sacks and straw and dressed in old clothes. The children say: «Penny for the Guy»- and with the money they collect in this way they buy fireworks. On November 5th the children put their `Guy` on the bonfire, born it, and light their fireworks…and the British sky is full of light. At the end of the year there are the famous New Year celebrations. In London many people go to Trafalgar Square on New Year`s Eve. There is singing and dancing and at 12 o`clock on December 31st — or should we say January 1st? — they all sing the famous song «Auld Lang Syne». A popular Scottish event is the Edinburg Festival for music and drama each year. And perhaps even more known is the Edinburg Military Tattoo from Edinburg Castle early September. A truly Welsh event is the Eisteddfod, a national festival of traditional poetry and music, with a competition for the best new poem in Welsh and for the best choir.