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                                             ЂBritish traditional holidaysї

      Great Britain is famous for its old traditions. Some of them existed
in ancient times and survived through centuries. Some of them appeared when
Christianity came to British isles. Speaking about religious holidays one
canТt but mention Easter, Pancake Day and MotherТs Day. The dates of these
holidays arenТt strict, they depend on the date of Easter, that varies
every year.
      Pancake day is the popular name for the Shrove Tuesday, the day
before the first day of Lent. In the middle ages people on that day made
merry and ate pancakes. The ingredients of pancakes are all forbidden by
Church during Lent, that is why they have to be used the day before. The
most common form of celebrating  this day in the old times was the all town
ball game or tug-of-war, in which  everyone was tearing here and there,
trying to get the ball or rope into their part of the city. Today the only
custom, that is observed throughout Britain is pancake eating.
      For the English people the best-known name for the fourth in Lent
Sunday is  Mothering Sunday or MotherТs Day. For 3 centuries this day has
been a day of small family gatherings when absent sons and daughters return
to their homes. Gifts are made to mothers by children of all ages. Flowers
and cakes are still traditional gifts. Violets and primroses are most
popular flowers. Sometimes the whole family goes to church and then there
is a special dinner at which roast lamb, rice-pudding and home-made wines
and served.
      Easter is one of the most important holidays in Christianity. In
England itТs a time for giving and receiving presents, mostly Easter eggs.
We can say that the egg is the most popular emblem of Easter, but spring-
time flowers are also used to stress the natureТs awakening. Nowadays there
are a lot of chocolate Easter eggs, having some small gifts inside. But a
real hard-boiled egg, decorated and painted in bright colours , still
appears on breakfast tables on Ester Day, or itТs hidden in the house or
garden for children to finny. In egg that is boiled really hard will last
for years. Egg-rolling is a traditional Easter pastime. You roll the eggs
down a clope   until they are cracked and broken, after they are eaten up.

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