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День сладостей в США

Ежегодно в третью субботу октября в США отмечается День сладостей (или День сладкого - Sweetest Day). Эта традиция зародилась в Кливленде (Cleveland) в 1922 году, когда Герберт Кингстон (Herbert Birch Kingston), филантроп и работник кондитерской фабрики, решил помочь обездоленным сиротам, беднякам и всем тем, кто испытывает нелучшие времена. Кингстон собрал небольшую группу жителей города, а также с помощью друзей  организовал раздачу небольших подарков, чтобы как-то поддержать голодающих, тех, о ком правительство забыло давным-давно. 


Sweetest Day is a holiday that is celebrated in the Midwestern United States, and parts of the Northeastern United States, also in Texas, Tennessee and the northern part of Florida on the third Saturday in October. It is a day to share romantic deeds or expressions. 10 states and parts of two states observe Sweetest Day: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington and areas of both New York and Pennsylvania west of the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. 

The first Sweetest Day was on October 10, 1921 in Cleveland. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's October 8, 1922 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by candymaker C. C. Hartzell. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to "newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor" in Cleveland, Ohio. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee was assisted in the distribution of candy by some of the biggest movie stars of the day including Theda Bara and Ann Pennington.

Wikipedia 

                     January 11 is International Thank You Day (ITYD). 

It is the perfect opportunity to be thankful for friends, family, freedom, food, shelter. In honor of International Thank You Day, thank those around you.

The promoters of this holiday would like everyone to participate by sharing their deepest thanks with the people who deserve them.

Join the celebration and send thank you cards. Choose from thousands of thank you quotes, e-cards, greetings, thank you messages, and thank you poems.

Saying “thank you” can be hard. But it’s so important.

To make it easier, here is a collection of the best quotes to help you show appreciation, with links to our sorted sub-categories.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

                                       День Колумба в США (Columbus Day)

Это федеральный праздник в США, имеющий большое значение для всей нации. Он был приурочен к годовщине знаменательного события: открытия Христофором Колумбом Америки 12 октября 1492 года.

 В 1937 году при президенте Франклине Рузвельте День Колумба стал Государственным праздником. В этот день население США празднует годовщину открытия своей страны, посещая праздничные церковные службы и другие мероприятия. В некоторых городах проходят специальные службы, парады и большие торжественные церемонии. Большинство празднований сосредоточено вокруг итало-американских сообществ. Особого упоминания заслуживают праздничные мероприятия, проводимые в Нью-Йорке и Сан-Франциско.

 День Колумба является общественным выходным во многих частях США, но в некоторых штатах, например, в Калифорнии, Неваде, Гавайи, день не отмечается. Государственные учреждения и школы, как правило, закрыты, но коммерческие организации могут работать. Над правительственными зданиями поднимают государственный флаг США.

Halloween

This Halloween I wish that all your hard work on tricking and treating wins you lots and lots of candies. May you look scarier than ever! Happy 31st October to you.

Read more at: http://wishes.info

Easter

 Easter is one of the most important holidays of the year for Christians. At this time, they remember the crusifixion of Jesus Christ, his ressurection three days later. Easter lasts 50 days.Lent is the period of forty days before Easter. Many Christians give up something they enjoy doing for Lent.

 During the last Lent week which is called Holy week some churches hold reading the stories of Jesus' life. Just before Easter night the church is often specially cleaned and the altar is washed. This commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus washed his disciples' feet.

 On Easter Sunday, Christians gather in church to celebrate the day when Jesus was Resurrected. In some countries people attend church before midnight on Saturday, waiting silentlyin the darkness for the beginning of the new day. As the church bells ound the start of Sunday, the priest will light a candle and say, "Christ is risen". The crowd answer by lighting their own candlesand the church is suddenly filled with light instead of darkness.

                      

                             The Easter Bunny and other Easter symbols

 The Easter Bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility Lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the spring season.

 The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origin in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. Once upon a time there was a woman who loved children and hid eggs in her garden for them. As the children searched for the eggs they saw a hare hopping by and thought he had left the eggs for them. The children believed that if they were good the Easter Bunny would lay a nest of coloured eggs. The children would built their nest in a secret place in the home, the barn of the garden. In America, the Easter Bunny brings eggs and other treats in baskets.


April Fool’s Day

 

April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day is the first of April. The fun of the holiday is to play silly but harmless jokes on family members and friends. The victim of these jokes is called an April fool. This holiday first appeared in France when the French began to use the Gregorian calendar, some people continued to use the old calendar and to celebrate New Year’s Day in April 1. These people were called April fools. Playing jokes on this day became popular first in France and then in many other countries. Today, April Fool’s jokes are played mostly by children, who enjoy the holiday very much.

April Fools' Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.

In Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other's back as a trick and shout "April fish!" in their local languages. Such fish feature prominently on many French late 19th to early 20th century April Fools' Day postcards.

Википедия

 

 5th Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets

 April Fools Member

Find out why people play jokes and pull pranks on each other every April 1st. (non-fiction)

Name: ______________________________

April Fools

by Kelly Hashway

If you’ve ever been pranked on April Fools’ Day, you may wonder how this tradition started. Well, you’re not alone. No one knows for sure how April Fools’ Day began. But the most likely explanation has to do with the calendar.

No, that’s not an April Fools’ Day joke. People used to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st. Just like today, people would have big parties to celebrate. Over time, the calendar changed and so did the date for New Years. In the 1500s, the new calendar marked New Year’s Day as January 1st. But because there was no Internet or other means to spread the word, the news traveled slowly by word of mouth. It took a while for everyone to hear about the change, and even then some people resisted it. They continued to celebrate New Year’s on April 1st. These people were given the nickname “April fools”.

People following the new calendar played tricks on the “April fools” by sending them on “fool’s errands”. They had the “April fools” deliver invitations to big New Year’s celebrations that weren’t really going to happen. In France, “April fools” were called “Poisson d'Avril”, which is French for “April Fish”. This began because people thought fish were easy to catch since they could be fooled into taking the bait on a hook. Children would tag a paper fish on a person’s back to mark them as an “April Fish”. When the person discovered the fish, the prankster would yell.

 “Poisson d'Avril”

                                              St. Patrick's Day

 St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint's religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast--on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

 St. Patrick's Day is a holiday known for parades, shamrocks and all things Irish. From leprechauns to the color green, find out how symbols we now associate with St. Patrick's Day came to be, and learn about a few that are purely American invention.

The Shamrock 

The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English rule.

St. Patrick's Day Symbols and Tradition

History of Valentine's Day

 February has long been a month of romance. It is the month associated with Valentine's Day celebrations.

But just who is this St. Valentine?

 A sentimental or humorous greeting card to a sweetheart, friend, or family member on Saint Valentine's Day is called valentine. Verses and Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, when lovers said or sang their valentines.

Symbols Found on Valentines

Ribbons, Laces and Frills have been associated with romance since the days of knighthood when a knight rode into battle with a ribbon or scarf given him by his lady fair.

Cupid is typically represented as a chubby, naked, winged boy or youth with a mischievous smile.

The rose, hands, Turtle Doves and Love Birds are the most popular. It was thought that birds chose their mate for the year on February 14.

Read more

                                          Holidays and traditions

    

Bog Snorkelling Championships, Waen Rhydd peat bog, near Llanwrtyd Wells in mid Wales. The aim is to swim two lengths of the 60-yard Waen Rhydd peat bog with flippers and snorkel in the fastest time. There are different categories including juniors, fancy dress, women's and men's.

                                                               Well Dressing

Well dressing is the art of decorating (dressing) wells, springs or other water sources with pictures made of growing things.

                                                  

                                                                   

DISCOVERING THE PAST

President's Day

President’s Day(also called Washington’s Birthday) is celebrated in the USA on the third Monday of February.

The original version of the holiday was in commemoration of George Washington’s birthday in 1796. By the early 19th century, Washington’s Birthday had taken firm root in America as a bona fide national holiday.
The first formal observance of Lincoln’s birthday took place in 1865, when both houses of Congress gathered for a memorial address. While Lincoln’s Birthday did not become a federal holiday like George Washington’s, it did become a legal holiday in several states.

In 1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed one single federal holiday, the Presidents’ Day, to be observed on the third Monday of February, honoring all past presidents of the United States of America.

The Presidential Seal has not always been as we can see it today. Originally it was fixed featuring a coat of arms similar to the one found on The Great Seal of the United States, with an eagle clutching thirteen arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other. Prior to 1945, however, the coat of arms of the presidential seal bore a marked difference to the coat of arms of The Great Seal of the United States. The eagle on the presidential seal faced to the viewer’s right, towards the talon with the arrows, while the eagle on the Great Seal faced toward the viewer’s left, toward the talon with the olive branches.

One morning, standing at his desk, President Truman presented to the press a new presidential flag ... “This new flag faces the eagle toward the staff,” Truman explained, “which is looking to the front all the time when you are on the march, and also has him looking at the olive branch for peace, instead of the arrows for war ...”

"Английский язык" № 3, 2009

On October 25, 1945 President Truman issued Executive Order 9646. This order made several alterations to the presidential flag and seal, among which was the reversal of the eagle’s head so that it pointed in the same direction as the one on the Great Seal.  The new seal featured an eagle facing to its right, the direction of honor; and toward the olive branches in its right talon, symbolizing peace. The former design, first used in 1880 by President Rutherford B. Hayes, featured the eagle facing toward arrows in its left talon, symbolizing war.

Peter the Great

                                         

                 

  When he grew older and wanted to play soldier, he was given his own army of children, complete with barracks to live in, uniforms to wear, and plenty of muskets and cannons to make noise with. All his life he would want fantastic things, and want them right away.

 Most boys who happened to be kings and to have an army of children to play with, would make themselves commander-in-chief. But Peter never did, either as a child or as a man. He assigned himself the lowest rank and worked his way up. He slept, ate, and worked with the other boys, expecting no special treatment. Peter always believed that honors should be earned through learning and hard work, not handed out to people because they were rich or important.Like any spoiled child, Peter believed that whatever he wanted, he should have, and the sooner the better. As a little boy, he had trained monkeys and dancing bears to entertain him. A whole staff of dwarves waited on him.

 Russia was vast, the largest nation on earth. It spread from Europe on the west to the Pacific Ocean on the east. In Europe, wonderful things were happening: scientists, explorers, painters, musicians, and writers were changing their world.

 But the Russians did not wish to change.The Russians simply wished to be left alone. They firmly believed that the old ways were best and that life should continue as it had been in their fathers’, and their grandfathers’, and their great-grandfathers’ time. They did not wish to visit Europe to see the exciting new discoveries, and they did not wish for Europeans to visit them.

How Peter wished his country could be like theirs!

By Diane Stanley

"Английский язык" № 19, 2008

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