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Why do the English hate Christmas / Opinion
Christmas and New Year’s Eve Rules
The English year is punctuated by national calendrical holidays: some are mere commas, others are more important semi-colons; the Christmas holiday and New Year’s Eve are the final full stop. Most calendrical rites were originally religious events, often ancient pagan festivals appropriated by Christianity, but the Christian significance of many of these rites is largely ignored. Ironically, they might be said to have reverted to something more like their original pagan roots, which serves the Christians right for hi-jacking them in the first place, I suppose.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve are by far the most important. Christmas Day (25th of December) is firmly established as a ‘family’ ritual, while New Year’s Eve is a much more raucous celebration with friends. But when English people talk about ‘Christmas’ (as in ‘What are you doing for Christmas?’ or ‘I hate Christmas!’), they often mean the entire holiday period, from the 23rd/24th of December right through to New Year’s Day, including, typically and traditionally, at least some of the following:
• Christmas Eve (family; last minute shopping; panics and squabbles; tree lights; drinking; too many nuts and chocolates; possibly church – early evening carols or midnight service);
• Christmas Day (family; tree; present-giving rituals; marathon cooking and eating of huge Christmas lunch; the Queen’s broadcast on television/radio – or pointedly not watching/listening to the Queen; fall asleep – perhaps while watching The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz or similar; more food and drink; uncomfortable night);
• Boxing Day (hangover; family ‘outing’ of some sort, if only to local park; long country walk; visiting the other set of relatives; escape from family to pub);
• 27th–30th December (slightly strange ‘limbo’ period; some back at work, but often achieving very little; others shopping, going for walks, trying to keep children amused; more overeating...
Продолжение читайте в журнале English4U №12 (декабрь 2011) на который можно подписаться или купить здесь.