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Festivals and Special Days
 
New Year
New year`s Eve-31st December
New year`s Day-1st January
People celebrate the start of the new year by going to parties on New Year`s Eve. When midnight comes they say "Happy New Year" to each other, kiss each other, and sing a song called AULDLANG SYNE.
The new year is seen as a time when people try to change their lives, for example by promising to stop smoking or to take more exercise.These promises are called New Year`s Resolutions.

AM-141-0111 - New Year In Times Square

Groundhog day
2nd February
According to US tradition, this is the first day of the year that the GROUNDHOG(=a small animal with brown fur that lives in holes in the ground)comes out of its hole.If it sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter; if it does not, good weather will come early.

UT0106467 - PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL PREDICTS ANOTHER SIX WEEKS OF WINTER
President`s Day
the third monday in February
A holiday in the US to remember the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

US-132-0101 - White House and American flag

Valentine`s Day
February 14th
A day when people celebrate romantic love, and send cards or give red roses or chocolates to the person they love.
Traditionally a Valentine`s card is not signed by the person who sends it, so the person who receives it has to guess who it is from.

'CB030070BXP44805 - Man Holding Heart Painting

 
Mardi Gras
A carnival held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the days befor lent.There is drinking, dancing, entertainment, and a parade(=a public celebration when musical bands and people dressed in special clothes move along the street in the decorated vehicles).

71432 - Carnival Parade Float

 
Shrove Tuesday, also Pancake Day
In the UK this is a day when people eat pancakes(=very thin, flat, round cakes made by frying a mixture of butter, flour, and eggs.)
It is the day befor lent,a period of forthy days when, in the past, Christians ate only simple food.People used up all their milk, butter, and eggs on Shrove Tuesday because they were not allowed to eat them during lent.

HU043701 - Tossing Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday

St Patrick`s Day
17th March
The national day of Ireland, that is also celebrate by Irish people in the UK and US, when people wear green clothes, dye flowers green, and go to the pub and drink guinness.

CB033386 - Saint Patrick's Day Banner and HatCU942434 - Child at a Saint Patrick's Day ParadeCB026381 - Green Beer for St. Patrick's Day

Palm Sunday
the Sunday befor Easter
The day when Christians celebrate Jesus`arrival in Jerusalem, when palm leaves were spread on the ground for him to walk on. 

IH205645 - Pilgrim Holding Bible and Rosary

Easter
Good friday-the Friday befor Easter
This is the day when christians remember the crucifiction of Christ.It is a publis holiday in the UK.In the UK people eat hot-cross buns(= a small sweet cake made of bread with a cross-shaped mark on the top) on this day.

CB101503 - Woman Holding Easter EggsCRBR002685 - Woman Holding Bowl of Easter Eggs

Easter Sunday-March or April
The day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
People give each other Easter Eggs and Easter baskets.In the US, children believe that these are brought by the Easter Bunny(=the imaginary rabbit who is believed by children to deliver their Easter Eggs and Easter Baskets on the Easter morning).
 

AAHZ001324 - A Happy Easter Postcard of a Rabbits HeadAAHZ001364 - Easter Greeting Postcard

Mother`s Day
also Mothering Sunday
the fourth Sunday in lent
A day in the UK when people give presents and cards to their mother.Mothers are often taken out for lunch, and usually do not have to do the work they normally do.Mother`s Day in the US is later in the year.
PE-124-0231 - Portrait of a familyPE-122-0362 - Family buying flowers for their garden
April Fool`s Day
1st April
In the US and UK, a day when people and news papers, radio programmes etc play tricks on people by making them believe something that is not true.

91009-107 - Businessman Wearing Mask

May Day
1st May
In the past, this was the day when people welcomed the arrival of spring by dancing around a maypole.The first Monday in May is a peblic holiday in the UK.May Day is connected with workers and Left-Wing political parties.
 
AAGB002262 - May Day Parade in TiraneDC001259 - Athletes Parade In Red Square on May Day

Mother`s Day
the second Sunday in May
A day in the US when people gives presents and cards to their mother.Mother`s day in the UK is earlier in the year.
PE-124-0231 - Portrait of a familyPE-122-0362 - Family buying flowers for their garden
 
Memorial Day
the last monday in May
A holiday in the US to remember soldiers killed in wars.

CB033390 - Flags and Bunting at Grave

Flag Day
14th June
A day when US people fly the US flag, remembering the day in 1777 when the STARS and STRIPES(=the US flag) was officially accepted and first used.

DH013189 - US Flags in Cemetery

Father`s Day
the third Sunday in June
A day in the US and UK when people gives presents and cards to their father.
 
PE-125-0607 - Three  smilingPE-127-0695 - Dad carrying his kidsPE-127-0794 - Father and son on the beach
 
 
Battle of the Boyne
the Monday nearest to 12th July
A bank holiday in Northern Ireland, when Protestants celebrate a battle in 1690 when king William III of England defeated James II, a Catholic and former king of England.
The Orangemen (=members of a society of protestants in Northern Ireland)march through streets.

UT0117851 - NORTHERN IRISH STAND IN FRONT OF A BONFIRE IN CENTRAL BELFASTUT0152847 - ORANGEMEN MARSHALLS KEEP LOYALISTS ON THE MOVE AS THEY PARADE PAST THE CATHOLIC AREA OF THE CRUMLIN ROAD IN NORTH BELFAST
 
Fourth of July
also Independence Day
4th July
A national holiday when people of the US celebrate their independence from England in 1776 with parades, picnics, and fireworks.

AX055862 - Two Siblings on Road Lined with American Flags

 
August Bank Holiday
the Monday nearest to 31st August
A holiday in the UK, when people have a final celebration befor the end of summer.There are many outdoor events held on this weekend, such as the Notting Hill Carnival

DWF15-811511 - LONDON:DANCERS AT THE ANNUAL NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL
 
Labor Day
the first Monday in September
A national holiday in the US.It was originally held to show support for workers, but now many people celebrate it as the end of summer with picnics and barbecues.

PE-200-0214 - Painter climbing a ladderI-102-0148 - Construction worker
 
Columbus Day
12th October
A public holiday in many US states, to celebrate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
SF1480 - World Explorer Christopher ColumbusBE031462 - The Fleet Of Ships Of Chris. ColumbusWS002480 - Christopher Columbus by Rafael Atche

Halloween
31th October
The day when, in the past, people believed that the spirits of dead people appeared.
Especially in the US, children celebrate Halloween by dressing up as witches, ghosts etc and going trick or treating.They knock on people`s doors, and people give them sweets and small presents.

CSM107814 - Scary Pumpkin and BatsCB059433 - Glowing Jack-o'-lantern

 
The Mexican Day of the Dead
2nd November
A festivals in Mexico and parts of the US where there are many Mexicans,when the spirits of dead people are believed to come back to visit their families.The families  offer them gifts of food, flowers, and toys.There is music and dancing, and children play with toy of skeletons.
 
LY005559 - Shrine During Day of the DeadCJ006481 - Mexican Papier-Mache Skeleton with MustacheAX932777 - Flowers Decorate Grave During Day of the Dead Celebrations
 
 
Armistice Day
11th November
The day when people remember the end of world war I.
In the US this is known as Veteran`s Day, and people remember the men and women who have fought in all the wars that the US has been involved in.

BE003158 - President Roosevelt Speaking to Crowd

Election Day
the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even years(1998, 2000,2002 etc)
A special day in the Uk when people wear red papers poppies,and are silent for two minutes at 11 o`clock,to show respect for the men and women who were killed in world war I and II

TL030753 - South Africans Voting on Election Day
Guy Fawkes` night
also Bonfire Night
5th November
In the UK, a day when people light bonfire and let off fireworks.Traditionally this is done to remember the time when Guy Fawkes tried,but failed,to destroy the Houses of Parliament with gunpower in 1605.

UB005845 - Children Play with SparklersAAKA002284 - Guy Fawkes Night Celebrations in Lewes
 
Thanksgiving
the fourth Thursday in November
A traditionally holiday in the US when people remember how,in the 17th century, Native American helped English people who had come to live in America by showing them how to grow local crops.People usually spend Thanksgiving with their families, and have a special meal of Turkey and Pumpkin pie.
 
AX042700 - Hands Holding a Pumpkin PieAM-142-0121 - Child Waiting for Serving of TurkeyAX050775 - Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner
Christmas
Christmas Eve-24th December
Christmas Day-25th December
Boxing Day-26th December(uk only)
Christmas is the most important festival of the year.It is the birthday of Jesus Christ, but is also celebrating by people who are not Christians.
People have a holiday from school and work, give each other presents, and decorate their homes.Children believe that presents are brought to them by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.On Christmas Day families have a special meal together.
 
 10024-03 - Santa With Christmas GreetingAX075400 - Mother and Children at Christmas

  

  
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