Customs and Traditions

There are many customs and traditions in England. And I would
like to tell you some of them. First tradition is called “Wrong
side of the bed” When people are bad tempered we say that they
must have got out of bed on the wrong side. Originally, it was
meant quiet literally. People belive that the way they rose in
the morning affected their behaivor throughout the day. The wrong
side of the bed was the left side. The left always having been
linked with evil. Second ccustom is called “Blowing out the
candles” The custom of having candles on birthday cakes goes back
to the ancient Greeks. Worshippers of Artemis, godess of the moon
and hunting, used to place honey cakes on the altars of her
temples on her birthday. The cakes were round like the full moon
and lit with tapers. This custom was next recorded in the middle
ages when German peasants lit tapers on birthday cakes, the
number lit indicating the person_s age, plus an extra one to
represent the light off life. From earliest days burning tapers
had been endoued with mystical significance and it was belived
that when blown out they had the power to grant a secret wish and
ensure a happy year ahead. And the last tradition I would like to

tell you is called “The 5th of November” On the 5th of November
in almost every otwn and village in England you will see fire
burning, fireworks, cracking and lighting up the sky. You will
see too small groups of children pulling round in a home made
cart, a figure that looks something like a man but consists of an
old suit of clothes, stuffed with straw. The children will sing:”
Remember, remember the 5th of November; Gun powder, treason and
plot”. And they will ask passers-by for “a penny for the Guy” But
the children with “the Guy” are not likely to know who or what
day they are celebrating. They have done this more or less every
5th of November since 1605. At that time James the First was oon
the throne. He was hated with many people especialy the Roman
catholics against whom many sever laws had been passed. A number
of catholics chief of whom was Robert Catesby determined to kill
the King and his ministers by blowing up the house of Parliament
with gunpowder. To help them in this they got Guy Fawker, a
soldier of fortune, who would do the actual work. The day fixed
for attempt was the 5th of November, the day on which the
Parliament was to open. But one of
f the consperators had several
friends in the parliament and he didn_t want them to die. So he
wrote a letter to Lord Monteagle begging him to make some excuse
to be absent from parliament if he valued his life. Lord
Monteagle took the letter hurrily to the King. Guards were sent
at once to examine the cellars of the house of Parliament. And
there they found Guy Fawker about to fire a trail of gunpowder.
He was tortured and hanged, Catesby was killed, resisting arrest
in his own house. In memory of that day bonfires are still
lighted, fireworks shoot across the November sky and figures of
Guy Fawker are burnt in the streets.

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