Customs and traditions of Great Britain

8 August 2017

Customss and traditions

Customs and traditions of Great Britain Essay Example

English imposts and traditions, foremost of all, concerns United Kingdom political system. In Great Britain there is no written fundamental law, merely imposts, traditions and case in points. After the English Revolution of Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy headed by King ( now Queen, Elizabeth the 2nd ) . Traditionally the Queen acts merely on the advice of her Curates. She reigns but she does non govern.

Englishmans have traditions non merely in political, but in societal life. For illustration, London, the capital of England, is traditionally divided into three parts: the West End, the East terminal, and the City. The City is a historical, fiscal and concern centre of London. The East End is the territory inhabited by the workers, and the West End is a stylish shopping and entertaining centre. English people like to pass their free clip in legion saloons where they can hold a glass of beer and speak about different things with their friends.

The English are traditional about their repasts. They eat eggs and bacon with toasts for breakfast, pudding or apple pie for sweet. Every English household has five o’clock tea. A typical characteristic of an English house is a hearth, even when there is cardinal heating in the house.

English people like domestic animate beings. Every household has a pet: a Canis familiaris, a cat or a bird.

Politeness is a characteristic characteristic of Englishmen. They frequently say “ Thank you ” , “ Sorry ” , “ Beg your forgiveness ” . Russian people, I think, have to larn this good usage.

Englishmans have many traditional vacations, such as Christmas, St.Valentine ‘s Day, Mother ‘s twenty-four hours, Easter and others.

Some English
imposts and
traditions are celebrated all over the universe. Bowler chapeaus, tea and speaking about the conditions, for illustration. From Scotland to Cornwall, the United Kingdom is full of
imposts and traditions. Here are some of them.

St. Valentine & # 8217 ; s

St. Valentine ‘s Day roots in several different fables that have found their manner to us through the ages. One of the earliest popular symbols of the twenty-four hours is Cupid, the Roman God of Love, Who is represented by the image of a immature male child with bow and pointer. Three hundred old ages after the decease of Jesus Christ, the Roman emperors still demanded that everyone believe in the Roman Gods. Valentine, a Christian priest, had been thrown in prison for his instructions. On February 14, Valentine was beheaded, non merely because he was a Christian, but besides because he had performed a miracle. He purportedly cured the prison guard ‘s girl of her sightlessness. The dark before he was executed, he wrote the prison guard ‘s girl a farewell missive, subscribing it, “ from Your Valentine ” . Another fable tells us that this same Valentine, well-loved by all, wrote notes from his gaol cell to kids and friends who missed him. Whatever the uneven mixture of beginnings, St. Valentine ‘s Day is now a twenty-four hours for sweeties. It is the twenty-four hours that you show your friend of loved one that you care. You can direct confect to person you think is particular. Or you can direct “ valentines ” a greeting card named after the notes that St. Valentine wrote from gaol. Valentines can be sentimental, romantic, and heartfelt. They can be amusing and friendly. If the transmitter is diffident, valentines can be anon. . Americans of all ages as other people in different states love to direct and have valentines. Handmade valentines, created by cutting Black Marias out of colored paper, show that a batch of idea was put into doing them personal. Valentines can be cordate, or have Black Marias, the symbol of love, on them. In simple schools, kids make valentines, they have a little party with refreshments. You can compensate a short rime inside the bosom:

There are gilded ships And Ag ships, But no ships Like friendly relationship.

Valentine cards are normally decorated with symbols of love and friendly relationship. These symbols were devised many centuries ago. Lace symbolises a net for catching one ‘s bosom. If you get a Valentine with a piece of a lacing you may understand that the individual who sent it must be brainsick about you. A symbol should hold several significances, so some experts maintain that lacing stands for a nuptial head covering. A thread means that the individual is tired up, while Black Marias, which are the most common romantic symbol, denote ageless love. Red roses are besides frequently used as a love emblem. Valentine ‘s Day grows more and more popular in many states of the universe. Some people have already begun to observe it in Russia. They try to copy European Valentine imposts and want to cognize more about their beginning. St. Valentine ‘s Day is the twenty-four hours when male childs and misss. friends and neighbors, hubbies and married womans, sweeties and lovers exchange salutation of love and fondness. It is the twenty-four hours to portion one ‘s loving feelings with friends and household, but it is immature work forces and misss who normally wait it with restlessness. This twenty-four hours has become traditional for many twosomes to go occupied. That makes immature people acknowledge St. Valentine ‘s as the great friend and frequenter of lovers.

November, 5 is Guy Fawkes & # 8217 ; s Day.

On the 5th of November in about every town and small town in England one can see fire combustion, pyrotechnics, checking and illuming up the sky, little groups of kids drawing unit of ammunition in a place made cart, a figure that looks something like a adult male but consists of an old suit of apparels, stuffed with straw. The kids sing: ” Remember, retrieve the 5th of November ; Gun pulverization, lese majesty and secret plan ” . And they ask passerby for “ a penny for the Guy ” But the kids with “ the Guy ” are non likely to cognize who or what twenty-four hours they are observing. They have done this more or less every 5th of November since 1605. At that clip James the First was on the throne. He was hated with many people particularly the Roman Catholics against whom many sever Torahs had been passed. A figure of Catholics head of whom was Robert Catesby determined to kill the King and his curates by blowing up the house of Parliament with gunpowder. To assist them in this they got Guy Fawker, a soldier of luck, who would make the existent work. The twenty-four hours fixed for effort was the 5th of November, the twenty-four hours on which the Parliament was to open. But one of the plotters had several friends in the parliament and he did n’t desire them to decease. So he wrote a missive to Lord Monteagle imploring him to do some alibi to be absent from parliament if he valued his life. Lord Monteagle took the missive hurrily to the King. Guards were sent at one time to analyze the basements of the house of Parliament. And there they found Guy Fawker about to fire a trail of gunpowder. He was tortured and hanged, Catesby was killed, defying apprehension in his ain house. In memory of that twenty-four hours balefires are still lighted, pyrotechnics shoot across the November sky and figures of Guy Fawker are burnt in the streets.


It is certain that Christmas is celebrated all over the universe. Possibly no other vacation has developed a set of imposts and symbols. This is the twenty-four hours when many people are going place to be with their famillies on Christmas Day, 25th December. The Christmas narrative comes from bible. An angel appeared to shepherds and told them that a Savior had been born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. Three Wise Men from the East followed a fantastic star which led them to the babe Jesus to whome they paid court and presented gifts of gold, frankicense and sweet cicely. To people all over the universe, Christmas is a season of giving and having nowadayss. In Norse and other European states, Father Christmas, or Saint Nicholas, comes into house at dark and leaves gifts for the kids. Saint Nicholas is represented as a fidly adult male with a ruddy cloak and long white face fungus. He visited house and left giftes, dringing people felicity in the coldest months of the twelvemonth. Another character, the Norse God Odin, rode on a charming winging Equus caballus across the ages to do the present twenty-four hours Santa Claus.

For most British households, this is the most of import festival of the twelvemonth, it combines the Christian jubilation or the birth of Christ with the traditional celebrations of winter. On the Sunday before Christmas many churches hold a carol service where particular anthem are sung.Sometimes carol-singers can be heard on the streets as they collect money for charity. Most households decorate their houses with brightly-colored paper or holly, and they normally have a Christmas tree in the corner or the front foom, glistening with colored visible radiations and ornaments. The Christmas tree was popularized by Prince Albert, hubby of Queen Victoria, who introduced one to the Royal Household in 1840. Since 1947, the state of Norway has presented Britain yearly with a big Christmas tree which stands in Trafalgar Square in memorialization of Anglo-Norwegian cooperation during the Second World War.

There are a batch of traditions connected with Christmas but possibly the most of import one is the giving of present. Familly members wrap up their gifts and go forth them underside of the Christmas tree to be found on Christmas forenoon. Children leave sock or stocking at the terminal of their beds on Christmas Eve, 24th of December, trusting that Father Christmas will come down the chimney during the dark and convey them little nowadayss, fruit and nuts. They are normally non disappointe! At some clip on Christmas Day the familly will sit down to a large Meleagris gallopavo dinner followed by Christmas pudding. Christmas dinner consists traditionally of a joint Meleagris gallopavo, goose or poulet with dressing and joint murphies. Mince pies and Christmas pudding flaring with brandy, which might incorporate coins or lucky appeals for kids, follow this. ( The pudding is normally prepared hebdomads beforehand and is customarily stirred by each member of the household as a want is made. ) Subsequently in the twenty-four hours, a Christmas bar may be served – a rich adust crackpot with marchpane, frosting and sugar icing.

The pulling of Christmas crackers frequently accompanies nutrient on Christmas Day. Invented by a London baker in 1846, a cracker is a brilliantly colored paper tubing, twisted at both terminals, which contains a party chapeau, conundrum and plaything or other bangle. When it is pulled by two people it gives out a cleft as its contents are dispersed.

26th December is besides a public vacation, Boxing Day, which takes its name from a former usage of giving a Christmas Box – a gift of money or nutrient inside a box – to the delivery boies and trades people who called on a regular basis during the twelvemonth. This tradition survives in the usage of tipping the milkman, mailman, garbage mans and other companies of good service at Christmas clip. This is the clip to see friends and relations or ticker football.

At midnight on 31th December throughout Great Britain people celebrate the coming of the New Year, by keeping custodies in a big circle and singing the vocal:

Should auld familiarity be forget, And ne’er brought to mind? Should auld familiarity be forget? And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my beloved, For auld lang syne, We ‘ll take a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne! ..

New Year ‘s Eve is a more of import festival in Scotland than it is in England, and it even has a particular name. It is non clear where the word ‘Hogmanay ‘ comes from, but it is connected with the proviso of nutrient and drink for all visitants to your place on 31th December. It was believed that the first individual to see one ‘s house on New Year ‘s Day could convey good or bad fortune. Therefore, people tried to set up for the individual or their ain pick to be standing outside their houses ready to be let in the minute midnight had come. Normally a dark-complexioned adult male was chosen, and ne’er a adult female, for she would convey bad fortune. The first footer was required to transport three articles: a piece of coal to wish heat, a piece of staff of life to wish nutrient, and a Ag coin to wish wealth.


Easter is a Christian spring festival that is normally celebrated in March or April. The name for Easter comes from a heathen birthrate jubilation. The word “ Easter ” is named after Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess og spring. Spring is a natural clip for new life and hope when animate beings have their immature and workss begin to turn. Christian Easter may hold intentionally been celebrated in the topographic point of a heathen festival. It is hence non surprising that relics of making and beliefs non belonging th the Christian religious should cleave even to this greatest twenty-four hours in the Church ‘s twelvemonth. An antique usage still alive is to acquire up early and climb a hill to see the Sun lifting. There are legion histories of the fantastic spectacle of the Sun twirling unit of ammunition and unit of ammunition for joy at our Saviour ‘s Resurrection. So many people go out-of-doorss on Easter forenoon hoping to see the Sun dance. There is besides a usage of seting on something new to travel to church on Easter forenoon. People celebrate the vacation harmonizing to their beliefs and their spiritual denominations. Christians commemorate Good Friday as the twenty-four hours that Christ died and Easter Sunday as the twenty-four hours

that He was resurrected. Protestant colonists brought the usage of a dawn service, a spiritual assemblage at morning, to the United States.

Today on Easter Sunday, kids wake up to happen that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of confect. He has besides hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that hebdomad. Children Hunt for the eggs all around the house. Vicinities and organisations hold Easter egg Hunts, and the kid who first the most eggs wins a award.

Americans celebrate the Easter bunny coming. They set out easter baskets for their kids to expect the Easter bunnys reaching whi leaves confect and other material. The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the “ Easter Hare ” . Hares and coneies have frequent multiple births, so they became a symbol of birthrate.

Christians fast during the 40 yearss before Easter. They choose to eat and imbibe merely plenty to feep themselves alive.

The twenty-four hours predating Lent is known as Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day. Shrove Tuesday recalls the twenty-four hours when people went to Church Ti confess and be shriven before Lent. But now the twenty-four hours is more by and large connected with relics of the traditional banqueting before the fast. Shrove Tuesday is celebrated for pancake calebration. There is some competition at Westminster School: the battercakes are tossed over a saloon by the cook and struggled for by a little group of selected male childs. The male child who manages to acquire the largest piece is given a present. This tradition dates from 1445. In the forenoon the first church bell on Orley is rung for the rivals to do battercakes. The 2nd ring is a signal for cooking them. The 3rd bell set round for the copetitors to garner at the market square. Then the Pancake bell is sounded and the ladies set off from the church porch, fliping their battercakes three times as they run. Each adult female must have on an apron and a chapeau or scarf over her caput. The victor is given a Prayer Book dy the Vicar.

Mothering Sunday is the 4th Sunday in Lent. It is customary to vasit one ‘s female parent on that twenty-four hours. Mother ought to be given a present – tea, flowers or a simnel bar. It is possible to purchase the bar, they are sold in every confectionery. But it is preferrable to do it at place. The manner Mothering Sunday is celebrated has much in common with the International Women ‘s Day jubilation in Russia.

Good Friday is the first Friday before Easter. It is the twenty-four hours when all kinds of tabu on assorted plants are in force. Besides it is a good twenty-four hours for switching beers, for seeding murphies, peas, beans, Petroselinum crispum, and sniping rose trees. Good Friday brings the one time sacred bars, the celebrated Hot Cross buns. These must be spiced and the dough marked with a cross before baking.

Eggs, poulets, coneies and flowers are all symbols of new life. Chocolate and fruit bar covered with marchpane show that fasting is over. Wherever Easter is celebrated, there Easter eggs are normally to be found. In England, merely as in Russia, Easter is a clip for giving and receiving of nowadayss that traditionally take the signifier of an Easter egg. Easter egg is a existent hard-bitten egg dyed in bright colourss or decorated with some luxuriant form. Coloring and adorning eggs for Easter is a really ancient usage. Many people, nevertheless, avoid utilizing unreal dyes and prefer to boil eggs with the outer tegument of an onion, which makes the eggs shells xanthous or brown. In fact, the colour depends on the sum of onion tegument added. In ancient times they used many different natural dyes fir the intent. The dyes were obtained chiefly from foliages, flowers and bark.

At present Easter eggs are besides made of cocoa, sugar, metals, wood, ceramics and other stuffs at manus. They may differ in size, runing from tremendous to tiny, no bigger than a redbreast ‘s egg. Easter Sunday is solemnly celebrated in London. Each twelvemonth the capital metropolis of Britain greets the spring with a dramatic Easter Parade in Battersea Park. The great emanation, or parade, begins at 3 p.m. The parade consists of many decorated floats, entered by assorted organisations in and outside London. Some of the finest sets in the state take portion in the parade. At the rear of the parade is normally the really beautiful float amply decorated with flowers. It is called the Jersey 1 because the spring flowers bloom early on the Island of Jersey.

In England, kids rolled eggs down hills on Easter forenoon, a game has been connected to the turn overing off of the stone from Jesus Christ ‘s grave so He was resurrected. British colonists brought this usage to the New World. It consists of turn overing coloured, hardboiled egg down a incline until they are cracked and broken after whish they are eaten by their proprietors. In some territories this is a competitory game, the victor being the participant whose egg remains longest undamaged, but more normally, the merriment consists merely of the peal and feeding.


Corn Dollies

Many states seem to hold had a similar usage to the British one of doing a design from the last bundle of maize to be harvested. In Britain a maize dolly is created by braiding the wheat chaffs to make a straw figure. The maize dolly is kept until the Spring. This is because people believed that the maize spirit lived in the wheat and as the wheat was harvested, the spirit fled to the wheat which remained. By making the maize dolly the spirit is unbroken alive for the following twelvemonth and the new harvest. Sometimes the maize dolly is hung up in the barn, sometimes in the farmhouse, and sometimes in the church. In Jumping the maize dolly would be ploughed back into the dirt. There are many types of maize dolly.

The narrative of John Barleycorn

A narrative to the maize dolly is to be found in the folksong John Barleycorn. Three work forces swear that John Barleycorn must decease. They take a Big Dipper and bury him alive. But the Spring comes and John rises through the dirt. After a piece he grows large and strong, even turning a face fungus, so the three work forces cut him down at the articulatio genus, tie him on to a cart, beat him, strip the flesh off his castanetss and crunch him between two rocks. But at the terminal it is John Barleycorn who defeats his oppositions, turn outing the stronger adult male, by turning into beer.

Harvest Festivals

In churches all over Britain there are services to thank God for the Harvest. As portion of these services local people bring baskets of fruit and veggies to adorn the church. The green goods is so distributed to the hapless.


The word itself, “ Halloween, ” really has its beginnings in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruptness of All Hallows Eve. November 1, “ All Hollows Day ” ( or “ All Saints Day ” ) , is a Catholic twenty-four hours of observation in award of saints. But, in the fifth century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The vacation was called Samhain ( sow-en ) , the Celtic New twelvemonth.

One narrative says that, on that twenty-four hours, the discorporate liquors of all those who had died throughout the preceding twelvemonth would come back in hunt of populating organic structures to possess for the following twelvemonth. It was believed to be their lone hope for the hereafter. The Celts believed all Torahs of infinite and clip were suspended during this clip, leting the spirit universe to blend with the life.

Naturally, the still-living did non desire to be possessed. So on the dark of October 31, villagers would snuff out the fires in their places, to do them cold and unwanted. They would so dress up in all mode of morbid costumes and noisily paraded around the vicinity, being every bit destructive as possible in order to scare away liquors looking for organic structures to possess.

Probably a better account of why the Celts extinguished their fires was non to deter spirit ownership, but so that all the Celtic folks could relight their fires from a common beginning, the Druidic fire that was kept combustion in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach.

Some histories tell of how the Celts would fire person at the interest who was thought to hold already been possessed, as kind of a lesson to the liquors. Other histories of Gaelic history debunk these narratives as myth. The Romans adopted the Gaelic patterns as their ain. But in the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into jubilations of some of the other Roman traditions that took topographic point in October, such as their twenty-four hours to honour Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explicate the beginning of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween. The push of the patterns besides changed over clip to go more ritualized. As belief in spirit ownership waned, the pattern of dressing up like hobgoblins, shades, and enchantresss took on a more ceremonial function.

The usage of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840 ‘s by Irish immigrants flying their state ‘s potato dearth. At that clip, the favourite buffooneries in New England included tipping over privies and perturbing fencing Gatess.

The usage of trick-or-treating is thought to hold originated non with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European usage called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from small town to village beggary for “ soul bars, ” made out of square pieces of staff of life with currants. The more soul cakes the mendicants would have, the more supplications they would assure to state on behalf of the dead relations of the givers. At the clip, it was believed that the dead remained in oblivion for a clip after decease, and that supplication, even by aliens, could hasten a psyche ‘s transition to heaven.

The Jack-o-lantern usage likely comes from Irish folklore. As the narrative is told, a adult male named Jack, who was ill-famed as a rummy and prankster, tricked Satan into mounting a tree. Jack so carved an image of a cross in the tree ‘s bole, pin downing the Satan up the tree. Jack made a trade with the Satan that, if he would ne’er allure him once more, he would assure to allow him down the tree.

Harmonizing to the common people narrative, after Jack died, he was denied entryway to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was besides denied entree to Hell because he had tricked the Satan. Alternatively, the Satans gave him a individual coal to illume his manner through the cold darkness. The coal was placed inside a hollowed-out Brassica rapa to maintain it glowing longer.

The Irish used Brassica rapas as their “ Jack ‘s lanterns ” originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that Cucurbita pepos were far more plentiful than Brassica rapas. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out Cucurbita pepo, lit with an coal.

So, although some heathen groups, cults, and Diabolists may hold adopted Halloween as their favourite “ vacation, ” the twenty-four hours itself did non turn out of evil patterns. It grew out of the rites of Celts observing a new twelvemonth, and out of Medieval supplication rites of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the childs. After all, the twenty-four hours itself is merely every bit evil as one cares to do it.

Fire has ever played an of import portion in Halloween. Fire was really of import to the Celts as it was to all early people. In the old yearss people lit balefires to guard away evil liquors and in some topographic points they used to leap over the fire to convey good fortune. Now we light tapers in pumpkin lanterns.

Halloween is besides a good clip to happen out the hereafter. Want to happen out who you will get married? Here are two ways you might seek to happen out:

– Apple-bobbing – Float a figure of apples in a bowl of H2O, and seek to catch one utilizing merely your dentitions. When you have caught one, peel it in one unbroken strip, and throw the strip of Peel over your left shoulder. The missive the Peel signifiers is the initial of your future hubby or married woman.

– Nut-cracking – Topographic point two nuts ( such as buckeyes ) on a fire. Give the nuts the names of two possible lovers and the 1 that cracks foremost will be the one.

There are several unusual traditions:

“ Incorrect side of the bed ”

When people are bad tempered we say that they must hold got out of bed on the incorrect side. Originally, it was meant quiet literally. Peoples believe that the manner they rose in the forenoon affected their behaviour throughout the twenty-four hours. The incorrect side of the bed was the left side. The left ever holding been linked with immorality.

“ Blowing out the tapers ”

The usage of holding tapers on birthday bars goes back to the ancient Greeks. Believers of Artemis, goddess of the Moon and hunting, used to put honey bars on the communion tables of her temples on her birthday. The bars were round like the full Moon and lit with tapers. This usage was following recorded in the in-between ages when German provincials illuminated tapers on birthday bars, the figure lit bespeaking the individual ‘s age, plus an excess one to stand for the visible radiation of life. From earliest yearss firing tapers had been endowed with mystical significance and it was believed that when blown out they had the power to allow a secret want and guarantee a happy twelvemonth in front.

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