Customs and holidays

Customs and holidays

Customs and holidays

During the whole year various holidays and feasts are celebrated in the USA,in Great Britain and also in our country –  in Slovak republic. Some of these holidays are celebrated in all these countries but some of them are typical just for one country.For example in Great Britain are public holidays called „bank holidays“. All the banks, offices, schools,shops and factories are closed on these days. Although it is becoming more common for supermarkets remain open. Bank holidays include following days: New Year Days, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, August bank holiday (last Monday in August), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


Easter is typical holiday for the spring time. Many people are stick in traditions but nowadays many people prefer to spent Easter holidays out of house doing different activities or traveling.

  1. Easter in Great Britain – British people have Good Friday which is Friday before Easter. It marks the anniversary of Christ´s crucifixion. On Good Friday hot cross are eaten for breakfast. Children look forward to Easter Sunday called Easter Day which is day for chocolate and painted eggs. Whit Monday is 7 weeks after Eastet and it is a Christian festival celebrated in commemoration of the coming of the Holy Ghost.
  2. Easter in the USA – Easter Sunday is in the USA a very special day for many people. Children enjoy the holiday very much. They hunt for painted eggs. Legend says that the Easter rabbit brings Easter eggs: Once, an old woman dyed some eggs during the famine and hid them into the nest as a present for her children. Just when the children found the nest a rabbit leaped away. The children thought that the rabbit brought the eggs. On Sunday morning children start hunting for painted eggs all over the house or garden.
  3. Easter in Slovakia – In families where Easter is a big tradition boys prepare plated willow canses and on Easter Monday they go from house to house and whip girls using rattles as music. Then as a treat they get and egg, ribbon or money. When boys whipping girls they have to recitate poems. There are many variation according to the region, expecially in decorating eggs. There are many ornaments using for different parts of Slovak nation.


Christmas is the most beautiful of all holiday in every country. Many popular traditions and customs make it an exciting and fascinating time.

  1. Christmas in Great Britain – Preparations for Christmas in Britain strart long before – in late October or early November. That is the time when British housewives start to bake their Christmas cakes. Some weeks before Christmas the street and shops are decorated. A lot of British families prefer to have Christmas trees made of plastic with electric lights. Sock are hung up and children believe that Father of Christmas will fill them with sweets and presents. He comes on his sledge which are pulled by reindeer, enters house through the chimney and puts presents into their socks. The Christmas dinner is the most important meal of a year. This dinner usually consits of roast turkey with roast potatoes followed by Christmas puding. There are planty of carols everywhere. December 26th is called Boxing Day and from custom in earlier times people give to postmen, milkmen and newspaper boys small amount of money which they collect in their Christmas boxes.
  2. Christmas in the USA – Christmas celebrations are much the same all over the United States. Many other religious holidays are also celebrated in Britain and the USA because both countries have immigrants from many other cultures. The well-known of these are Hanukkah ( the Jewish festival of lights which is celebrated in December) and Chinese New Year which is celebrated at the end of January or begining of February.
  3. Christmas in Slovakia – Preparations for Christmas begin 4 weeks before December 24th which is called Advent. Many people start to bake gingerbreads and make Advent´s wreath with candles. On Christmas Sunday all candles are lighted. During the preparatioons for Christmas there is a friendly and nice atmposphere. The most important day of Christmas is Christmas Eve. People haven´t to eat any meal all days because according to the traditions in the evening they will see the Golden Pig. Children believe that Christ Child brings them presents and he puts them under the Christmas tree. Around six o´clock in the evening a lot of families have Christmas dinner. It is the most important meal of the year consists of cabbage soup, fried carp and potato salad. Some people belive that when they put some scales from carp in their purses they will have enough money for the next year. After the dinner families go to the rooms where the Christmas tree stands and they unwrapping their presents. On December 25th people often go to visit their relatives or friends.



Among the old Celts the October 31th is the last day of the year and the begginig of winter when witches and ghosts were supposed to celebrate their rites. Halloween is mostly celebrated in the USA and Canada. Children celebrate it by dressing up in costumes with masks over their fases. They go from house to house, knock on the door and say: „Trick or treat?“ and then people will give them sweets, cakes or money. A favourite custom is to make a jack-o-lantern from pumpkins which are wrapped and inside is a candle. People like to make Halloween parties where guests wear fancy costumes and masks.


A holiday in many parts of the world is a synonym for vacation or a specific trip for the purpose of recreation our tourism. But in the USA it is considered to be a day designated as gaving special signifinance for which individuals, a goverment, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. Every month of the every year has something special to celebrate.

  1. Thanksgiving Day – is celebrated on fourth Thursday in November. It remembers the first settlers who came to America in 1620, They were puritans – members of a religion sect and they called themselves Pilgrim Fathers. It is a family holiday when all family is together and enjoy a traditional dinner which consists of roast turkey, bread stuffing, smashed potatoes, cranbery sauce and pumpkin pie. The turkey is the glorious centrepiece of Thaksgiving Day. The dinner table has special decorations – small pumpkins, decorative turkey made from paper and flowers. Typical colours for this day are orange and brown. Families speak about the things which they are thank for. People give thanks for being well and for happiness of their family.
  2. Independence Day – in one of the most important public holiday in the USA. It celebrates independence of American colonies from the British. It is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
  3. St.Patrick´s Day – is celebrated on 17th March. This day is not an official holiday in the USA but is celebrated all over the country. St. Patrick is the patron saints of Ireland and Irish immigrants brought the holiday in to USA. Many people celebrate this holiday by wearing shamrocks or green clothing in the honor of St.Patrick. Some people even drink green beer.

FOTO Tým akeeris,

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