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15. Holidays and celebrations

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15. HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS US HOLIDAYS HALLOWEEN Halloween is a holiday celebrated onthe 31st of October it originally started in the UK but it became more popular in America children dress up in scary costumes like ghosts, devils and witches and go „trick or treating“ which means they are knocking on the neighbours doors and asking for sweets if children don’t get a treat they play trick (they do something upleasant on the neighbour) they alsocarve pumpkins to create jack-o‘-lanterns anddecorate their houses the origins of Halloween go back tothe 5th century BC in Ireland on the 31st of October on that day spirits of the dead were believed to come back to earth looking for living bodies people were afraid of these spirits so they dressed up in scary costumes to frighten them away THANKSGIVING Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrated onthe 4th Thursday in November it has it’s originsin the 17thcentury whenthe Pilgrims ,who came to America from England, held a feast to celebrate the harvest and to give thanks to God andIndians who helped them suvive harsh winter it’s traditional for families to gather together for a big meal which includesroastturkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, vegetablesand apple piefor a dessert American football is also an important part of Thanksgiving celebrations Thanksgiving is considered to bethe beginning of the Christmas period the next day is calledthe Black Friday when many people go shopping for Christmas presents for a cheap price CHRISTMAS CHRISMAS EVE – on the 24th of December before children go to bed theyhang up Christmas stockings and believe that Santa Claus rides on a sledge pulled by reindeers, comes down the chimney and fills up the stockings whith presents CHRISTMAS DAY – on the 25th of December in the morning children enjoyunwrapping presents and at midday families gather together and have meal which includesroast turkey, potatoes, vegetablesand Chrismas pudding BOXING DAY – on the 26th of December people usually go toa pantomime which is a show based on a traditional fairy tale it’s also time forvisiting friends and relatives CZECH HOLIDAYS EASTER Easter is celebratedin March or April it’s the most important Christian holiday celebratingtheresurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Monday boys and menwhip girls and women on their bottoms witha willow stick to make sure they stay healthy for the rest of the year then girls treat them withhand-painted eggs, chocolate and a shot of alcohol CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS EVE – on the 24th of December in Christian tradition it’s acelebration of the birth of baby Jesus in the morninga Christmas treeis decorated throughout the day families spend time together at homewatching fairy tales in the evening families gather together to have a traditional dinner which consists offish soupand fried carp with potato salad after dinner children awaitthe ringing of the bell which is a sign that Jesus visited them and left presents under the Christmas tree CHRISTMAS DAY – on the 25th of December it’s a day forfamily visits this day is not as important as in English-speaking countries ST. STEPHEN’S DAY – on the 26th of December family reunions continue THE THREE WISE MAN this holiday is celebrated onthe 6thof January children often walk the streetscarolling in their neighbourhoods in Czech villages boys dress up as the three wise menCaspar, Melchior and Balthazar and writeK+B+M above the doors with chalk it brings blessings on that home and family for a year the chalk letters shouldn’t be cleaned off, only replaced the next year this is also usually a day when theChristmas tree is taken down

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