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Unit 8 Holidays in the USA

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8.8.1 Read and translate the text

Holidays in the USA

Americans celebrate Christmas and New Years Day, Easter, Halloween, St. Valentines Day as the English do. But there are some American holidays. They are Martin Luther Kings Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labour Day, Columbus Day and Thanks­giving.

Independence Day is the most important Ameri­can holiday. They celebrate it on the 4th of July. On the 4th of July in 1776 the American colonies declared their independence from Britain. Ameri­cans usually have picnics on this day.

Martin Luther Kings Day is celebrated in Janu­ary . Martin Luther King was a famous fighter for civil rights for Afro-Americans. In the 1950s and 1960s he organized the civil rights movement. In 1968 he was assassinated.

Presidents Day is celebrated in February, It is the day on which George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are honoured. They were born in Febru­ary. George Washington was the first American president. Abraham Lincoln headed the country during the Civil War and put an end to slavery.

Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May. On this day Americans honour the sol­diers killed in war. There are always parades on this day.

On the first Monday in September Americans celebrate Labour Day. They honour the Ameri­can worker.

Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October. Americans mark the coming of Columbuss ship to America. They honour the man who was the discoverer of their country.

On the 31st of October Americans celebrate Halloween. On this day children dress in fancy costumes as witches, ghosts and other monsters or characters from TV programs. They go from house to house, knock at the door and say: Trick or treat. People give them sweets, fruit or cakes. If they dont get something tasty, they play a trick on people.

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thurs­day of November. People go to church and fami­lies come together for the day. They decorate their houses with fruit and flowers of autumn and pre­pare traditional American food: roast turkey, po­tatoes and pumpkin. They thank God for many things. This holiday was first celebrated in 1621 by the colonists after their first good harvest.

Washingtons Birthday is celebrated on the 22nd of February. Its a great day for shoppers. The department stores of Washington D. C. started a national tradition of sales marked by unusual bargains.

HOLIDAY DATE
1 New Years Day January, 1st
2 Martin Luther Kings Day January, third Monday
3 St. Valentines Day February, 14th
4 Presidents Day February, third Monday
5 Washingtons Birthday February, 22nd
6 St. Patricks Day March, 17th
7 April Fools Day April, 1st
8 Easter late March or early April
9 Memorial Day May, last Monday
10 Mothers Day May, one Sunday
11 Fathers Day June, one Sunday
12 Flag Day June, 14th
13 Independence Day July, 4th
14 Labour Day September, first Monday
15 Columbus Day 16 Halloween 17 Veterans Day 18 Thanksgiving 19 Christmas Day 20 New Years Eve October, second Monday October, 31st November, 11th November, fourth Thursday December, 25th December, 31st

8.8.2 Post -Text Exercises

8.8.2.1 Pronounce the following words and the names of the holidays

Christmas — Рождество

New Years Day — Новый год

Easter — Пасха

Halloween — Канун дня всех святых

St Valentines Day — День св. Валентина

Martin Luther Kings Day — День Мартина Лютера Кинга

Presidents Day — День Президента

Memorial Day — День Памяти

Independence Day — День Независимости

Labour Day — День Труда

Columbus Day — День Колумба

Thanksgiving Day — День Благодарения

George Washington — Джордж Вашингтон

Abraham Lincoln — Авраам Линкольн

the Civil War — Гражданская война

Washingtons Birthday — День рождения Вашингтона

to declare — объявлять

fighter — борец, боец

civil rights — гражданские права

movement — движение

to assassinate — (предательски) убивать

to honour — чтить, почитать

to head — возглавлять

parade — парад

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to mark — отмечать

fancy — причудливый, маскарадный

witch — ведьма

ghost — привидение, призрак

trick — фокус, трюк

treat — угощение

bargain — сделка, удачная покупка

pumpkin — тыква

harvest — урожай

8.8.2.2 Answer the questions

1 What holidays do Americans celebrate as the English do?

2 What is the most important American holiday? When is this holiday celebrated?

3 Why do Americans celebrate Independence Day? What do they usually do on this day?

4 What was Martin Luther King? What move­ment did he organize? When was he assassi­nated?

5 Why do Americans celebrate Presidents Day in February? What were George Washington and Abraham Lincoln?

6 When is Washingtons Birthday celebrated?

7 Who do Americans honour on Memorial Day?

8 When do Americans celebrate Labour Day?

9 What was Columbus? Why do Americans hon­our Columbus?

10 Why do people in America dress in fancy cos­tumes on the 31st of October? What do they usually do on this day?

11 When was Thanksgiving Day first celebrated? Why? What do Americans thank God for on this day? What do they usually have for Thanks­
giving dinner?

8.8.2.3 Read and learn the dialogue by heart. Then act it out

— I say, Maggie, could you tell us what are the main public holidays in the USA?

— January 1st should be mentioned. It is New Years Day. All banks, stores, factories and schools are closed. People see the old year out and the New Year in. They go to bed after midnight. New Years Day is celebrated throughout the
country.

— I hear that Decoration Day is marked on the last Monday of May. What is it dedicated to?

— Decoration Day is sometimes called Memorial Day. It is dedicated to those who fell in the War of Independence, in World War I and World War II.

— I see. The greatest holiday is July 4, isnt it?

— Yes, it is. The Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 when the American colonies were fighting for independence against England. July 4 has become the greatest holiday since.

— What do the Americans mark on November 11?

— November 11 is Veterans Day. All Americans who died in the antifascist struggle are honoured.

— It is so difficult for me to remember when Thanksgiving Day is celebrated.

— That is a great holiday. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It has been celebrated since the autumn of 1621, that was the first harvest festival in America.

— You want to say that the Pilgrim Fathers celebrated the first harvest festival in America.

— Thats exactly what I mean to say.

— Dont you think that Christmas is a great holiday?

— Christmas is a religious holiday. It is always celebrated on December 25. Schools and colleges are closed between Christmas and New Years Day. It is customary to stay at home and spend time with ones families.

— Thank you for the information.


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