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British Holidays And Customs

Autorius: Austėja

Every nation and every country has its own traditions and customs. Traditions make a nation special. Some of them are old-fashioned and many people remember them, others are part of peoples life. Some British customs and traditions are known all the world.

From Scotland to Cornwall, Britain is full of customs and traditions. A lot of them have very long histories. Some are funny and some are strange. But they are all interesting. There is the long menu of traditional British food. There are many royal occasions. There are songs, saying and superstitions. They are all part of the British way of life.

You cannot really imagine Britain without all its traditions, this integral feature of social and private life of the people living on the British Isles that has always been an important part of their life and work.

English traditions can classified into several groups: traditions concerning the Englishmens private life (childs birth, wedding, marriage, wedding anniversary); which are connected with families incomes; state traditions; national holidays, religious holidays, public festival, traditional ceremonies.

What about royal traditions? There are numerous royal traditions in Britain, some are ancient, others are modern.

The Queen is the only person in Britain with two birthdays. Her real birthday is on April 21st, but she has an “official” birthday, too. That is on the second Saturday in June. And on the Queens official birthday, there is a traditional ceremony called the Trooping of the Colour. It is a big parade with brass bands and hundreds of soldiers at Horse Guards Parade in London. A “regiment” of the Queens soldiers, the Guards, march in front of her. At the front of the parade there is the regiments flag or “colour”. Thousands of Londoners and visitors watch in Horse Guards Parade. And millions of people at home watch it on television. This custom is not very old, but it is for very old people. On his or her one hundredth birthday, a British person gets a telegram with congratulations from the Queen.

Thechanging of the Guard happens every day at Buckingham Palace, the Queens home in London. The ceremony always attracts a lot of spectators Londoners as well as visitors to the British capital.

So soldiers stand on front of the palace. Each morning these soldiers (the “guard”) change. One group leaves and another arrives. In summer and winter tourists stand outside the palace at 11:30 every morning and watch the Changing of the Guard.

Traditionally the Queen opens Parliament every autumn. But Parliament, not the Royal Family, controls modern Britain. The Queen travels from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament in a gold carriage the Irish State Coach. At the Houses of Parliament the Queen sits on a “throne” in the House of Lords. Then she reads the “Queens Speech”. At the State Opening of Parliament the Queen wears a crown. She wears other jewels from the Crown Jewels, too.

Every year, there is a new Lord Mayor of London. The Mayor is the citys traditional leader. And the second Saturday in November is always the day for the Lord Mayors Show. This ceremony is over six hundred years old. It is also Londons biggest parade.

The Lord Mayor drives to the Royal Courts of Justice in a coach. The coach is two hundred years old. It is red and gold and it has six horses.

As it is also a big parade, people make special costumes and act stories from Londons history.

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