Рефераты. Обычаи и традиции англо-говорящих стран

black bearskins. At Windsor, on the Sunday nearest St. David’s day, it is

now a tradition that every member of the Brigade of Welsh Guards is given a

leek by a member of the Royal Family. However, as St. David’ Day is

celebrated at the beginning of Spring when daffodils, are blooming, this

flower has become a second, more graceful emblem of Wales. David’s own

emblem is a dove.

It is said that David had a sweet singing voice. He encouraged his

monks to sing as well as possible for the glory of God, and perhaps this

was the beginning of the Welsh tradition of fine made-voice choirs.

Many churches are dedicated to David in southwest Wales, and if you are

traveling there, you might visit the cathedral at St. David’s. Other places

too are called after the saint, and you may visit Llandewi or Capel Dewi or

Ffynor Dewi

The Welsh "national" costume

Seen on the dolls and postcards is largely a myth created for tourism.

Certainly, the seventeenth-century country women wore long coloured skirts,

a white apron and a tall black hat, but so did English women at that time.

In the nineteenth century, the idea of a national costume was born and this

pleased both tourists and locals, although there is no evidence at all of a

long-lost costume.

The Welsh Eisteddfodau

No country in the world has a greater love of music and poetry than the

people of Wales. Today, Eisteddfodau are held at scores of places

throughout Wales, particularly from May to early November. The habit of

holding similar events dates back to early history, and there are records

of competitions for Welsh poets and musicians in the twelfth century. The

Eisteddfod sprang from the National Assembly of Bards. It was held

occasionally up to 1B19, but since then has become an annual event for the

encouragement of Welsh literature and music and the preservation of the

Welsh language and ancient national customs.

The Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales is held annually early in

August, its actual venue varying from year to year. It attracts Welsh

people from all over the world. The programme Includes male and mixed

choirs, brass-band concerts, many children's events, drama, arts and crafts

and, of course, the ceremony of the Crowning of the Bard.

Next in importance is the great Llangollen International Music

Eisteddfod. held early in July and attended by competitors from many

countries, all wearing their picturesque and often colourful national

costumes. It is an event probably without parallel anywhere in the world.

There are at least twenty-five other major Eisteddfodau from May to

November. In addition to the Eisteddfodau, about thirty major Welsh Singing

festivals are held throughout Wales during the same period of time.


Lovespoons were given by suitors to their sweethearts in Wales from the

seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. The custom of giving

lovespoons died out in the nineteenth century but they continued to be

carved especially in some country districts. Making lovespoons became

something of an art form and woodwork competitions and Eisteddfoday often

had examples of the genre.

In recent years, interest in lovespoons has reawakened and many people

seek them out as desirable keepsakes. Visitors to Wales, particularly from

overseas, wanting something uniquely Welsh to remind them of their visit

often choose a lovespoon. There is also a growing tendency for Welsh people

themselves to give lovespoons as gifts to commemorate special occasions — a

new baby, a birthday, an impending marriage, a retirement or to celebrate a

success of some kind. Lovespoons also make excellent Christmas presents.

Today, when most people have neither the tine nor the inclination to carve

their own lovespoons, the accepted practice is to buy a ready-made example

of the craft or to commission one of the woodcarver specialists to make


Since pre-history, beautiful, hand-carved objects have had ceremonial,

romantic and religious significance: long incense and cosmetic spoons, for

example, have survived from Egyptian times. In the Middle Ages, a pair of

knives in a sheath was considered a worthy gift and it was common for a

bridegroom to present his bride with one: such sets were known as "wedding


The history of kitchen utensils and the spoon belongs to Western

culture. The history of the lovespoon belongs to Welsh romantic folklore.

From the mid-seventeenth century, lovespoons were carved from wood in

Wales and there is one dated 1677 in the collection at the Welsh Folk

Museum in Cardiff. It is amazing that it has survived because wooden

objects are not particularly durable.

From the seventeenth century, the custom grew for a young man to give a

spoon to the lady who took his fancy. Thus, particularly attractive young

ladies might be given a number of spoons from aspiring suitors. It may be

that modern word, "spooning" indicating a closer development of a

relationship, is derived from this practice of giving a love token.

Early lovespoons were carved from sycamore which was readily available

in the low-lying country districts of Wales. The main tool used was a

pocket knife. Those who made such spoons were amateurs and it was a way of

passing the time on long winter evenings. Imagine a young man busily

shaping a spoon in a small room lit only by candlelight or the glow of a


Numerous examples of lovespoons have been found throughout Wales but

the giving and receiving of a spoon did not develop into "a ritual of

betrothal". Indeed, there is strong evidence to suggest that giving a

lovespoon expressed a desire for a relationship and was not an affirmation

that a relationship had already begun.

Some young men did not have the time or the skill to carve their own

spoons and professional lovespoon carters emerged. It was again, a question

of demand and supply. Spoons were bartered for or purchased from these

skilled craftsmen and a tradition of spoons made by the same wood worker

grew in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was no wonder then,

that the spoon became more decorative and elaborate.

A number of design factors should be mentioned in relation to spoon

carving including size, weight, color and the nature of the completed

artifact. As far as size is concerned, the earliest spoons were little

bigger than the modern teaspoon, their use was limited, and larger spoons

soon came to be carved. This meant that the handles, in particular, could

be more and more elaborate. As they became more decorative, the spoons were

displayed by hanging them on the wall in the living room or parlour. The

weight and type of wood used for such a spoon depended on the setting in

which it was to be displayed. Softwoods were often preferred and the colour

selected so that it would look good against a wall.

A great deal of imagination was used in the creation of lovespoons.

This elaboration was gradual. Two or even three bowls were carved instead

of one to make it more interesting and attractive. Eventually, the bowl

became less important and attention turned first to the handle and then to

embellishments or additions to the handle. Sometimes the handle was

enlarged or made rectangular in shape. At other times, filigree was added.

The handle was pierced, cutting designs in fretwork or carving in relief

were devices to add interest and meaning to the spoon. In this way,

symbols were incorporated: hearts, locks, keys, shields, anchors and wheels

were favoured themes.

A heart or a series of hearts was the most popular expression of love

used on spoons. These might be single or entwined to suggest that the boy

and his girl would soon feel the same way about each other. As the spoons

became more decorative, their utilitarian use ceased altogether and they

were used more for display. The heart was also an attractive and

convenient device for suspending the spoon on a wall. Indeed, most spoons

have a device for hanging them up, indicating that they were decorative

rather than functional.

Anchors in particular were popular: the suitor has found a berth where

he wished to stay. Many lovespoons were the work of seafarers who whiled

away the tedium of a voyage by whittling. Besides anchors, ropes and cable

designs often appear, as do vessels, steering wheels and various other

nautical emblems.

Locks (keeping love or a lover safe), keys (unlocking love), miniature

cottages and houses are recurrent themes with associations of lovers making

a life together. The key may have a triple significance for it may indicate

unlocking the door to the heart, it may indicate maturity (reaching 21 and

the key to the door theme) or it may mean "let's live in marriage


Chain links look very difficult to carve and are another development of

the whittler's art showing the woodworker's skill. Suggestions are that the

links symbolically "link" the sweethearts together in love and

possibly matrimony.

It must be stressed that many assumptions have been made about the

meanings of the motifs which appear on lovespoons. Imagery is always

difficult to explain and certain motifs may have had more personal

significance for the donor than can be appreciated by the casual observer.

Spoons were not mass-produced but made by one individual for another and

many relied on personal nuances other than symbols to convey meaning.

Some spoons are dated. If the couple eventually marry, they then become

a keepsake of the suitor's original interest. Other spoons are personalized

either by initials or by an emblem of the occupation or the interests of

the donor or donor. Often a carver wishes to incorporate a date, a

monogram, a motto, a name or a quotation into a carving. If he wants to

keep it a secret, he may work the date or name into the design.

Nationalistic emblems such as a daffodil, a leek, the word Cymru or

even a dragon are sometimes used, but they are usually to be found on

modern spoons. Some spoons are intended to be in the nature of Valentines

and to be anonymous. It is difficult to understand, though, that someone

who had spent many hours creating such a gift would not want his work to be

appreciated. Others are decorated with dual initials, those of the suitor

and his lady or with a single initial when we are left to guess whether

this represents the donor or the donor. But we must try not to read too

much into the minds of the carvers of earlier days. Whatever we think, we

cannot help being amazed by the consummate skill of these lovespoon


The Welsh National Game

Rugby is a form of football. It is named after Rugby School in

Warwickshire where it was developed, though the exact date (1823 or later)

is in dispute.

Rugby is the national game of Welsh team was thought to be the best of

the world. The rules of the game are rather complicated but mainly involve

the carrying of an egg-shaped ball over your opponents’ line and pressing

it firmly on the ground to score a try. A team consists of fifteen players,

eight of whom are usually much bigger and heavier than the rest. Their job

is to win the ball so that the three-quarters can run forward over the

line, trying to avoid the tackles of the opposing team. Often the heavier

forwards can be seen pushing together in a scrum, trying to kick the ball

backwards. Although the game seems to be similar to American football, the

players are not allowed to throw the ball forward. Other point can be won

by kicking the ball between the special “H” – shaped goal – posts.

When the Welsh side are playing at home at Cardiff Arms Park their

supporters often try to encourage them to play better by singing the Welsh

National anthem, “Land of My Fathers”. The sound of thousands of Welsh

voices singing this famous song usually helps the Welsh side to score

another try to win the game. Naturally they are especially pleased when

this is against the English!

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland, also known as Ulster, is still a part of the United

Kingdom. It is made up of six countries: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh,

Londonderry, Tyrone. One third of the population lives in and around the

capital, Belfast. Belfast is also the mast important port and commercial

and industrial centre. Some parts of the territory, those that are not

close to capital, have remained mainly rural.

The Irish population is divided into two groups: the Protestants and

the Catholics. The Protestants are of British origin. They are descendants

of British settlers who came to Ireland in XVth and XVIIth centuries,

during and after the Reformation. The Catholics are mostly natives of


The Protestants were the majority and dominated the Catholics with

strong discrimination. In1968 the Catholics began the movement for equal

civil rights.

The fightings between the two groups of the population continue to this



Canada is the second largest country in the world. Only Russia has a

greater land area. Canada is situated in North America. Canada is slightly

larger than United States, but has only about a tenth as many people. About

28 million people live in Canada. About 80% of the population live within

320 km of the southern border. Much of the rest of Canada is uninhabited or

thinly populated because of severe natural conditions.

Canada is a federation of 10 provinces and 2 territories. Canada is an

independent nation. But according to the Constitution Act of 1982 British

Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is recognized as Queen of

Canada. This symbolizes the country’s strong ties to Britain. Canada was

ruled by Britain completely until 1867, when Canada gained control of its

domestic affairs. Britain governed Canada’s foreign affairs until1931, when

Canada gained all independence.

Canada’s people are varied. About 57% of all Canadians have some

English ancestry and about 32% have some French ancestry. Both English and

French are official languages of the country. French Canadians, most of

whom live in the provinces of Quebec, have kept the language and customs of

their ancestors. Other large ethnic group are German, Irish and Scottish

people. Native people-American Indians and Eskimos-make up about 2% of the

country’s population. 77% of Canada’s people live in cities or towns.

Toronto and Montreal are the largest urban areas. Ottawa is the capital of

the country.

Today, maintaining a sense of community is one of major problems in

Canada because of different among the provinces and territories. Many

Canadians in western and eastern parts of the country feel that the federal

government does not pay enough attention to their problems. 80% of Quebec’s

population are French Canadians. Many of them believe that their province

should receive a special recognition in the Canadian constitution.

History of Canada

Canada’s history is an exciting story of development of a vast

wilderness into a great nation. Most experts believe that the first people

who lived on this land came from Asia about 15000 years ago. They came over

a land bridge that once connected Asia and North America. Their descendants

are known today as Indians. The ancestors of the Eskimos came to Alaska

after them probably about 5000 years ago.

In 1497, John Cabot, an Italian navigator in the service of England,

found rich fishing grounds off Canada’s south-east coast. His discovery led

to the European exploration of Canada. France set up a colony in Eastern

Canada in the early 1600’s. Great Britain gained control of the country in

1763, and thousands of Britain emigrants came in Canada. In 1867, the

French and English-speaking Canadians helped to create a united colony

called the Dominion of Canada. Two groups worked together to settle the

country and to develop its great mineral deposits and other natural


Canada gained its independence from Britain in 1931. During the middle

of 20th century, hard-working Canadians turned their country into an

economic giant. Today Canada is a leading producer of wheat, oats, barley.

Canada also ranks among the world’s top manufacturing countries, and it is

a major producer of electronic power.

Throughout its history, Canada has often been troubled by lack of unity

among its people. French Canadians, most of them live in the province

Quebec, have struggled to preserve their own culture. They have long been

angered by Canadian policies based on British traditions. Many of them

support a movement to make Quebec a separate nation. People in Canada’s

nine other provinces also frequently local needs over national interests.


Australia is the only country in the world that also a continent. It is

sixth large country and the smallest continent. Australia lies between the

South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. It is situated about 11000 km

southwest of North America and about 3200 km southeast of mainland Asia.

The name of the country comes from Latin word “australis” which mean

southern. The country’s official name is Commonwealth of Australia.

The Commonwealth of Australia is a federation of states. Australia has

six states-new South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria

and Western Australia. Each state has its government. Australia has two

territories-the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

The capital of the country is Canberra.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy like Great Britain. The nation

is administered under written constitution. The British monarch, Queen

Elizabeth II, is also queen of Australia and country’s head of state. But

the queen has little power in the Australian government. She serves mainly

as a symbol of long historical tie between Great Britain and Australia.

Australia is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations which is an

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