Czech holidays, traditions and festivals versus Anglo-American holidays

  • Every year, there are days which are socially or religiously outstanding and significant.
  • These days are often connected with important historical events of country.
  • But some of the holidays we have common with UK and US like: Christmas, Easter, New Year or, but there are also some differences.
  1. a)      Christmas
  • CZ
    • In the CZ is mostly connected with family gathering and getting presents.
    • It is celebrated on the 24th   (Christmas Eve), 25th   (Christmas Day) and 26th (St. Stephen’s Day) of December.
    • During the advent (4 Sunday before Christmas Eve) a lot of Christmas markets are held. You can buy there a lot of presents and decorations, or see nativity scenes which represent the birth of Jesus and the pilgrims who brought him presents.
    • On Christmas Eve the family meets for Christmas dinners, which include soup (fish, lentils), fried carp and potato salad.
    • After dinner they gather at the Christmas tree to unwrap the presents. The tradition says the presents are brought by Ježíšek (the Baby Jesus).
    • Christmas traditions in CZ include singing the carols, baking Christmas sweets (cookies, ginger bread), decorating the tree with Christmas balls, sweets or sparklers, pouring the lead or cutting apples to see what the future holds for us.
    • Christmas day (December 25) is not celebrated by a special manner in the CZ but the day is a time for family visits.
    • On St. Stephen’s Day (December 26) family reunions continue.
  • UK
    • In the UK is celebrated on 24th   (Christmas Eve), 25th   (Christmas Day) and 26th (Boxing Day).
    • On Christmas Eve Children leave a long stocking at the end of their bed or on a mantelpiece on Christmas Eve, hoping that Father Christmas will come down the chimney and bring them some small presents.
    • On Christmas Day in the morning people unwrap their presents. The presents are brought by Santa Clause (or Father Christmas) who visits people´s homes on his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.
    • A typical Christmas dinner is turkey. The turkey is roasted and served with potatoes, vegetables, gravy, or cranberry sauce. The dessert is Christmas pudding. It is a sweet dish that contains raisins and candied fruit. It takes many hours to prepare. It is usually eaten with custard – sweet vanilla sauce.
    • After dinner people may pull a cracker, it makes a loud crack and a small toy or joke falls out.
    • After Christmas Day comes Boxing Day – 26 December. It originates from the word “box”. Earlier, servants received presents from their employers on this day (“Christmas boxes”). Nowadays it is an important day for sports events and the start of after-Christmas sales.
    • Traditions – most important is giving presents, decorating Christmas tree, families decorate their houses with brightly coloured paper or holly, singing the carols – sometimes carol-singers can be heard on the streets as they collect money for charity.
  • US
    • Christmas in USA is similar to Christmas in UK.
    • In USA Christmas is more commercial than all over the world.
    • Santa Claus is modern – he can use a helicopter.

 

  1. b)      Easter
  • CZ
    • Viz. Festivals.
    • But Easter differs in traditions.
    • In the CZ the customs include egg decorating and a tradition of spanking on Easter Monday. In the morning, men spank women with a special handmade willow whip and pour cold water over them. The tradition says that women should be spanked in order to be healthy and fertile.
    • Traditional pastry are Easter lambs and hot cross buns.
  • UK
    • In Britain, hot cross buns are very popular, it´s a kind of sweet bread with a white cross on the top. The cross symbolizes the crucifixion of Christ.
  • US
    • In America there is a tradition called Easter egg hunt – parents hide the Easter eggs in the house or garden and children have to find them.
    • Every year, an Easter Egg Roll is held on the lawn of the White House. It´s a race where children push eggs with a long spoon.

 

  1. c)       New Year
  • CZ
    • It is celebrated on 31st December (New Year’s Eve) and on 1st January (New Year’s Day).
    • On New Year’s Eve at the midnight people set off fireworks and propose a toast with champagne.
    • New Year’s Day is also day of Establishment of CZ in 1993.
  • UK
    • It is celebrated on 31st December (New Year’s Eve) and on 1st January (New Year’s Day).
    • On New Year´s Eve (31st December) people gather and celebrate. At midnight they sing Auld Lang Syne, originally a poem written by Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, in 1788.
    • People traditionally take a shower in the fountains on Trafalgar Square.
  • US
    • It is celebrated on 31st December (New Year’s Eve) and on 1st January (New Year’s Day).
    • The same as in CZ. People gather and celebrate, in midnight they set off fireworks.

 

Nowadays some American traditions are used in our country. Before few years nobody knows what Halloween is, but today some families celebrate this.

  1. d)      Halloween
  • CZ
    • Halloween is one of traditions that came from USA – majority of people do not celebrate this, but young families are starting to celebrate this.
    • It is celebrated on 31st October.
    • In the CZ children are dressed up in costume to pretend that they are ghosts or witches and carve a pumpkin.
  • UK
    • The same as in USA.
  • US
    • It is another popular festival in the USA.
    • It is celebrated on 31 October.
    • It is also known as All Hallows ‘Eve = the evening before All Saints’ Day (November 1).
    • Popular Halloween activities are trick-or-treating – children in costumes go from house to house and ask for “treats” (usually candy). If they don´t get the treat, they are ready to carry out a harmless “trick”.
    • Then carving pumpkins and making jack-o’-lanterns (a carved pumpkin with a candle inside), going to costume parties or apple bobbing – a game when a bucket is filled with water and apples are put into it. Players then try to catch an apple with their teeth.

Napsat komentář

Vaše emailová adresa nebude zveřejněna. Vyžadované informace jsou označeny *