CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS IN BRITAIN
A YEAR IN BRITAIN
â€˘ JANUARY: Up-Helly-Aa
In shetlands, one island near scotland from ninth century is held UpHelly-Aa, a festival in honor of the Vikings, they were men of norway who came to the islands in boats, and carried away animals,gold,and sometimes women and children,too. Now, 1000 years later, every winter, in lerwick, the town of shetlands, are made long-ships, models of the Vikings, with the head of a dragon on the front. The villagers cross the city through to the sea on the boat made for they,then they burn it,this is done because the Vikings left their dead men on the ship, and then burned. That night, everyone wears clothes vikings, and now the festival is a party for the people of the Shetland Islands.
â€˘ FEBRUARY: St ValentineÂ´s Day
St Valentine is for people the saint love, this celebration is february 14th. This day is write and send love letters, and is presents husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends... You can they also send letters to someone you do not know, but tradition is not to put your name on it. In some British newspapers can find pages with messages for valentines day, February 14th.
â€˘ MARCH: St DavidÂ´s Day
March 1st is an important day for the people of Wales. Is the day of Saint David, patron national of Wales. On March 1st , the Welsh celebrate saint david wearing daffodils in the buttonholes of their coats and jackets.
• APRIL: Fool´s Day
On April 1st , in Britain is the fool day, old tradition is celebrated since the Middle Ages, between the V and XV centuries. At that time the servants were masters for one day a year, which sent their masters, and they all obeyed. Now fool´s day is different, because only spend jokes and tricks.
â€˘ MAY: May Day
May 1st is a very important day since the Middle Ages. Young girls go to the field to wash his face in the early morning with the dew, believe it is something nice while children try to win competitions with their bows and arrows. Also people dance on the maypole. Many villages have maypole, and makes dance do not forget.
â€˘JUNE: MidsummerÂ´s Day
The midsummerÂ´s day is june 24th , is the day most long of the year. That day you can see a very old custom at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England. Stonehenge is the largest stone circle in Europe, some of the stones are between ten and twelve feet high, the oldest part has more than 5,000 years. But what are stonehenge? it is believed that the Druids used it as a calendar. The Druids were priests 2,000 years ago, today there are Druids in Britain too. Every June 24th , many of them go up, it is a very important moment year for them, because it is said that on that morning, the sun always shines on same stone forever, on the stone of the heel, a very famous stone,but for many British it's just a strange old custom.
• OCTOBER: Hallowe´en
October 31st is hallowe´en, and you can meet with witches and ghosts. Hallowe´en, is an old word that comes from “Hallows evening”, the night before “All Hallows” or “All Saints Day”. That night the ghosts and witches are free,although that is the traditional story. Years ago, people had fear,and not came out of this house. Now that day, they celebrate with parties, where people dress up and put masks. They makes lamps made with pumpkins,making him eyes and nose, and putting candles inside.
â€˘ NOVEMBER: Guy FawkesÂ´Day
November 5th is the day of Fawkes guy, all over the country, bonfires were made with wood in their gardens, above these bonfires a figure of a man named Fawkes goes down, people do straw, used clothing and newspapers . Before you burn, the children used to take money with them, screaming in the middle of the street, "cent for men", then spend the money on fireworks. Why comes this idea? Fawkes who was and who remember the 5th of November? It was a guy that the November 5, 1605 he wanted to kill the king james 1 with a group of friends, planting bombs under the parliament london, king's men found them, and guy Fawkes too, he was taken to the Tower of London, and there they cut off his head.
•DECEMBER: Christmas And The New Year
There are many traditions in Britain at Christmas and New Year. • The Christmas decorations in London:
Every year, the Norwegian people, gives to London, a large Christmas tree, putting it in Trafalgar Square and the streets of central London, oxford street and regent street also have lovely decorations, thousands of people, they will see each year.
â€˘ Cards,Trees and Mistletoe:
In 1846 he is start the Christmas cards, five years after the Christmas tree. This is tradition brought to Great Britain, for Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, from Germany, because he was German. In 1841, they had a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle, a few years after the houses of britain already had one. It is traditionally decorated on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Another tradition is mistletoe, which is placed over white berries on the door, people said to bring good luck. The British people kiss their friends and family under the mistletoe.
The British children donÂ´t open the presents in the Christmas eve, they open them in the morning of the 25th The name for father Christmas in Britain is Santa Claus, although his name in Europe is San Nicholas. Traditional history says he lives at the North Pole. Today, lives in biggest shops of the British cities. On Christmas Eve,he visits every house and enters the chimney to leave gifts. Some people stop for something, like a glass of wine and some biscuits, for him.
â€˘ Christmas Day:
In Britain, the most important Christmas meal is dinner on 25th December. All holiday meals are typical, but not old, such as turkey or goose nineteenth century. Now the typical dinner is roast turkey with carrots, potatoes, peas and gravy, but are also typical sausages and bacon, or Christmas pudding. Cookies are also typical Christmas dinner, arrival from Chinese tradition, where a joke on paper or a small toy inside her sets, but the jokes are not very good.
â€˘New Year Resolutions:
People make New Year's day dicimbre 31, wanting to change things for next year purposes the 2nd of December, are forgotten.
On Holy Thursday, the queen gives money to a group of poor old. This tradition has 1000 years old. At the same time the King or Queen washed the feet of these poor, tradition that stood in 1754.
â€˘The Changing Of The Guard:
It happens every day, in the house of the Queen, Buckingham Palace, in London. Soldiers who are in front of the palace, changed every morning, a group goes, and another arrives. In summer and winter, the tourists expect every morning at 11:30, and watch the changing of the guard.
â€˘ The QueenÂ´s Telegram:
Not very old custom. Only for the elderly, the queen sent a telegram to his hundred birthday.
â€˘ Songs,Sayings And Superstitions
There are many songs, sayings and superstitions in English. Most of them speak about the history of Britain.
Some songs are about the great plague that killed thousands of people in Europe in the seventies, for example this song: â€˘ Ring-a-ring-a roses, A pocket full of posies, A-tishoo,a-tishoo, We all fall down. Also the traditional song, happy birthday, known worldwide, and is sung on the day of the birthday celebration. Or the traditional Scottish song of farewell, "Auld Lang Syne" is a song sung by many people, but once a year,on the day of New Year.
The song, means "long ago" and says "we must never forget old friends." Popular also their national anthem, "God Save the Queen."
•Superstitions: There are some British superstitions, with much tradition.
• Good luck:
• Black cat is lucky. • The clover, usually have three leaves, but if four leaf brings good luck. • A horseshoe over the door brings good luck, but if you are in correct position, but the luck goes.
• The number thirteen is unlucky and especially, on Friday the 13th is unlucky date. • Open an umbrella in the house, bad luck. • See only a magpie, bad luck.
There are 10 proverbs, or sayings in Britain, for example: • Nothing ventured, Nothing gained. You have to try or you won´t get anything. • Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Don't question good luck. • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Stupid people do things that other people never do. • A stitch in time saves nine. Act early and you can save a lot of trouble. • It's no use crying over spilt milk. Don't be too sad after a small accident.
• Food And Drink
â€˘The English Breakfast:
The real English breakfast should carry, fried eggs, sausages, mushrooms, bacon, and tomato. Then too, toast and jam.
The British people,eats pancakes on Shrove Tuesday in February or March. The pancakes, is made with flour, eggs, and milk, and then eaten with sugar and lemon. In some parts of Britain, the people make pancake races, on Shrove Tuesday People run with a frying pan in hand, throw the pancake in the air and have to catch it again with the pan.
It is Britain's favorite drink. Also known as the afternoon meal, you can drink at home or in hotels. The tea, in Ritz hotel is very good, and you can drink, Chinese or Indian tea. There are cucumber sandwiches, scones, cakes of chocolates and cream too.
Many people do, months before Christmas. Many families have their own recipe. Some for example, use much brandy, others put inside fruit or gold coins for good luck. Real Christmas puddings,have over holly, part of the decoration, and also used to decorate the house for Christmas. It can be put on the pudding, much brandy and light with a match.
â€˘Flags And Emblems
The flag of united kingdom, is the union jack is red, white and blue. Each country has its national emblem or sign. The English emblem is a red rose, Welsh is a flower or a vegetable, the Scottish, a wild plant, thistle, and of Ireland, is a wild plant, a clover.
â€˘ Costumes And Clothes
The British uniforms and costumes, have a long history. Among them are the Beefeaters uniform, uniform of the Horse Guards, where thousands of tourists take photographs. A lot of clothes, also have a long tradition, as the bowler hat, made by Beaulieu in 1850. The Crimean War in 1853, gave his name to cardigan and balaclava. Wellington, British soldier, gave his name to boots that have a shorter name today, wellies.
â€˘ Royal Ascot:
Ascot is a quiet town south of england. In June, for a week, becomes the center of the horse racing world. It's called Royal Ascot for the Queen always goes to Ascot. It has many corridors and enjoys watching the race. This week is not just for horse racing, but for fashion too. Mrs Gertrude Shilling, always wears big hats or headgear, I putting it fashionable.
It is the most famous tennis tournament in the world. Started in a small club, south of London in the nineteenth century. Now, much of that century traditions have changed. For example, players don´t wear long skirts, and tennis players don´t
wear long pants. But other traditions havenÂ´t changed. The courts are still in the grass, and visitors are eating strawberries and cream. The language of the courts hasnÂ´t changed.
• The Arts
They are traditional musical theater, British. Are for children, and they can see, on Christmas. Some famous works are: Cinderella, Aladdin, Peter Pan, ect ... Many stories are very old, and there is always a young hero, the main actor, but the most important is the actress. There is always also a funny old woman, is the dame of the work.
â€˘The Notting Hill Carnival:
It is the largest European carnival, in the street. Many people, notting hill, are of western india. It lasts for two days in August, and notting hill, becomes western india. You eat on the street, and there is music, there is a big parade where people dance day and night.